5 Things Republicans Can Do to Recruit More Hispanic Voters

Marco Rubio

If the Republican nominee for President in 2016 would like to have a chance to win, he or she must receive significantly more Hispanic votes than Mitt Romney did in 2012.  As Republicans attempt to improve their outreach with Hispanic voters, this article offers five things they can do to gain more Hispanic voters.

1.      Nominate Senator Marco Rubio for President in 2016.  By nominating Senator Marco Rubio for President in 2016, this sends Hispanics a substantive and symbolic message that the Republican Party is committed to ameliorating its relationship with Hispanics and to championing policies that will make a difference in their lives.  Hispanics need to see a Hispanic nominated on a national Republican ticket, and Senator Rubio is an excellent choice for fulfilling their longing.

2.      Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  Congressional Republicans must be active in passing comprehensive immigration reform to bolster the number of Hispanics who vote for the Republican nominee for President.  Republicans need to support a bill that would include the Dream Act, a pathway to legal citizenship, and grant a temporary legal status to undocumented workers who don’t have criminal records.  Yes, include strong border security in the bill, but don’t let your passions for border security blockade granting a temporary legal status for undocumented workers who don’t have criminal records.

3.      Don’t Mention the Word “Deportation.”  When Republicans mention the word “deportation,” they send Hispanics unwelcoming messages.  These messages are usually linked to some of the most unappealing statements.  When Republicans mention the word “deportation,” Democrats will remind Hispanics about Mitt Romney’s comments about “self-deportation,” which proved to be wildly unpopular with Hispanic voters.

4.      Focus on the Economy.  Republicans do a better job with Hispanics and most groups when they concentrate on the economy, instead of on divisive social issues.  Meet with Hispanic business leaders and entrepreneurs and let them know exactly how Republican economic policies can enhance their economic circumstances.

5.      Have Substantive Meetings with Hispanics.  Republicans need to travel across the country and meet with diverse groups of Hispanics, even those who have never voted for a Republican.  Seek advice from these diverse groups of Hispanics and adopt at least one idea you hear from many Hispanics that you don’t necessarily agree with.  Our representative democracy is heavily dependent on compromise.  In order to govern effectively, Republicans must present themselves as being equipped to govern.  If Hispanics don’t see the Republican Party as a party willing to compromise, then they will not vote for a party that’s so beholden to its positions that it’s willing to sacrifice effective governance for its stubbornness.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Open Letter to Colin Powell

Colin Powell

Dear Colin Powell:

I would like to thank you for your many distinguished years of military and public service.  The work you’ve done is extraordinary.  Your true American story is inspiring and speaks to what is possible in this great nation.  Mr. Powell, I have deep respect for you.

It’s becoming increasingly ostensible that you’re no longer a republican.  You’ve voted for President Obama in the last two presidential elections and have been fiercely critical of the Republican Party for the last 8 years.  While there’s certainly nothing wrong with being critical of one’s political party, you seem to find nothing you like about the party any longer.  You, however, have no problem with finding things you like about the Democratic Party and President Obama.

If you really believe that the Republican Party does not value minorities, then why are you still claiming to be a republican?  Why not change your political affiliation?  Are you masquerading as a republican when you’re really a democrat for the potential political benefits this can offer the Democratic Party?  Are you really that thrilled with the Democratic Party in the last 8 years, or do you just have a fondness for President Obama?  If you’re using the label of republican against republicans, then it’s having little to no impact on voters.

You’ve never really been too comfortable in the Republican Party in the first place.  Why continue to experience this discomfort?  Would the Democratic Party make you feel more comfortable, or would you feel more relaxed as an independent?  Are you enjoying the spotlight that your opposition to republican presidential candidates gains you?  Do you feel the need to have substantial national political power and see this as your way to command this desired power?

The policies, values, and worldview of President Obama are diametrically opposed to the Republican Party.  You’ve given the policies, values, and worldview of President Obama ringing endorsements.  You cannot honestly admit that you’re committed to the Republican Party.  What would it hurt if you changed parties?  Someone with an illustrious record as you have is more than entitled to do what you please.  If you’re truly a republican, then publish a piece about why you’re a republican and how you reconcile this with being a zealous supporter of President Obama.

