Dear GOP, Learn Spanish
Kathleen Parker: Republican message to Latinos has been disastrous
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2013 8:29 AM CST
Pedro Yazzie makes phone calls on Nov. 6, 2012, in Phoenix to registered voters from the offices of Mi Familia Vota, a non-partisan effort to increase voter participation among Latinos and others.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

(Newser) – Kathleen Parker has two words of advice for Republicans today in her Washington Post column: "Learn Spanish." She doesn't mean it literally—nothing's worse, she writes, than hearing a US politician "pandering" to Latino voters with a brutal fake accent—but rather "metaphorically." Learning Spanish "means learning people," she writes. "Knowing them as human beings, not as statistics on a game board."

The GOP preaches the benefits of personal responsibility and hard work, values that should resonate with immigrants, and yet President Obama crushed Mitt Romney in the Latino vote. Why? "Because this aspirational language is drowned out by the rhetoric of rejection." The GOP, for instance, must find ways to deal with and talk about immigration "that don't alienate entire swaths of the population." Given the nation's demographics, the party's very survival is at stake. Read Parker's full column here.