Jeb Bush is not a man of many words. From the lineup of the 2016 Presidential hopefuls, Bush has been by far the most ambiguous–both about his plans for running and about his policies. He has been outspoken on only two key issues, immigration and education; and on both, he has raced to the center of the GOP as much as possible, disparaging the Tea Party along the way. But does that make him an in-the-closet Democrat, as some have argued?
Recently, he sparked outrage among red-blooded Republicans by saying that illegal immigration was an ‘act of love’. It’s true that the ‘American Dream’ inflames the minds of many who take the decision to unlawfully cross the border in search of a better future. But it shouldn’t cost law-abiding Americans their own dreams and hopes. Bush may have forever buried his chances of getting the nomination with this thoughtless statement, which goes against the entire core of the Republican base.
But let me play the devil’s advocate for a second here and simply say that Jeb is the GOP’s best candidate for the top job. The reason is simple and straightforward: the Hispanic community.
Indeed, Republicans have fallen out of favor with this community for quite some time. Since the 1970s, the Latino vote has consistently and overwhelmingly gone to the dovish Democrats and their empty promises of social inclusion. But the more you look at the problem, the clearer the picture becomes. Nine in ten Republicans are white, and only 20% of Hispanics are favorable towards the GOP. This is certainly cause for concern.
Now, thanks to migration and demographic trends, Hispanics amount to some 10% of the electorate, which makes them the defining swing voters in American politics. No one can become president of the nation without getting at least 44% of their vote. This community is no longer a blip on the political radar, and their rightful inclusion should be a goal that must be tackled by any forward-looking Republican. Why? Because in the next 40 years, the traditional Republican voting base, the white population, will no longer be the majority in the US of A, thus giving today’s minorities the deciding edge.
Winning over the Hispanic vote isn’t going to be a walk in the park, but Bush has the upper hand. His favorable stance towards granting concessions (as opposed to Ted Cruz’s idea of jailing illegal immigrants) could even gain him some votes from the other side of the aisle. Even better, Bush is a deft connoisseur of Latin America. He is fluent in Spanish, has a degree in Latin Studies, and has spent the better part of two years in Venezuela, running the Caracas branch of the Texas Commerce Bank.
Bush’s pro-business, no-nonsense angle would also mean a more rational foreign policy towards the countries of South America, which have grown increasingly weary of America’s unjust meddling in what they consider their internal affairs. The Snowden phone-tapping scandal led Dilma Rousseff of Brazil to publicly snub the Obama administration by canceling a long-planned visit to Washington. In Argentina, only 19% of the population supports U.S. foreign policy in the region.
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom