The Republican party is oblivious on many accounts (as is the Democratic). However, one which seems obvious to me is the role and values of Latin American immigrants. Most latinos have what conservatives would term “strong family values.” Most value traditional families, small community-based action and involvement, fiscal responsibility (they can’t get credit so they buy everything the old-fashioned conservative way: they save their money and buy it). Most latinos have strong religious and moral values. So why are they so drawn to the Democratic Party??? It is because the Demos tell them that they represent their interests. They court them and attempt to bring them into their camp. Meanwhile, the party of Lincoln attacks illegal immigration as if, as I heard today, they are “robbing a bank,” breaking the law and attempting to get something for nothing.
What conservatives seem to struggle with is the notion that because something is illegal it is de facto wrong instead of thinking about the rightness of the laws. Conservative rhetoric gives the impression that all illegal immigrants are in the U.S. trying to milk the system; that they all take (of “free” health care, “free” education) and don’t give. However, many pay taxes and strive to pay their medical bills and provide for themselves as much as able. There is a significant percentage of legal, life-long residents of the U.S. (white and born here) who would fall into the same stereotyping to which conservatives subject Latino immigrants. There is a difference, however: most of the Latin American immigrants are working and participating actively as laborers and producers in the economy.
This group of people could be a strong portion of the conservative base if the rhetoric were to disappear and conservatives would actually think about realities and possibilities. The influx of immigrants is immense and will continue and many have the values that conservatives hold dear.