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IBD Editorials

Demographics Favor the GOP — Unless They Blow It

Posted 04/04/2013 06:09 PM ET

No one could possibly guess it from the TV talk or coverage by the daily press corps, but the Republican Party stands today at the threshold of historic political victories.

The forces pushing things in this direction are so strong that the permanent campaign of Barack Obama, the public sector unions and the like can't prevail against them. The liberals this time are on the wrong side of history, and there is little they can do on their own to change the almost certain downfall that awaits them.

However, nothing in politics is absolutely certain, and there is an X factor in the equation that could keep the GOP from a victorious future.

This barrier, ironically, is the party's own alleged leadership in the Republican National Committee, a swarm of GOP "consultants", and top echelons of Congress — where the preferred mode of battle appears to be piecemeal surrender.

According to the recent RNC "autopsy" of the 2012 election, and other establishmentarian voices, what Republicans need to do to win is to be more like the Democratic opposition.

This is a siren song we've been hearing since the days of Nelson Rockefeller and John Lindsay, much used by opponents of Ronald Reagan. It was wrong then, and is equally wrong today.

In the current version of this tactic, the main issue being stressed is amnesty (by whatever name) for 10 to 20 million illegal aliens, as a supposed way of attracting Hispanic voters.

Not far behind are such leftward issues as same-sex marriage, downplaying restrictions on abortion, forgetting about the repeal of ObamaCare, and so on. Indeed there seems to be no policy stance at all for which these spokesmen are willing to do battle.

All of this is not only wrong in principle but in addition will be — and to a considerable extent already is — damaging to the Republican Party.

Based on history, not only will such liberal views not bring in new voters in significant numbers (since the Democrats can easily outbid Republicans on liberal issues), they will also alienate from the GOP the rapidly rising political forces that could carry it to triumph.

These forces, visible now in the fact that 60% of governors are Republicans and a comfortable GOP majority in the U.S. House, are overwhelmingly conservative and Republican.

They are of both economic and religious nature, and their combined effects are steadily reshaping the electoral landscape in favor of conservative values.

On the economic front, some of the key facts have been set forth in these pages by IBD's John Merline and columnist Betsy McCaughey, and don't need repeating here.

They tell us, in a nutshell, that the so-called "red states" (low-tax, Republican leaning) are gaining mightily in population while "blue states" (high-tax, Democratic), are headed the other way. People are moving in increasing numbers out of liberal bastions such as New York and California to places like Texas, the Carolinas and Arizona.

These population shifts are being reflected by shifts in congressional district numbers and votes in the electoral college, trends that are going to continue.

Less widely noted but equally potent are the "social issues" which embarrass country club Republicans no end but are crucial to the prospects of the party.

In counseling liberal stances on abortion or same-sex marriage, the establishmentarian/consultant classes blithely ignore the impact of such advocacy on a large and potentially larger part of the Republican base — religious voters who take their faith seriously and are alarmed by the hedonism they see around them.

Showing the importance of this sector, notes columnist Mark LaRochelle, is the fact that evangelical voters alone comprised 26% of the electorate in last November's contest, and that 78% of these went for the GOP.

By contrast, the supposedly all important Hispanic vote amounted to only 10% of the ballots, of which 71% were for Obama. That works out to roughly 20% of the electorate vs. 7%.

One wonders: Can GOP consultants do math?

(As LaRochelle also notes, the last time the GOP went for amnesty, in 1986, the results were politically disastrous. The Republican share of the Hispanic vote dropped from 37% in 1984 to 30% in 1988. Thereafter, the number of illegals in the country, far from being contained, would approximately triple.)

Even more to the point, religious voters, as a famous saying has it, are going to inherit the earth, and are doing so even now.

As shown by demographer Eric Kaufman of the University of London, religious couples across all cultures are for obvious reasons (including but not limited to abortion) having more children per family than are the secular-irreligious, whose birthrates are below replacement — which means a declining population.

"After 2020," says Kaufman, the devoutly religious of all faiths "will begin to tip the culture wars to the conservative side."

The liberal-counterculture Democrats will of course continue fighting this war in the schools and through the media, but have only one major demographic weapon to counter the fertility gap that is working relentlessly against them.

That weapon is illegal immigration. As the population trends move steadily conservative, the liberals must bring into the country and enfranchise new voters who will reliably cast Democratic ballots.

That, and that alone, is the real issue in the battle over immigration and why the Democrats are so bent on gaining amnesty for illegals. All the rest is window dressing.

It's also the reason that this is the one issue above all others on which Republicans, if they want to win, should not surrender.
IMHO, Investors Business Daily is usually outstanding.

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