There is little doubt that the fastest growing demographic in the state of Texas is the Hispanic community.
Some react in denial to this fact. Yet, the RNC and the Republican Party of Texas have made it clear that in order for the Republican Party to survive, it has to reach out and include the Hispanic community. And why shouldn’t we? For many of them, they tend to hold and encourage core values that are common to conservative Republicans like me. These values include concepts like promoting the lives of our unborn babies, promoting the importance of family relationships and promoting the idea that our government’s role in our lives is currently too much and that the government should be limited.
Instead of reacting in denial, or in even in fear, I see it as an opportunity to connect with an important part of our community and at the same time grow the Republican Party.
Right now in the Permian Basin, we are seeing one of the longest sustained booms in our economy. And there is no denying the fact that the Hispanic community is a direct beneficiary of this boom. Young men and women of the Hispanic community are taking advantage of the wonderful opportunities not only in the oilfield industry but in also in the other industries. Despite the comments of a Democrat at a recent local candidate forum, Hispanics do not have to be limited in being identified as “blue collar” workers. They are professionals. Some are accountants, some sell insurance, some are landmen, and, some are attorneys and doctors.
As a result of this economic boom, the Hispanic community has prospered very well. And their prosperity is my prosperity, our prosperity. As President John F. Kennedy famously said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Republicans eagerly agree with this concept. For example, it was Republican Congressman Jack Kemp who later repeated this quote when he argued for cutting taxes. And as the Hispanic community is growing economically, they are beginning to realize that their money being confiscated by big government in the form of taxes and fees is not a good thing. They are realizing that the more they prosper, the more the government takes away. They are realizing that they are working really hard, yet it is only the government that is being built up and not their families. They are realizing that the government that they are funding is promoting values that they do not believe in. They are also realizing that the Democrat party really does not represent their values anymore.
The good news for Hispanics is that because of their recent prosperity, many have found a new confidence in themselves so that they can step up and voice their opinion. And, with the help of the Republican Party, they are beginning to develop and articulate with a big voice that they indeed hold and promote conservative values. Thus, it only makes sense to include the Hispanic community as much as possible in the Republican Party.
So what does inclusion look like?
As I have blogged before, several others (notably from Midland County Republican Women) along with my wife and I helped form Despierta Tu Voz (DTV) in 2012. DTV is an organization dedicated to helping minorities realize that they have conservative values and that they should vote those same values. This last September, DTV held its’ second annual event. At that event, we were able to display to the community that being a Hispanic Republican is a logical choice if you want to protect and promote conservative values. We had many honored guests and speakers from the Hispanic community. Senator Ted Cruz headlined our event (see picture below).
Inclusion also looks like encouraging the minorities to get involved as candidates and high profile volunteers in campaigns. I have found from my personal experience that the Hispanic community is just as networked as the other communities if not more so. Any candidate that does not take advantage of the Hispanic community’s networking ability does so at their own peril. Thus, the Hispanic community has the ability to introduce candidates to people with similar values as the candidate that they have not met before and probably would not meet but for these volunteers. This is the kind of asset to any campaign that a slick TV commercial or flier cannot buy.
Finally, inclusion requires respectful communication on a level that they will respond to. In other words, we need to be able to communicate to the Hispanic community on their terms not our terms. For example, Republican candidates should, at a minimum, create at least one written piece and one radio ad in Spanish. Some Republican candidates, including myself, are already doing this. You can find my written piece here. And my radio ad is here.