Richard Nadler is a neoconservative Republican who recently spoke at CPAC—which, let me remind you, stands for Conservative Political Action Conference, rather than "Republicans Trolling For Minority Votes Action Conference." (And not just because RTFMVAC would be much harder to pronounce.)
He's the president of something called America's Majority [email it], headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, which is 90.65 white. In spite of the name, America's Majority seems to concentrate on GOP outreach to minorities who traditionally vote Democratic.
But that's a problem with the modern conservative movement. You have Republican operatives who are willing to sell out both conservative principles and, in the case of amnesty, sell out the United States itself, in return for votes that aren't there.
Speaking of which…Nadler has also published this idea in National Review. [At What Cost? Conservatives should rethink their opposition to 'comprehensive' immigration reform February 23, 2009]
NRO still has a couple of people working for it who understand the immigration issue (not Ramesh Ponnuru) and so Nadler has been forced, or to put it another way, has been allowed to publish another article on NRO: Against Mass Deportation | Answers to my critics, March 9, 2009.
Someone sent us Nadler's CPAC speech. I've fisked it.
Richard Nadler: CPAC—Feb. 26, 2009
Panel: Building the Conservative Hispanic Coalition: First: Do No Harm!
It is customary at forums like this to celebrate the natural affinity of Latinos and conservatives on issues such as family, right-to-life, and entrepreneurship. [So it is. It's also mostly untrue. See James Antle's The Myth Of Minority "Natural Republicans"] I'm here to say: forget that. If we conservatives continue to insist on the mass removal of illegals, [Nadler gets one point for not saying "undocumented workers"!] either by roundups or by starving [No one is starving in America, least of all Latinos. (See photo.) What we actually want to do is stop them earning illegal money] them into self-deportation, our losses in the Latino community will persist and intensify. And contrary to a delusion widespread among us, these losses will be reinforced rather than offset by the votes of non-Hispanic whites. [That would be more or less "the voters" aka "The American People."]
In 2008, conservative and Republican losses among Hispanics were devastating. This isn't speculation. It is what happened. The national backdrop was a shift of roughly five percent favoring Democrats. Obama's 53% improved on Kerry's 48%. McCain's 46% fell 5% short of Bush's 51.
But among Hispanics, GOP losses were more severe. Bush's 44% Latino vote-share fell 13 percent, to McCain's 31. [Bush did not get a 44% Latino vote share, Steve Sailer proved that. But even if he did, 44% would have meant a massive landslide the other way. But see NRO Rebunks Bush's Hispanic Share Myth, where Sailer dealt with a previous Nadler attempt to revive this number.] And GOP congressional candidates garnered only 29%—15% below 2004 totals. [Of course the 2008 candidates were facing a Democratic Party led by Barack Hussein Obama, a left-wing member of a minority group. Hispanic "natural conservatives" voted for him in droves.]
Our loss was the Democrats' gain. In plain language, between '04 and '08, Republican national candidates lost 30 Hispanic votes for every 100 cast. That's not the national trend. It's a bloody massacre.
Without a substantial percentage of that vote, conservatives can kiss goodbye to New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California yesterday; we can kiss goodbye to Florida, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico today; and we can kiss goodbye to Arizona and Texas tomorrow.
The deal breaker between Latino voters and conservatives isn't border security, or official English, or future immigration levels. A Republican can run right on any of these, and sustain significant Latino support. The deal-breaker is deportation.
A mass of evidence explains this.
There is the fact that 40% of Hispanic citizens fear a deportation action against a friend or family member.
There is the fact that 80% of Latinos favor comprehensive immigration reform.
But forget all that. Use your common sense. I have yet to meet a conservative who doesn't understand the dynamic of the Elian Gonzalez incident in 2000—how a SWAT team, on orders from a Democratic attorney general, invaded an ordinary Cuban home, [An American home. That was the problem.] and tore a screaming child from the arms of his protector. That sight, revisited nightly in Miami-Dade, carried Florida (and the presidency) for George W. Bush. What Republican didn't understand that?
[The point of the Elian Gonzalez case was that the Clinton Administration decided to send a child whose mother had died bringing him to freedom back to Communist dictatorship which is still an enemy of the United States, and to a father who had never married Elian's mother. Mostly what deportation does is send adult Mexicans back to Mexico, which is a free country, and which you are allowed, even encouraged to leave, if you can find someplace to let you in.]
But due to our commitment to enforcement-only immigration policy, Hispanics are treated to Elian Gonzalez-style incidents nightly on Univision and Telemundo. In living color, viewers watch huddled Latinos cuffed by ICE raiders at their place of work, moms clutching their rosaries, priests pleading for mercy. It's not rocket science to understand how Hispanic citizens react. [We are not persecuting clergy, for God's sake. They are persecuting us. American clergymen aid, abet, and harbor illegals, and Mexican clergymen do the same thing in the staging areas south of the border. But they're not persecuted. They're just complaining on behalf of their parishioners.] Only now, the villains are Los Republicanos rather than the Clintonistas.
