The Democratic Party has prided itself on being the champion of our nation’s disadvantaged for generations. Starting with the labor movement in the late 19th century, Democrats have advertised themselves as the destroyers of inequality, even though the minority Republican Party of the 1960s voted for the Civil Rights Acts of 1960 and 1964 plus the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in higher percentages.
Democrats Increased Their Share of Hispanic Presidential Vote
Recent general election results point to the success of the Democratic efforts to win Hispanic votes. In 2000, Hispanics voted 62%-35% for Al Gore. In 2012, the margin for President Obama increased to 71%-27%.1 This demographic group was a key contributor to Obama’s narrow reelection.
A large percentage of Hispanics perceive the President and the Democratic Party as defenders of their values. So, what are the values of this increasingly influential voting bloc?
Hispanic Values Reflect Early U.S. Immigrants’ Views
In a recent interview with Matt Swaim, producer of the “Son Rise Morning Show” at Sacred Heart Radio in Cincinnati, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles listed the four issues that are very important to Hispanics: faith, family, community, and the worker. He was not analyzing reasons for voting patterns. He was, however, indicating that the Hispanic priorities are essentially the same as other groups who came to this country making it a “nation of immigrants.”
Is this why most of my fellow Hispanics gravitated to the President instead of Mitt Romney last November? The Democratic Party may have had the same appreciation for faith, family, community, and the worker when we Baby Boomers were in grade school. But this is 2013, and your grandfather’s political party has changed dramatically.
Contrary to revisionist history, our founding fathers understood the necessity of a sound moral basis for a nation to thrive. George Washington reminded us in his farewell address that
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable support. . . . And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”2
Respect for faith remained strong in our country until 1947, when the Supreme Court ruled that “The First Amendment has created a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable.”
Since that decision, we have seen opponents of religion take this misinterpretation of the First Amendment and Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut to new heights. Each described a “wall of separation,” meaning the government would not establish an official religion and impose it on the nation. They did not mean that government would effectively neutralize religion by shoving it aside.
By 2010, the President and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began referring to “freedom of worship” instead of freedom of religion.3
This is more than a subtle change. Their philosophy was magnified with the HHS mandate (officially the “Affordable Health Care Act”) and its absurdly narrow “religious exemption.” The Democrats’ attempts at quarantining the practice of one’s faith to a building and their push to remove any reference to the Creator in the Democratic platform during last year’s convention are certainly not the Hispanic point of view. Republicans 1, Democrats 0
The family remains the basic unit of healthy society, contrary to what new age sociological experts with political agendas have proposed since the 1960s.4 The Democratic Party’s “just do what is right for you” culture has been severely detrimental to the family by trivializing commitment. Also, many now accept human reproduction being demoted to Frankensteinian lab procedures where designer babies are engineered at the whim of self-appointed “Creators.” But this practice discards the intrinsically purposeful male-female union of procreation. To top off the rejection of Natural Law, Democrats have stepped beyond our human authority and claimed to have redefined marriage to include same-sex couples.
The Democratic Party and most of its members are strong proponents of these concepts that go against the deepest values of most Hispanic immigrants. Republicans 2, Democrats 0
The Hispanic’s strong respect for family extends to a responsibility toward his community. The charitable values taught in the churches are not to be confined to the church buildings, but are an indispensable influence of daily life.
In the 1990s, the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton decided to twist the African philosophy of “it takes a village to raise a child” for their own purposes. Instead of recognizing the importance of community from a values-driven standpoint, they used it to advance the “Big Brother Knows Best” agenda.
As Republican candidate for the Ohio State Board of Education Diana Fessler noted in a campaign gathering about twenty years ago, the Democratic Party envisioned school centers for children. They would be open 24-7 and children could go there to receive whatever support “they couldn’t get at home.” The school system would work to ensure that the kids learned the “tolerant” ways required to get along in the society of the future—something they would not likely receive from their parents stuck in tradition.
Fortunately, opponents of this new age position are attempting to steer society back on course with the motto, “it takes a family to raise a village.” Republicans 3, Democrats 0
The Democrats earn some credit here. In the late 1800s, workers began striking out against unfair wage arrangements and dangerous working conditions. The Democratic Party worked for laws which restored some of the dignity of the worker and a better labor/management balance of power.
Unfortunately, organized labor pushed the pendulum past fairness. Inflexible work rules, unreasonable total compensations and erratic spikes in the minimum wage led to job losses to both foreign competition and by companies moving work overseas. The descendants of the early victimized workers were now making “victims” of themselves.
Final score: Republicans 3-1/2, Democrats ½
Archbishop Gomez was right on target when he said that the Hispanic immigrants cherished “faith, family, community, and the worker,” as did their predecessors from other lands.
Unfortunately for our country, the Hispanic vote was misled on that infamous November 6, 2012 into supporting the party which has grown opposed to these values.
With the 2014 mid-term elections on the horizon, it behooves us to spread the social and political Good News of faith, family, community, and the worker so that this mistake is not repeated.
Oscar A. (Tony) Rubio is a writer who merges the lessons of history with current events to suggest a better path. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio and believes that our national mood would be improved if we listened to more Big Band and Jazz as we look forward to the White House changing occupants on January 20, 2017. Tony blogs at www.cartaremi.wordpress.com and www.sportuoso.wordpress.com.
All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.
3 “Why ‘Freedom of Worship’ Is Not Enough,” Ashley Samelson, www.firstthings.com, 2/22/2010.
4 “The family is the original cell of social life. . . . Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom. Security, and fraternity within society. . . .” (part of Paragraph 2207, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Liguori Publications, Ligouri, MO, 1994).
Related on OCR: “A Conservative Case for Immigration Reform”