THE BLOG
09/30/2013 03:48 pm ET Updated Nov 30, 2013

The Pope + Hispanics = The End of Days... for Republicans as We Know Them Today

There is a shift of Biblical proportions happening to the electoral landscape of this country. It appears to be an uncontested Census projection that self-identified Hispanics will make up one out of every three people in 2060. Even before that happens, the U.S. is projected to become a majority-minority nation for the first time in 2043. Currently, the self-identified Hispanics of Mexican origin are the dominant group in many metropolitan areas in the border states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. The implications of these electoral demographics on the Republican Party as we know it today are immense. The Republicans cannot lose Texas -- much less Arizona, and New Mexico as well, and hope to be the majority party in the U.S. The angry rhetoric about immigration seems to have taken its toll on Hispanic voters who might otherwise be Republicans. The 2012 elections have made that clear.

Why might Hispanics and Latinos be Republicans? They are from heavily Catholic countries. Mexico's population is 87 percent Catholic. By the way, most of the countries in Central and South America are between 70 percent and 90 percent Catholic. Pro-life, anti-gay, anti-contraception, family values Catholics. Republican politicians across the country should all have, without a doubt, looked upon the rising Hispanic population with gleeful optimism of their increased electoral opportunities.

Let's say the Republican Party puts their anti-immigration rhetoric behind them making the 2012 election of President Obama with 71 percent of the Hispanic vote a one-time event.

Enter Pope Francis, the Spanish-speaking Argentinian. I think I am correctly paraphrasing the recent interview with the pope, that appeared in several Jesuit publications, when I say that he wants the message of the saving love of God to be primary, and also to basically love the sinner, be a servant of God, and help the lesser among us. The significant corollary is to quit the obsessive triumvirate chorus of anti-abortion, anti-gays, and anti-contraception as the raison d'être of the Catholic Church.

That spells trouble with a capital "T" for the Republican Party, as we know them today. It's tough enough for them to have to put their hands up, drop "self-deportation" as a campaign slogan, and slowly move away from threatening to fence the entire Southern U.S. boarder with Mexico. Now, they may risk alienating a whole future generation of Hispanics unless they drop three issues of paramount importance to their base -- abortion, gays, and contraception.

What's a socially conservative party to do? Out with the Tea Party and in with the Hawaii version of Republicanism. The anti-tax, thrifty government, but also socially liberal version of Republicanism á la Libertarianism. They are nearly extinct as a species -- only eight elected officials left in Hawaii, and the likelihood of them getting off of the endangered species list is slim. They are rarer than the mainland's "moderate Republican." Perhaps at some point in the future out of the ashes of the Tea Party revolution a Hawaii Republican will go forth and multiply, reviving the Party. We shall see.

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