It seems that it would be essential to attract young people and people of color to a political party, especially if you want to grow a political party in a rapidly demographically changing state like Texas. However, the McLennan County Republican Party seems to believe that there is no need to adapt to these demographic changes because of the success they have enjoyed in the past. Latina Lista posted a blog that summed up the situation in McLennan County:
“The big question since the GOP lost the Latino vote in the 2008 presidential election has been: How serious are Republicans about including Latinos in the GOP? The answer, fresh from the heart of GOP country…is not at all!”
According to an article in the Waco Tribune-Herald, conservative activists created the Hispanic Republican Club of McLennan County to reach out to Latino, African-American, and young voters. Part of the clubs stated mission would be to fill the vacancies in the 40 out of 92 precincts that lack precinct chairs. Many of the precincts that have vacancies are in predominately minority areas. However, the McLennan County Republican Party chairman M.A. Taylor does not consider it important to fill those vacancies, and apparently does not think that minorities hold conservative views.
“They think because there are 92 precincts in McLennan County, we need to have 92 precinct chairs. What they fail to understand is about half of those precincts are minority precincts, and you're not going to find any Republicans in them.”
More Below the Fold…The organizers of the Hispanic Republican Club, Duke Machado and Bert Hernandez, have also created a new web site, GOPisforme.com, and are attempting to use the internet to reach out to minorities locally and build the party. The internet has played an important role in politics, and in the 2008 election then Senator Obama raised $500 million online. According to the Washington Post, 3 million people made 6.5 million donations to the Obama campaign online, and 6 million of the donations where $100 dollars or less. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have also become a significant part of the political activism. However, Taylor apparently does not consider it important to utilize the internet to expand the reach of the party.
“He wants to start this Web site thing and have Hispanics subscribe to it, and that whole approach puzzles me. What's this going to do to build the party?”
The chairman of the Tejano Democrats in McLennan County, Robert Aguilar, made a statement that he appreciated that Republicans reaching out to minority voters, but he didn't think they would attract many followers because of their positions on immigration and other issues. This speaks to the tone deaf attitude that the Republicans in Texas have taken when it comes to issues that affected minorities, specifically Latinos.
According to an article in the El Paso Time, during the upcoming year Republican lawmakers are going to make an issue of the costs of providing services to undocumented immigrants. Three committees in the Texas State House of Representatives, which receive their assignments from Republican House speaker Joe Straus, are in charge of reviewing several border issues during the time between legislative sessions. Expect that during the Republican primaries that candidates will be making an issue of illegal immigration, and while they may be speaking to their base they will further alienating Latino voters.
It is also somewhat ironic that the Republican Party is discouraging activism from Tea Party activist considering that the Tea Party is more popular than the Republican Party. According to a new poll from Rasmussen Reports, respondents supported a generic Tea Party candidate over the generic Republican 23 to 18 percent. With ultra conservative candidates lined up around Texas for the Republican primaries the Republican Party will probably become even more unpopular with a minority that will soon be the majority in Texas.
Political and Social Thought…
to the Left of College Station