By Brian Murphy and Michael GrunwaldPosted Feb 06, 2018 06:51:57 Republicans have always been interested in policy and are now doing it in a way that is far more populist than it has been for decades.
But the party has a long way to go before it can truly win the hearts and minds of the American people.
It is time to turn away from the “guts” approach and embrace a “grit” approach that emphasizes the good of the country and its people, says the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., whose wife, Cindy, was murdered by a convicted murderer in 2010.
That would mean embracing not just border security, but a pathway to citizenship, for those who were brought here illegally but want to return to their country of origin.
It would also mean taking on the drug cartels, and ending our decades-long trade war that has left American jobs and wages in tatters.
Republicans have always had a “good cop, bad cop” approach, which includes the border wall and the enforcement of immigration laws, says retired Gen. David Petraeus, who served as chief of staff to former President George W. Bush.
In recent years, he says, Republicans have moved toward a “bad cop, good cop” mentality, but that doesn’t mean the party is not going to need to change.
“If you look at the past five years, the Republicans have gone from being the party of border security to the party that has been the worst for the economy and for the working class,” Petraeus says.
Republicans are now trying to portray themselves as the party on immigration reform, but not in the same way they used to.
In the past, the party would talk about its plans to bring back the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.
That was the only way to win the presidency, Petraeus says, because of the Republican’s ability to appeal to the Hispanic vote.
“It was the first time we had an actual, real, real-time policy that was going to actually address the problem,” he says.
Now, Republicans are trying to show that they are on immigration at all times, and not just in the abstract.
They’re trying to make immigration reform their top priority.
“The Republican Party has lost touch with its core voters,” Petraeus adds.
“We can’t make this mistake again.”
Republicans should abandon their “gutter” approach.
That’s what Petraeus says he learned from Sen. Jim DeMint, R, S.C., who had been a strong immigration critic for years.
DeMinsion said in the 1970s, “It is not what the party stands for, it is who it is.”
The Republican Party must be more focused on the “roots” of its base, DeMints statement says.
This means embracing what he calls “the white working class” as a whole, which is a key demographic in the party.
The GOP needs to reach out to these white voters, he adds.
In fact, he notes, Trump is running a campaign based on appealing to this demographic, which Trump says is important for winning.
“I think that’s where the party should focus,” DeMinters statement says, pointing to the rise of Hispanics and other minorities.
He believes the party can win the Latino vote if it focuses on them as voters, and he’s right.
Hispanics make up about 10 percent of the voting-age population, and their vote is pivotal in many Senate races.
In 2018, Democrats have held 51 of the 50 seats up for election in states where Latinos make up more than half the population, while Republicans are holding 52.
“The GOP has got to be more inclusive of Hispanics, because they represent the heart of the party,” Demints statement concludes.
Republicans should be more responsive to Hispanics and non-Hispanic white voters.
The party needs to start focusing on what it does well, he argues, and make immigration a priority.
“Immigration is the single most important issue for the future of this country,” De Mints statement adds.
Trump and his supporters often cite a recent poll from the Pew Research Center that found 57 percent of Americans believe immigration is good for the country, and just 26 percent believe it’s bad.
But in reality, immigration has been a disaster for the American economy.
According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, it has cost the economy $6.9 trillion in lost output since 1990.
It has also been blamed for the loss of jobs, wages and tax revenues.
That is why the American Council on Education and the American Enterprise Institute have issued a joint report in which they say there is no evidence to support claims that immigrants have hurt the economy, and the economic consequences are far greater than many people think.
The report also notes that immigrants are not only good for Americans, they are good for jobs.
The economic benefits of