Mr. Powell, you’ve given many people the right to question the authenticity of your claim to be a republican.  Don’t get angry when people question your genuineness about being a republican—simply explain to them why you are.  Many democrats, republicans and independents are curious about why have elected to remain a republican.

Would it be best for you to sever all ties with the Republican Party?


Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Herman Cain Could be the Next U.S. President

With Republicans still not having a clear frontrunner for President in 2012, Herman Cain could capitalize on this reality and give Republicans a person to rally behind all the way to sealing the Republican nomination for President in 2012. I know that many people reading this piece may not be familiar with Herman Cain. This piece will help you to get to know who Herman Cain is a little better by offering you some background information about him. Moreover, this piece will present arguments about why he could win the Republican Party’s Presidential nomination in 2012 and why he could defeat President Obama.

Herman Cain was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He is 65 years of age. He graduated from Morehouse College, one of the leading historically Black colleges in the nation, with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and minor in Physics. While working for the United States Department of Navy, he earned a master’s degree in Computer Science from Purdue University. Cain is a highly accomplished businessman and proven leader. He has served as a business analyst for Coca-Cola, Vice-President of Pillsbury, and Chief Executive Officer of Godfather’s Pizza. Herman Cain managed 400 Burger King stores in Philadelphia and took this region of stores from being the least profitable to the most profitable in the nation in just three years. Cain has also served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Restaurants Association.

Herman Cain has never held a political office. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004 in Georgia and did exceptionally well, but was not able to defeat the strong name recognition of now Senator Johnny Isakson.

Is there any early credible evidence to suggest that Herman Cain even has a chance to win the Republican nomination for President in 2012? In the first state to vote for the Republican Party’s Presidential nomination, Iowa, Cain won a straw poll by a large margin. Look at the results of the Iowa straw poll here:

In the 2010 Midterm Election, we witnessed the significant influence that the Tea Party had on the outcomes of elections. The Tea Party was instrumental in helping Republicans to take the U.S. House from Democrats, aided Republicans in picking up the most new U.S. House seats in history, helped closed the gap between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate, and assisted in the winning a number of new Republican governorships. Unquestionably, the Tea Party is a force to be reckoned with in the current national political milieu. The Tea Party will certainly have a tremendous influence on who will receive the Republican nomination for President. With the Tea Party’s demonstrated success in the 2010 Midterm Election, the fact that Herman Cain is one of the Tea Party’s favorite candidates for President greatly increases his chances of becoming President in 2012.

Ten years ago, the fact that Herman Cain has never held a political office would have prevented him from having a chance to win the Republican nomination and become President. However, there’s a strong anti-incumbent and anti-establishment political mood all across the country. Cain’s great business experience and his marketing of himself as a “problem-solver could help him to capture the Republican nomination for President. Of the Republican candidates who are running and who may run, he’s among the most inspiring and charismatic.

If he’s able to secure the Republican Party’s nomination for President, he can be a formidable candidate against President Obama. Cain has the anti-incumbent and anti-establishment political mood in his favor, the support of the Tea Party, experience as an accomplished business leader, and the ability to communicate in a way that enables him to go toe-to-toe with President Obama. I really think that his marketing of himself as a “problem-solver” is going to become as powerful as messages of “hope” and “change” were for President Obama in 2008. Messages of “hope” and “change” are not going to work for President Obama in 2012. If Cain is his opponent, he will not be able to enjoy the advantage of people wanting to vote for him just because they could make history by voting for the first Black President of the United States, considering Cain is Black.

Herman Cain’s strategy of building a strong grassroots movement in support of him in the early voting states is proving to gain him some serious support in those early states. Many people vigorously oppose President Obama’s healthcare reform bill. Cain led the fight against HillaryCare during President Clinton’s tenure in office when he led the National Restaurants Association. This opposition to HillaryCare, which shares many affinities with President Obama’s healthcare bill, can assist Cain in garnering more national support.

Don’t simply discredit the possibility that Herman Cain can win the Republican nomination for President and defeat President Obama in 2012 because you don’t see and hear about him all of time. Guess what? We didn’t know much about President Obama when he was running for President in 2008. Remember that?

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

New Black Republicans Coming to D.C.

