Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures as he speaks at a Virginia campaign rally at Lynchburg Regional Airport, in Lynchburg, Va., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.

I think this election could be a valuable lesson for the Republican Party. I think the cause of Romney's defeat is clear: the Latino vote. It will no longer be possible for Republicans to win national elections without the support of this important voting demographic.

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I believe Latinos would fit quite comfortably in the Republican Party. They tend to be morally conservative, with strong religious values. They want what is best for their families. They also prefer to receive an honest day's wage for an honest day's work rather than a government handout.

So why do Latinos generally avoid the GOP? I'm sure the media has had some influence, but an even bigger reason has been Republicans themselves. Many are tone deaf in their arguments about immigration. I don't claim to know the solution to immigration, but I do know that many Republicans have talked about it in a way that sounds less than humane, even borderline racist.

I urge the GOP to learn from Mitt Romney's loss. Being conservative shouldn't mean being caustic.

Kent Bean