We all enjoy happy talk about the natural affinity between Republicans and Latinos. [Speak for yourself, Nadler.] But given this broadcast bombardment, it is increasingly irrelevant that Hispanic opinion on right-to-life, or marriage, or school choice mirrors that of conservatives. [Hispanics aren't really that worked up about gay marriage. What they have is a traditional old-fashioned homophobia which makes them actively dangerous to anyone they think is a maricón. ] The linked prospects of ICE raids, persecuted clergy, ruptured families, and mass profiling spooks the legal, working-class Latino. As long as the prospect of mass deportation remains in our playbook and in our platform, Democrats will clobber us with it. [Here's what he's saying, in effect—Hispanics, whatever their political principles, put being disloyal to the United States first. This disloyalty manifests itself as a refusal to allow the US to protect itself from any invasion coming from south of the border. There is a certain amount of truth in this, and it's why Republicans should not be seeking Hispanic votes. It's also why they shouldn't be listening to Richard Nadler. ]
Now, some of you think that we can lose the Hispanic vote by 40 percent, and make it up among non-Hispanics. I say: think again.
First, it didn't happen. In 435 contests, not a single Congressional district with a historical trend of voting Democrat elected a Republican "enforcement only" advocate. But dozens of enforcement-only Republicans went down to defeat, most of them in historically Republican districts.
Some wedge issue, huh? [Read Marcus Epstein on this. Nadler apparently hasn't)
There is a reason why the anticipated anti-illegal backlash didn't deliver. The war against low wage labor is a war against entire major industries in both rural and urban America. [OK, but the war in favor of low wage labor is a war against the American worker, who represents a larger number of votes than the Chambers of Commerce, or the Business Round Table.] And the bulk of the beneficiaries of these threatened industries are by not Hispanics, or immigrants, or low-wage-earners.
This isn't a panel on economics. But to understand immigration politics as they are unfolding before your eyes, you need to understand one economic fact: With or without immigrant labor, American businesses must compete with producers from low-wage countries. The only question is whether they will do so here or offshore.
Millions of high-value-added jobs in our nation depend on the availability of low-wage workers. [However, they don't depend on the labor being that cheap. A very small amount of the cost of a basket of strawberries is paid to the picker. ] The entire white collar world of management, sales, and distribution in fruit and grain production, ranching, meat-processing, forestry, horticulture, and sea food requires low-cost seasonal labor in the United States. [The problem with this that the benefit of cheap labor goes to the employer. The cost (medical, schools, welfare and policing) is paid by everybody else.]
There is no question whether such labor will be used in these major export industries. The only question is where. You can hypothetically deport 9 million Mexicans from America, but you'll have less luck eliminating the Mexicans in Mexico, the Argentinians in Argentina, and the Chinese in China. Rural export enterprises—agriculture, horticulture, forestry, fishing, ranching—can, and will, go elsewhere. And they will take their white collar jobs with them. That's why Farm Bureaus nation-wide oppose "enforcement-only" immigration laws. [We call this corruption. In fact, we call it "organized crime."]
In urban America, the hospitality industry is built on low-wage work, and with it, all the jobs that the convention and tourism business generates in restaurants, entertainment venues, and museums. These industries can't relocate—but they can contract. That's why urban Chambers of Commerce and hospitality groups demand a comprehensive immigration reform that includes guest workers. That's why they are launching lawsuit after lawsuit against conservative-sponsored laws that insist on enforcement only.
Deportationism—enforcement without simultaneous guest worker provisions—alienates major blocks of traditional Republican support in both rural and urban areas. And that's why the much-trumpeted anti-illegal backlash failed to materialize.
So far, I've talked politics. But let me conclude with some moral considerations. What is the pro-family rationale for breaking up 6.6 million "illegal" families whose members include 4.9 million children and 3.5 million American citizens? [There is never any need to break up families when an illegal parent gets deported. The parents can take their children with them. If you got deported from France, would you leave your child behind just to stick the French taxpayer with the costs of his education?]
Do you really intend to do that, then tell the Latino community that you are pro-family?
How is our right-to-life commitment advanced by antagonizing the nation's fastest growing pro-life demographic—Hispanics—and the nation's most organized pro-life institutions—the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention?
I don't know how it advances free market principles to terminate seven million voluntary labor agreements with seasonal workers, low-wage workers, and high-tech specialists. And I can't even guess how it advances national security to spend billions to track and bust millions of busboys, grapepickers, and nannies. [Busboys and agricultural workers can be dangerous. In the long run, they're more likely to kill you than actual terrorists.]
I don't know why anyone calls this nonsense "conservative". [It's the patriotism and rule of law aspects, along with "nativism," itself a naturally conservative force.] But I do know that it must stop. Its persistence in conservative circles not only alienates Hispanic voters: it places our national security, free market, right-to-life, and pro-family agendas at risk.
If the conservative movement is to thrive, mass deportationism must be explicitly repudiated, in our campaigns and in our platforms.
Final point: there are some votes that a political party shouldn't want. America is facing an illegal invasion. If Hispanics don't' support fighting that, (some do) then Republicans shouldn't be trying to appeal to them, on principle, anymore than they would try to appeal to relatives of enemy aliens during wartime.
If Republicans do, they'll continue to alienate the majority of Americans. (This means mostly white Americans, because black voters hardly vote Republican at all.) The numbers in Steve Sailer's November 28, 2000 article GOP Future Depends on Winning Larger Share of the White Vote are still valid. Nadler should read it. But he won't.