In the middle of the last century the Massachusetts Republican Party lost its earlier dominant position in Massachusetts elective politics because it failed to welcome the large numbers of Irish catholic immigrants, future voters, into its ranks. Instead, these immigrants and voters found a home in the Democratic Party, and their descendants for the most part have remained there.
Now in a similar fashion the national Republican Party is on its way to losing the entire country. Why? Because it is failing almost totally to welcome the large numbers of Latino immigrants into its ranks, and in particular the Mexicans who make up the largest component of this immigrant group.
America's population is now more than 300 million. Latinos, numbering more than 45 million make up nearly one sixth of this population, and this figure includes, in spite of our barrier walls and immigration police, the 10 to 12 million who are here illegally. And Mexicans, 30 million of them, make up the largest portions of both groups.
The population of the country, Mexico, is about 105 million and there's no way we can stop large numbers of them from coming here—unless, of course, our country itself comes to a stop, that which some among us fear at the present time (12/08).
Too many republicans, clearly heavily influenced by the demagoguery of CNN's Lou Dobbs and his ilk, seeing the growing number of Latinos, read Mexicans, among us, not only in the border states, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, but in Florida, New York, Illinois and a number of other states where the Latino population is rapidly expanding, are convinced that we are losing our country to foreigners from South of the border.
This of course is not happening. In fact, our history is primarily one of new immigrants to our shores, or across our borders, who without exception have brought new energy, new strengths and talents and much more, all of which has always made our country the better for their coming.
But among the Republicans of the dying political party there are the conspiracy theorists who fear a "North American Union."
"Someday soon,' they say, "you'll be keeping ameros in your wallet, not dollars. The goods will zip freely from Mexico to Canada on an enormous new road. And the United States will merge with its neighbors into a massive North American Union that reigns sovereign over more than 440 million people."
Is this something we should be afraid of? Or is this something we should go into willingly? We should at least be discussing it.
But the subject of a North American Union on the example of the European Union, fascinating as it is, is not my subject. The end of the Republican Party is.
Rather than our losing our country to the Mexicans (which would not be the case even if there were a Union) the Republican Party is losing its significance as one of two national political parties, and if the present trend continues it will surely, within a generation or two, be replaced by another political party ready and willing to accept reality.
The reality is our growing closeness to our closest neighbor, Mexico. The reality is that Mexicans will have a greater and greater role in our country. We would best accept their being here. In any case their growing presence among us is a fact.
This is a good thing. It's good that we may very well have in the future two national languages. Has anyone who speaks two languages not seen the value of doing so? What better way than by language to reach out to other peoples? And just as we have worked with others who have come to our shores in the past (shores that were not always our shores), we should not turn our backs on those who are still coming here and want to be here and want to work. For never can there be too many of these.
That there are now those among us, Pat Buchanan, Tom Tancredo, along with Lou Dobbs and others, who feel that it is their role and their right to keep others from coming here, is obscene. Where did they get this right? Our history, let alone the history of the world, tells us that the movements of peoples to lands where the opportunities are greater is to be expected, accepted, and even encouraged. For this history is the history of progress.
The Republican Party if it would not be assigned to history's scrap heap ought to look at new comers to our country, regardless of the legal/illegal designation, as being no different from their own forbears who were themselves immigrants at earlier times. The law that keeps people, good people, hard-working people, out, is a bad law and should be changed if not discarded.