As an immigrant to the United States from Latin America, I am saddened as I watch Hispanics building political ties with the progressives in the Democratic Party. But I’m not surprised.
The Republican Party’s future within the atino community is looking dim. In the November presidential election, Mitt Romney scored only 27 percent of the Hispanic vote. A new Gallup report released last week concluded that Hispanics across all age groups will remain lopsidedly Democratic throughout their lives.
The future of Hispanic outreach in the freedom movement is going to be education, and it needs to start at the local level.
- Ana Puig
Here lays the irony — a majority of Hispanics hold personal values in direct contrast to the ideas of the progressive movement.
Historically, Hispanics are the most conservative component of America's melting pot. We are individuals who praise God, family and country above all things. We leave our homelands (often leaving loved ones behind) in order to build a better future for ourselves and our families. We come to America because it offers the greatest opportunity to work hard, make money and dream big.
So what is going on here?
Republicans are getting it all wrong with Hispanic outreach because they view their efforts through a lens of political strategy, when they should be focusing on values and community building. They run dense television ads about economic statistics every four years, and expect to grab the attention of families who are working multiple jobs to pay the bills.
It’s time to take a page from the Democrat’s playbook, and get out and organize at the community level. Educate people on the benefits of economic empowerment, and take the time to explain how free enterprise is actually the most compassionate agenda for the poor and underprivileged.
Last weekend, FreedomWorks held a training summit for 80 grassroots leaders from 22 states across the country. We didn’t talk about political campaigns, or “winning over the minority vote.” The Hispanic population is not a voting bloc to chase, though we currently hold about 10 percent of the electorate.
Instead, we spent the entire weekend talking about building a community outside of the political party system. We aim to educate and build relationships with people who share our values of individual freedom and economic opportunity, not pander to people during election years.
The future of Hispanic outreach in the freedom movement is going to be education, and it needs to start at the local level. We as individuals need to start pushing back against the indoctrination of the left, and correcting the myth that big government is helpful to society.
When I talk to Hispanics in my community, I explain how reckless government policies led to the housing crisis that cost many Latinos their jobs and homes. I discuss how the president’s health care law is estimated to cause at least 7 million Americans to lose their current health care coverage, and I educate people on how energy regulation will determine whether or not people can afford to drive their cars, power their homes, and pay for groceries.
As Marco Rubio said in his response to the State of the Union address, “More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back. More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them.”
I see a bright future for a strong relationship between Hispanics and the freedom movement. Both share the same core values. The missing link has already been identified. All we must do is roll up our sleeves and not give up.
I challenge each individual in the freedom movement to get off the couch and become ambassadors for these ideas in your community. Start talking to your families, your neighbors, and your friends about these issues because the Republican Party is not going to do it for you.
Ana Puig is a Campaign Coordinator for FreedomWorks, a fiscally conservative grassroots service center to 4 million activists nationwide. She was born in Brazil and currently resides in Pennsylvania, where she co-founded the Kitchen Table Patriots.