Commentary: I could be a Republican but they don't want me

The Sacramento BeeSeptember 5, 2012 

MCT

Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Breton.

SCOTT LORENZO — Sacramento Bee/MCT

I could be Republican, but I'm not and the GOP has itself to blame for that.

I'm Catholic, fiscally conservative and save a little part of each day for prayer.

I own a gun. I believe in equal protection, keeping the government out of our private lives, and I take a dim view of flag burning and other desecrations of our national symbols.

I'm all teed up for you Republican guys, but you don't want me. Not really.

Just check out the GOP convention. In words and deeds, the Grand Old Party seems to yearn for the 1950s – before the Civil Rights Act, ethnic diversity and uppity minorities.

You use code words that fan the flames of a great myth – the one about President Barack Obama being born outside the United States.

I'd respect Donald Trump and the "birthers" more if they simply verbalized their thought bubbles: "We've got to get that N-word out of the White House."

Even Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, made a birther joke recently. His surrogates now say he regrets it, and who can blame him?

Outside of the cackles and knowing smirks Romney got from conservatives he is trying to attract to his base, a lot of us don't think this birther stuff is very funny.

It goes beyond disapproval of Obama's views and policies and smacks of disapproval of Obama, the man with dark skin.

It's all too familiar to me.

In California, we see an increasingly irrelevant Republican Party completely ignoring ready-made supporters – people who check the "Latino" box on our census forms.

I would be with you except you keep trotting out candidates who always get around to blaming our state's problems on people from the birthplace of my parents, Mexico.

I look around and see two or three Latino GOP candidates running for state Assembly, another running for Congress, and that's about it.

Are you nuts?

Demographers predict that the number of Latinos will surpass whites before the next presidential election in California. More than half the children in the state are Latino right now.

They don't deserve it, but Democrats are going to scoop these voters up by default – all because you guys don't want them.

Does it have to be that way? No. Speaking for myself, I'm not thrilled with a Statehouse dominated by Democrats.

I get sick of teacher and public safety unions pulling the strings at the Capitol and at Sacramento City Hall.

I wish Republicans had the muscle and intellectual capacity to keep Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature honest.

They don't. Instead of broadcasting an attractive vision, they keep narrowly casting to a shrinking base fixated on empty tax pledges and prone to ethnic bashing for political gain.

My vote could be up for grabs, but I'm not for that.

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