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If Republicans Think Latinos Are Uneducated, They Should Look at Their Own Base
Republicans seem unaware of the composition of their base. How else can they explain this thinking, which echoes Mitt Romney’s misunderstanding of where the takers are: Republican Representative laments working on immigration reform because there’s no point in Republicans trying to woo Latinos when they are uneducated and low-skilled, “They will become Democrats because of the social programs they’ll depend on.”
Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) scoffs at immigration reform and warns Republicans to stop trying to cater to Latinos politically because they will never vote Republican. Via Think Progress:
“It’s amnesty that America can’t afford,” Barletta said Monday. “We have to stop people from coming in illegally. This will be a green light for anyone who wants to come to America illegally and then be granted citizenship one day.” [...]
“I hope politics is not at the root of why we’re rushing to pass a bill. Anyone who believes that they’re going to win over the Latino vote is grossly mistaken,” Barletta said. “The majority that are here illegally are low-skilled or may not even have a high school diploma. The Republican Party is not going to compete over who can give more social programs out. They will become Democrats because of the social programs they’ll depend on.”
Bartletta appears blissfully unaware of the largest segment of the Republican base (thanks to their southern strategy). Allow me to assist him in meeting them: Rural, uneducated whites from Southern regions. George Will explained this during the primaries as he lamented the southern strategy, “There’s also the problem that the Republican party has been, in recent years, too Southern. In the last five presidential cycles, they’ve got 79 percent of their electoral votes from the South. It’s too much.”
Jack Cafferty at CNN pointed out that most of the ten poorest states in the country are Republican. This isn’t new, but Republicans keep behaving as if they are the party of the white country club makers.
The biggest strengths for the Republican Party according to CNN exit polling from the 2012 election are those who support the Tea Party (not exactly known for being educated about the issues) and born again Christians. More high school graduates voted for Obama. By a slim margin (remember this is exit polling) more who attended college voted for Obama over Romney. More college graduates voted for Romney than Obama, but more post-graduates voted for Obama over Romney. The Washington Post’s exit polling concurs.
In 2008, the National Journal warned, “The GOP’s focus on social, cultural, and religious issues cost its candidates dearly among upscale voters.”
Clearly the Republican Party doesn’t own education any more than they own Hispanics.
Furthermore, a 2009 New York Times map revealed that the top ten counties in food stamp usage were all located in red states. 70% of all food stamp recipients are white. Low-skilled takers? Yes, Barletta, meet your base. The only difference is their skin color.
Barletta is just another Republican who believes what he hears on Fox News and reads on Breitbart; he’s operating as an elected official under misleading information.
In case you missed it, the Republican Party is now the party of snobby elites who look down on low-skilled workers. If you don’t have a high school diploma, you’re a taker and you won’t vote Republican. That this is coming from the party that resents public education and is actively trying to defund it, from the party whose last presidential candidate wanted to defund the Department of Education, should be a warning bell. This is the party that recently tried to fool America into cutting taxes for millionaires by throwing 300,000 kids off food stamps.
Somehow the Republican base takes great comfort in sneering at the brown-skinned takers, even as they collect their food stamps and Medicare. They hyperventilate with misspelled signs about “Socilism” when they don’t even know what it is, support a party chasing their adolescence by worshipping a Russian fiction author and are being fed propaganda by a channel whose biggest shareholder outside of the Murdock family is a Saudi Prince, but none of this will never cause them a moment of confusion or self-doubt.
The truth is that you don’t need a formal education to know when you’re being duped. You don’t need a formal education to be smart. But you can’t think clearly if you’re operating under a fictional set of beliefs being force fed to you by a propaganda machine. Thus we have the failure of education evident in representatives like Barletta.
Also, Republicans overlook the fact that smart people know when they’re being conned by a cynical party, using them as a punching bag in order to stoke the resentments of their less than bright base.
The Party of Takers points their fingers at The Other Guy once again. Sneering contempt for the win. If Barletta thinks Latinos are uneducated takers, he really needs to get out and meet his own base.