Sunday, November 25, 2012

Latinos and conservatives

My post about the Charles Murray op-ed made me think more about the Republican party's difficulties in embracing the Latino population. There are a number of dichotomies that the party is now publicly trying to sort out.

1. Latino immigrant as hard worker vs. Latino immigrant as welfare state moocher

2. Latino immigrant as Spanish-speaking enclave creator vs. Latino immigrant as bilingual asset

3. Latino immigrant as potential conservative vs. Latino immigrant as Democratic party lackey

4. Latino as "foreign other" vs. Latino as embodiment of "American dream"

5. Amnesty as rewarding illegal behavior vs. amnesty as rational response to broken system

Within the Republican party, of course, these dichotomies are filtered through different lenses--libertarianism, social conservatism, nativism, etc.--in sometimes contradictory ways. It's fascinating to watch a party sort itself out in such a public manner. Once we have a concrete proposal being debated in Congress, it will intensify even more.


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