Republican Party Sucking Up to Latinos, Says Ann Coulter

Republican Party Sucking Up to Latinos, Says Ann Coulter

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Ann Coulter made an appearance on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Friday to talk about a FOX News poll that showed how unpopular conservatives are right now. She and the Factor host discussed some of the reasons why the polls showed them with such a low approval rating and she had a very simple explanation: immigration. The conservative commentator expressed her disgust with Republicans who take a soft stance on the immigration debate and why it was hurting them in their elections. But the basic point of her argument was that Democrats use immigrants to pad their numbers and win elections. The ultimate problem was not that the conservative policy on immigration was bad. Instead Ann Coulter accused the Republican party of sucking up to Latinos who would never vote for them because they were in the Democrats’ pockets.

Coulter’s views are actually difficult to follow unless one understands exactly how she is using the term immigration. In the United States today, the problem of immigration reform and what to do about the situation along the nations’ borders is a prominent point of discussion. In the last presidential election, the difference between the liberal and conservative policies created a stark contrast between the two candidates. Many Republican strategists have proclaimed that the only way to win on immigration is to stick to their guns (sometimes literally), refuse to compromise on amnesty and advocate extreme policies of border closure. This was not the immigration that Coulter was referring to on O’Reilly’s show.

Instead she was talking about the literal fact that immigration happens, that people from different countries and ethnic backgrounds move to and live in the United States. She gave the case of Al Franken in Minnesota as an example of what she meant. According to her, Al Franken is a terrible person who is firmly in President Obama’s camp. He should not be winning in Minnesota where most people do not approve of Obama’s policies. But instead of losing, Franken is winning and that is a direct result of Somali, Mung, and Hispanic immigrants. At one point she said that it was not the people of Fargo who were voting for Franken (mistaking the North Dakota town for a Minnesotan one), but the immigrants that Democrats had bused in to the area in order to vote in a block for their candidate.

Basically, Coulter is an immigration conspiracy theorist who blames minorities for the fact that the Republican party is unpopular. Not once did she remark that maybe it was the party’s immigration policy that was hurting them, a fact that has been well documented in discussions and polls regarding the issue. The thought simply did not occur to her. She and O’Reilly both blamed the shift in demographics in America for the lack of appeal of conservatives to the voting public, something they also blamed on Democrats. The changes in immigration spearheaded by Democrats, including removal of quotas to restrict how many people from various regions could enter the country during certain periods, were to blame. Neither Coulter nor O’Reilly took a moment to review what they were actually saying: Republicans are unpopular because the country no longer has a white majority.

The subtle racism of the discussion was eclipsed by Ann Coulter’s outright offensive comment that the Republican party is sucking up to Latinos. Efforts on the part of the Republican National Convention as well as other conciliatory comments from conservative candidates are one reason why they are doing so poorly. Instead of trying to win over minorities who will never vote for them, Republicans should stick to their immigration platform of exclusion and enclosure which appeals to the voters who feel disenfranchised by the party’s attempts to diversify. Once again, the racism was subtle but it was still present. Basically, Coulter wants the party to ignore minorities and focus on the white people who are more inclined to agree with the hard-right conservative immigration policies.

When O’Reilly brought up the 2016 election, Coulter gave an example of the kind of person she wanted running as the Republican party’s candidate. Ted Cruz was the guy she really wanted, though O’Reilly questioned whether he could generate enough support to actually win. Cruz has been unashamedly proud of his role in the government shutdown and his immigration policy is one of the most right-wing around. The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, which rates politicians according to how they have performed on issues of direct concern to Latinos, rated him at a flat zero and are firmly opposed to him and his policies. At the Values Voter Summit in September, he was the voted favorite out of all the attendees in contrast to Governor Jeb Bush. Bush recently expressed a certain amount of leniency towards immigrant children, which prompted some to label him as not a true conservative. Cruz, in contrast, is as true as they come.

Unfortunately for Coulter, O’Reilly, and the dream of Ted Cruz, Republicans are simply not going to win on immigration. With demographic shifts and the extremism of their policies, there is no way that sticking to their extremist views will win anyone over. The fact that the Republican party has done outreach work to minorities, especially Latinos, does not mean they are sucking up, no matter what Ann Coulter says. Instead, the stance of the conservatives has been a definitively exclusionist and racist one and is one of the primary reasons why they are doing so poorly in the polls.

Opinion By Lydia Bradbury

Sources:

Huffington Post
Republican National Committee
Breitbart
Mediaite
Wall Street Journal
Latin Post

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