Evangelicals and conservative Catholics — some of the most loyal members of the Republican coalition — have a direct political interest in making that coalition more inclusive. Hispanic outreach alone is not sufficient. Romney's largest problem — picking from the smorgasbord is a challenge — was probably his underperformance among white working-class voters. But given America's demographic direction, the overwhelming loss of Hispanic votes will gradually complicate the Republican political task to the point of impossibility. Unless this problem is solved, the GOP will remain on a long, downward slope toward irrelevance.
Outreach is not done in a single awkward lunge. It will involve more than endorsing comprehensive immigration legislation, though that is necessary. Hispanic voters have a series of concerns typical of a poorer but economically mobile community: working schools, college access, health care, a working safety net. Republicans will need to offer policy alternatives on these issues — defining an active, market-oriented role for government.
Perhaps the greatest Republican need is to embrace and demonstrate some other sound Catholic teachings: a commitment to the common good and a particular concern for the poor and vulnerable. This might appeal to Hispanics — and others.
Michael Gerson's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- My view: MMR vaccine caused my son's autism
- Facts about the Boy Scouts of America
- In our opinion: Utah's caucus system needs...
- Dan Liljenquist: IRS scandal is an assault on...
- Michael Gerson: Common Core standards are not...
- Letters: No welfare, ever
- My view: UDOT listened, made a good choice
- Letters: Move to the center
- Letters: No welfare, ever 77
- Letters: Move to the center 36
- My view: Why moderates lost the caucus... 33
- Tolerance and the same-sex marriage debate 32
- Dan Liljenquist: IRS scandal is an... 29
- Richard Davis: Abortion laws should... 28
- In our opinion: Big screen exploitation... 27
- Robert J. Samuelson: Can Americans stem... 21