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A Washington Post article notes that the 2016 GOP platform -- which includes “language to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border” -- “is a far cry” from the 2013 autopsy that sought more inclusivity beyond “the GOP’s traditional base.”
After its defeat in the 2012 presidential elections, the Republican Party laid out a pro-inclusivity strategy in what became known as the “autopsy” report --a strategy that ran counter to the anti-immigrant vitriol regularly spewed by right-wing media. The anti-immigrant tone and extremism of the 2016 Republican presidential campaign ultimately demonstrated that the GOP would rather side with right-wing media over the party’s own goals, even if by doing so they contradict the will of a majority of the electorate and most of the GOP itself.
In a July 14 piece, the Post’s Dan Balz noted that by “including language to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border” the GOP is sending “a loud and clear message to the Hispanic community that is the opposite of what the 2013 RNC-sponsored autopsy report proposed,” and combined with Trump’s “harsh talk about Mexicans” has moved further from “meaningful outreach to Hispanics.” From the July 14 article:
As they worked through the language of their 2016 platform, delegates to the Republican National Convention commented over and over that this was to be seen as a marketing document designed to sell their party. What they produced is a far cry from what the party establishment thought was needed only a few years ago.
The platform that emerged over several days of deliberations here this week reinforced some of the party’s most conservative planks, rejected efforts to appeal forcefully beyond the GOP’s traditional base and, to the extent that it reflects the thinking of Donald Trump, is most noteworthy for including language to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The 2016 platform turns much of what was recommended in the autopsy document on its head. Rather than reaching out, it draws the party inward, particularly on immigration and social and cultural issues.
Trump’s wall sends a loud and clear message to the Hispanic community that is the opposite of what the 2013 RNC-sponsored autopsy report proposed. That report called for enactment of comprehensive immigration reform.
The possibility of enacting comprehensive reform, though still favored by some Republicans, died long before the 2016 campaign began. But in the presidential campaign, Trump, with his harsh talk about Mexicans and his determination to erect a border wall, moved the party ever farther from meaningful outreach to Hispanics.
By inscribing Trump’s proposal in the party platform, the party has acknowledged the strength of his core appeal as a candidate. But it also has taken the risk of building a rhetorical and policy wall between the GOP and the Latino community that could last for years. A newly released Univision survey shows Trump with the support of just 19 percent of Hispanic voters, lower even than the 27 percent Romney won in 2012.