Trumpmania is, at its heart, a massive, delusional, reactionary fit of raging frustration at the now-immutable "fundamental transformation" of the United States of America that could have been at least somewhat averted if a lot of the same people hadn't taken a walk on Mitt Romney four years ago for "not being conservative enough". The term "Obamnesty" would certainly have never entered the nation's political lexicon, at the very least.
But the Immigration Proclamation was simply the coup de grace of a long-running demographic trend that has been Cloward-Pivenly developing for half a century, even moreso via legal immigration than the illegal variety. It is the reason why the post-2012 Republican post-mortem put a heavy emphasis upon recruiting young Hispanic voters, which was a very sensible and practical conclusion to draw for a very practical and sensible reason: Speaking as a middle-aged white person, there are inevitably going to be more and more of them and fewer and fewer of us.
Or, in the reminding words of Mark Steyn, "Demographics is destiny":
For the nation’s Hispanic population, youth is a defining characteristic. For example, among Hispanic eligible voters, 44% are Millennial Hispanics – the single largest cohort of Hispanic eligible voters. And among the nation’s Millennials, Hispanics are a greater share than they are among all American adults – Hispanics make up 21% of all U.S. Millennials versus 15% of all adults in 2014....
The disproportionately young profile of Latinos in the U.S. is driven by the overwhelming youth of U.S.-born Hispanics. With a median age of nineteen, nearly half (47%) of U.S.-born Latinos are younger than eighteen. This is similar to the youth share among the nation’s other major racial or ethnic group with a large immigrant population – U.S.-born Asians, of whom 49% are younger than eighteen. By comparison, just 27% of U.S.-born blacks and 20% of U.S.-born whites are younger than eighteen.
The current immigration wave, mostly from Latin America and Asia, has brought fifty-nine million immigrants to the U.S. over the last fifty years and peaked in the early 2000s. About half of today’s U.S.-born Latinos (47%) and 80% of today’s U.S.-born Asians are the children of immigrants, many of whom came during this recent wave, which helps to explain the striking youth numbers for these groups.
The Democrats knew exactly what they were doing all those years ago when they broke the previously established pattern of allowing the nation's culture and economy to have generation-long breathing spaces in-between immigration influxes for the newcomers to assimilate into the "melting pot" and become Americans. In my lifetime the Dems haven't allowed there to be any reprieves, keeping the immigration floodgates wide open, and have actively and militantly warred against the very idea of assimilation and Americanization via the "multi-culti" mania. And they deftly duped the GOP in the process by exploiting both the "We're a nation of immigrants" sentimental ethic and the "cheap labor" economic angle. It was the long-term "fundamental transformation" project of which The Age Of The One has been the final act: the demographic transformation of America from an Anglo-Saxon political culture of constitutionalism, limited government, and individual liberties, to a Romanized political culture of paternalistic authoritarianism.
And now the Left is exploiting the suicidally "populist" reaction of a large plurality of former conservatives who are screeching for a return to a demographic America that no longer exists and embracing, in the bitterest of ironies, a variation of the very paternalistic authoritarianism they had heretofore rejected on a fundamentally racial/ethnic basis (i.e. "working class whites").
The WaPo's Chris Cillizza nails that effect, if not what caused it:
At some point in the not too-distance future — 2016 may be that future — winning the white vote by twenty-five or even thirty points, which is very, very hard to do for any candidate, may not be enough to make up for the massive losses Republicans are experiencing among the growing contingent of non-white voters.
Those basic demographic facts are why the 2012 Republican autopsy recommended that the party find a way to be for some form of comprehensive immigration reform. That the party not only hasn’t done that but is well on its way to nominating a candidate who advocates building a wall across the southern border and making Mexico pay for it speaks to how damaging the 2016 campaign has been for the GOP.
If nothing changes — in terms of the booming growth among non-white voters and the GOP’s inability to communicate with them — the 2016 election may only be the tip of the demographic iceberg for Republicans. The 2020 and 2024 presidential elections could be [Democrat] blowouts.
Where the 2012 Republican autopsy erred is in the notion that they had to "be for some form of comprehensive immigration reform". That weak-minded misapprehension was grounded in the false notion that all Hispanics and Latinos think monolithically alike - in this case, that they are all inherently for amnesty and open borders and unrestricted immigration in perpetuity. But that simply isn't true (just ask the Director's wife for an earful on that subject). Like every other demographic group, Hispanics and Latinos are made up of individuals who have different temperaments and backgrounds and views and levels of persuadability. Many are far more likely to be turned from the Dark Side if they are microcosmically engaged by Republican candidates and campaigns rather than top-down pandered to in one-size-fits-all fashion from above and without.
Captain Ed lays out the criminally tragic missed opportunity - and last chance - of the 2016 cycle:
The key question is this: Can Republicans change? … In researching my book Going Red, I spoke with people in minority communities who echoed those findings, but went further. Too often, Republican campaigns treat these communities almost as destinations for anthropological research rather than as communities to engage and embrace. In the past two election cycles, the GOP dispensed with the kind of peer-to-peer politics at which Barack Obama excelled in favor of national messaging that sounded too much like lectures.
And too often, the GOP remained ignorant of the specific Hispanic communities it tried to address, offering the same message to voters of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Central American descent. Voters in these ethnic groups have many common interests, but they’re often as different as white Americans of Italian and Irish descent. Plus, much depends on where in the country they live. Hispanics in Jefferson County, Colorado, for instance, have roots that go back generations, and as such are not focusing on immigration as much as they are issues at play in their lives now. State Representative Jon Keyser calls them “the four Es” — the economy, education, energy, and the environment. “I hope that we don’t have presidential candidates that come to Jeffco and just want to talk about illegal immigration,” Keyser told me.
People in these communities want honest engagement, even when potential disagreements arise. E.J. Otero, a retired Air Force colonel who became the first Hispanic to win a major-party nomination to Congress from West Tampa, expressed his frustration when fellow Republicans don’t show up to compete. “You’re not going to [win] as a Republican and have a TV ad and say, 'Vote for me because I’m a great guy,'” Otero explains about West Tampa, “and not go to their local meetings in their neighborhoods. It all comes down to the handshake.” [emphases added]
Here's the bottom line, folks: Ronald Reagan won a forty-four-State landslide in 1980 by winning 56% of the white vote; in 2012 Mitt Romney won 59% of the white vote and lost by five million votes. This is why Trumpmania is a fool's gold dead-end - winning more and more of a shrinking demographic is the path to political extinction, not political restoration.
But that doesn't binarily mean "moving left" and amnesty-pandering to compete for Hispanic/Latino votes on Democrat terms, which is also a fool's errand. It means actually recruiting members of that and other minority demographics on an individual basis with the "gospel" of constitutional conservatism. It means...well, deploying an actual ground game. The values of our nation's founding are not racially/ethnically delimited, after all - just look at who our most electable candidate was this cycle....
....and who is the last #NeverTrump hope....
There could be - or, rather, could have been - hordes more where Senators Rubio and Cruz came from if only the Republican Party had had the right, clear-eyed conservative vision and the willingness to do the hard legwork to implement it. Or, rather, "fine-tune" the arrangement that George W. Bush (who won a near-majority of the Hispanic vote in 2004 versus Mitt Romney's 27% eight years later) had before the latter and John McCain let it go to seed. Maybe, someday, there could be again, if you're of the Director's unshakably optimistic mien.
And if the GOP wasn't careening toward making this the face of the party.
See why I say that Trumplicans have waved the white flag of surrender even as they insist they're "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHTing!" to the end?