AJStrata watches the map of Virginia change from red to purple, and wonders when the GOP is going to wise up and realize that Nativism has always been a losing political strategy in the United States.
We have had GOP Congressman in my areas of Northern Virginia for as long as I can remember, and now we donâ€™t. It is not just the Iraq war. Northern VA has an enormous (and sometimes troublesome) immigrant population from below our southern border. But the area has people from all over the world, given the work done in downtown DC. So immigration and diversity of cultures and traditions is the norm overall. Herndon, one of the most visible flash points in the illegal immigration issue, is now possibly a very democrat place.
So how is being hardlined on long term immigrants benefitting the GOP here? We all agree we need to boot the criminals ASAP, get the rest background checked and processed into the above-the-table economy, and restrict all future immigration to be truly temporary and enforceable. Conservatives implode (and get nasty and testy) when we discuss the option of having long term, crime free immigrants pay fines and stay. Seems to be some sort of emotional issue with some. But I can see the results. Democrats win.
Democrats just took away decades-long GOP seats in areas of VA rife with illegal immigrants. If the GOP hardline wonâ€™t work here it wonâ€™t work in a lot of places. Not all, but too many to consider a governing majority. The problem is the long term illegals are interwoven into our society. They are neighbors or friends and teammates of our kids. They sit next to us in Church (OK, they would if I attended church). They are not usually or obviously criminals.
The GOP is attacking and maligning friends and neighbors to too many people who will vote against such posturing and are in sufficient numbers to move 5-8% of the vote and tip seats into Democrat hands. 5-8% of the population is not a large number, but when they switch sides or are repulsed away from one side that shift in voting can be like a political earth quake.
The same lemming-like strategy of political self-destruction worked marvelously in California. In Ronald Reagan’s day, California was a Republican bastion. Today, the largest block of electoral votes in the country can be relied upon to belong to the democrats and California sends two democrat senators to Washington. All because the GOP chose to make illegal immigration its key issue, thoroughly alienating working-class Hispanic voters.