There are a number of thoughtful essays being written, in the wake of Republicans’ calamitous national defeat one week ago, about the direction of the GOP, how it should spend its “time in the wilderness,” and how long that reluctant jaunt into the woods might last. Some of these essays are somber and thoughtful, like David Brooks’ column today about the battle lines being drawn between the “Reformers” and “Traditionalists” in the party. Liberal writers, on the other hand, are taking predictable delight in the Democratic victory, like Eugene Robinson’s gleeful piece about the “GOP Bridge to Nowhere.” But whether glib or depressed, most of these analysts note, in what I have found as a recurring theme in these essays and reports, that losing the Hispanic and Latino vote was an enormous blow to the GOP’s electoral success. These minority voters, many of whom voted for George W. Bush, went overwhelmingly for Obama. On the conservative blog, Montana Headlines, the writer points to an excellent essay by conservative writer Tony Blankley who begins by quoting William Blake, but ends it lamenting the Republicans inability to win over Latinos and Hispanics. These growing minority groups, traditionally religious and often socially conservative, are likely to be courted relentlessly in every election cycle of the foreseeable future. Blankley writes:
“As a national cause championed by a national party, a conservative agenda must, for example, learn to speak persuasively to a near majority of Hispanic-Americans, or we will be merely a debating society. When Texas joins states such as Colorado, New Mexico (and even North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona and Florida), where Hispanic votes are necessary for victory, there is no possibility of national governance without finding that voice.
“Our challenge is not to retreat to the comfort of self-congratulatory exile but to sweat and bleed — and be victorious — in the arena of public opinion.”
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