Newly elected Black republican members of Congress should not feel obligated to join the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). I do, however, think they should join the CBC to diversify the ideas offered by the group. Representative-Elect Tim Scott of South Carolina, a Black republican, has declined to join the group. While I understand that he is committed to themes that unite us regardless of our race, he is missing a golden opportunity to have republican ideas and ideals gain more exposure in the Black community. If Black republicans are really serious about bringing more Black people into the Republican Party, then they are going to have to join the most identifiably Black presence in Washington, D.C.—the CBC. I’m not questioning Representative-Elect Tim Scott’s passion for ameliorating the lives of Black people, but I am asserting that he is hurting his party by not recognizing his potential to recruit more Blacks into the Republican Party by joining the CBC. Representative-Elect Allen West of Florida, a Black republican, has decided to join the CBC. He is looking forward to challenging the ideas and policies of the members of the CBC. In the end, Allen West will be the more visible and more valuable person for the Republican Party’s efforts to recruit more Black voters.

It would not surprise me to see these two men, especially Allen West, become very prominent members in the Republican Party. They may even be successful one day in gaining the Republican Party’s nomination to become President. With the Republican Party increasingly becoming a more conservative party, these Black men have arrived at the right time to gain prominence in the party. They are both very fiscally and socially conservative. Although I want these two Black men to be successful members of the Republican Party, I don’t ever want them to forget that they are Black. I don’t ever want them to feel like they have to surrender their “blackness” to appease any member of the Republican Party. I am not saying that there are currently people in the Republican Party who will attempt to make them relinquish their blackness, but I just hope that if any people like this surface they will strongly resist their efforts.

Even though many Black democrats and liberals will not like these men simply because they are conservatives and republicans, I greatly encourage them to give these men a fair chance. You should wait until they gain a voting record before negatively criticizing them. I also encourage you to wait until they write, co-sponsor, and/or support legislation (as members of Congress) that you oppose before negatively criticizing them.

I hope that Tim Scott and Allen West will not feel like they have to be the chief attack dogs on President Obama simply because they are Black. If they feel passionate about criticizing President Obama, and this criticism genuinely comes from their deepest convictions, then I think they should vociferously promulgate their disagreements with him.

I congratulate Tim Scott and Allen West on their recent election victories to become two new Black members of Congress.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Dominant Message of the 2010 Midterm Election Results: Change Course

At both the federal and state level in the U.S. 2010 Midterm Election, we experienced a political tsunami as Republicans won races at a historic level. The American people have spoken and they have rejected the failed policies of President Obama. Republicans, however, should not be tremendously happy because the American people were not simply voting for them; they were voting to make a statement about their  unhappiness with incumbents. It is not like they are so happy to vote Republicans back in either. Let’s be honest, however, it is not just the struggling economy that resulted in historic gains for Republicans, but it was also a repudiation of the failed policies of President Obama.

President Obama is going to have to recognize that the people did not just vote Democrats out because of the economy—they voted them out because of his policies. I was glad to see him accept a significant amount of the blame for this too, but what I want him to acknowledge is he must change course from the failed policies that have significantly decreased his popularity. Obama is losing his appeal as a different type of politician. Each day it seems that he is becoming more and more like all of the other politicians he claims he is not like. He needs to find a way to work with Republicans to get things done for the American people. Republicans also will need to be willing to work with President Obama to get things done. The American people did not vote to give Republicans all of the power to do everything they want to do. If that would have happened, then they would have won the U.S. House and Senate and more state races too.

People are really exhausted with Democrats and Republicans. They want these politicians they elect to do real things that are going to significantly ameliorate their lives. I really think that by 2012 people are really going to be looking more toward true Independents at all levels, including for the President of the United States of America. If you are a Republican, I want you to feel happy about the fact that your party won historic gains at all levels, but you cannot allow your party to simply do more of the same. You must demand more from your party leaders. Democrats, you must demand more from your party leaders. We need a new awakening to spread across the land that communicates that we will no longer accept the status quo, business as usual politics. People are hurting and we need elected politicians to help them to be healed.

If President Obama wants to be re-elected in 2012, he will need to show a serious willingness to listen more to the American people, and some of that listening means being willing to support more things that the Republicans support. President Obama will really need to take a chapter from former President Bill Clinton’s book if he wants to have a better remaining two years of his presidency than his previous two. Republicans will also need to understand that America is not so in love with you all either. It was many of the policies that you all created that contributed to the problems we face today. President Obama, however, cannot continue to keep using this as an excuse—he must lead.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison