The Republicans have a diversity problem on their hands. Six out of 10 white voters chose Mitt Romney, while blacks (93%), Asians (73%) and Latinos (71%) overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama. So far, strategy has focused on getting the GOP to embrace immigration reform.
That's a good idea, but it's going to take some time. It also doesn't tackle the problem head on: The Republicans need to actually start looking more like America; they need real immigrant politicians behind real immigrant-friendly policies. It's the only way to get over the party's "angry white guy problem."
Yet how to explain this: Two of the fastest-rising stars of the Republican Party are the children of Indian immigrants — Piyush Jindal and Nimrata Randhawa.
Never heard of them? That's because most people know them better as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Both were elected in states that are more than 60% white. How did they cross the racial barrier? Fundamentally, they represent the parallel narratives of the Republican Party and immigrant life — family values, patriotism, hardscrabble work ethic, among them. But Jindal and Haley also reflect just what must be lost in order to make it as an immigrant Republican. They've changed their names, converted religions, and been very careful about invoking their backgrounds on the campaign trail. That's helped them win over whites — and their own party. Now what about everyone else? As the party licks its wounds, recruits new blood, and ponders relevance in the new America, it clearly needs to reconsider messaging, even if that means an overhaul of traditional platforms.