Why Republicans Continue To Push Amnesty, Further Alienating Their Base

“You give loyalty, you’ll get it back. You give love, you’ll get it back.” – Tommy Lasorda

Loyalty has its proper position, and its limits, of that I am very aware. However, within its appropriate place, loyalty is worth more than gold. There are two main types of loyalty: loyalty to people, and loyalty to ideals. When one loses loyalty to their ideals, disloyalty to people is not far behind. As Tommy Lasorda said, give loyalty, and you’ll get it back. I would add to that: show disloyalty, and you’ll get that back.

The Republican Party has shown increasing disloyalty to their constituency over the last two decades. This has intensified dramatically over the last 7 years or so. With the left gaining political momentum by riding on the idea of amnesty for illegal immigrants, Republican leaders (though I hesitate to call them that) have desperately tried to get on the same horse. These establishment Republicans—as they are now called—have taken to watering down their opposition to amnesty so much that it almost mirrors amnesty entirely.

The Democratic Party has a strong hold on Hispanic voters, and it is widely believed by many conservatives, such as myself, that they are pushing amnesty, and an open border so that they may, in time, gain millions of new voters. It seems as though Republicans believe that to be true as well. The mistaken belief on the part of Republicans, however, seems to be that if they too jump into the amnesty pool, the new Hispanic voting bloc will be shared between the Parties. This belief has caused many so-called conservatives to abandon their voters, and wholeheartedly support amnesty, even though they know the negative consequences of such behavior. One such so-called conservative is the one, and only Jeb Bush.

According to The New York Times, at an event in North Carolina on Wednesday, Bush recently said that comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty)

“will restore and sustain economic growth for this country,” and that if the argument is “framed in that way, I don’t think there’s a big debate in the Republican Party about the need to do this.” He added: “And my hope is with a Republican-controlled Senate, we can begin to see a conversation about how to go about doing that.

Jeb Bush has been relentless in his push for amnesty, even famously calling the act of coming to the United States illegally “an act of love.” With his persistent effort regarding this issue, one would think that his constituency would be supportive of such policy. Nope. According to a new PEW survey:

Just 37% of Republicans and Republican leaners think the GOP is doing a good job representing their views on illegal immigration; 56% say they are not doing a good job…A third of Republicans (33%) say the party has not done a good job on immigration because it is too willing to allow immigrants living in the U.S. illegally to gain legal status…by 36% to 14%, conservatives are more likely to fault the GOP for being too willing to allow legal status for undocumented immigrants. Among moderate and liberal Republicans, about as many say the party is ‘too willing’ to allow legal status (28%) as it is ‘not willing enough’ to do.”

This information is important because it paints a picture of a leader who is out of sync with his constituency. A plurality of Republican voters believe that the Party is too willing to allow amnesty for illegal immigrants. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, is pressing relentlessly for amnesty. Why? Because the Party has left its loyal base behind in pursuit of greener pastures.

Republicans like Bush have simply begun to ignore their base because they are terrified of future losses. They actually believe that by appealing to amnestied illegals, and those who support the idea of amnesty, the Party can gain traction. The problem with that is twofold. First, amnesty will do substantial damage to the economy, and the jobs market—and it’s not just me saying that. For a more detailed examination of how amnesty would affect our economy, check out the article by The Heritage Foundation: “The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer.” Two, even if Republicans were to make any gains among the amnesty crowd, they will alienate their entire base, thus losing elections regardless of their meager gains.

Jeb Bush represents the old guard, a dying appendage of the Republican Party. He is a misguided man who cannot win the Republican nomination for president. If he does, we will lose in 2016, and we will have lost a lot more than an election.