January 26, 2012

IF ONLY HE'D RUN:

Four ways Republicans can win Hispanics back (Jeb Bush, 1/26/12, Washington Post)

Hispanics understand, either personally or through close family members, what it means to come here as an immigrant. They know how hard it is to function without a full working knowledge of English. They have often felt the sting of prejudice and the threats of gang violence. They tire of the stereotypes built by the media and some politicians. Like all voters, Hispanics respond to candidates who show respect and understanding for their experiences.

Second, we should echo the aspirations of these voters. The American immigrant experience is the most aspirational story ever told. Immigrants left all that was familiar to them to come here and make a better life for their families. That they believe this is possible only in America is the best expression of American exceptionalism I know. And on this score, Republicans have a winning message and record as the party of the entrepreneur. We are the party of the family business, and the family business is the economic heart of Hispanic communities.

Third, we should press for an overhaul of our education system. Republicans have the field to themselves on this issue. Teachers unions and education bureaucrats have blocked Democrats from serious reform -- it will happen only with Republican political leadership. But we have to move beyond simplistic plans to "get rid of the Department of Education" and focus on substantive, broad-based reform that includes school choice, robust accountability for underperforming schools and the elimination of social promotion, in which kids are passed along without mastering grade-level skills. Such improvements, it was noted in 2009, plus efforts to embrace digital learning, helped Hispanic students in Florida lead the nation among their peers. And Hispanic voters, who often feel their children are trapped in failing schools, notice.
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Posted by at January 26, 2012 6:31 AM
  

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