There has been some discussion on various blogs lately about the political consequences of rising Hispanic immigration and a Hispanic-American population. National Review's David Frum frets that Hispanics' liberal tendencies will aid the Democrats and push them further to the left. Ezra Klein of the American Prospect, looking at the question from the left, celebrates the same trend. Megan McArdle tells Republicans not to worry too much because immigrant groups historically have become more conservative over time. (By the way, it appears that she is joining this organization shortly.)
This gives me the opportunity to promote my new book, Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past. One of the arguments I make in it is that the immigration issue opens some door for Republicans in the black community. Polls show that blacks largely share Republicans' concerns about Hispanic immigration. Blacks view Hispanics as rivals for jobs and housing. It stands to reason that they will increasingly become political rivals as well.
I suggest that with blacks and Hispanics both being part of the Democratic coalition, the party will tend to side with the Hispanics down the road because they are a larger and faster growing population group. As blacks begin to perceive this, they could become receptive to Republican outreach if the party is smart enough to make the effort. If, as I have said earlier, the Democrats will almost certainly win next year, such an idea may become attractive in 2009.
I thought it was interesting that the only Republican to attend the NAACP's candidate forum on July 12 was Congressman Tom Tancredo, whose principal issue is sealing the border and deporting all illegal immigrants. His anti-immigrant message got a very respectful hearing from the NAACP delegates and well more than a polite round of applause.
My purpose is not to defend immigrant-bashing or suggest that it is good politics. But if the Republicans are going to go down that road, they might as well get whatever value there is in it insofar as it creates opportunities to attract voters in sympathy with that viewpoint. I think the black community could be a ripe target.
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