And speaking of Canada, Roy’s suggestion that “Republicans could probably boost their performance with Hispanics simply by requiring any Republican candidate for Congress or statewide office to take a beginner’s course in the language of Latin America” is the kind of thing that would move us toward Canada in another way. Quebeckers are disproportionately represented in the country’s political elite because the bilingual requirements favor them — they’re a minority that already has to learn English to function, while English speakers outside Quebec don’t normally learn French. In districts or states with lots of immigrants, it certainly can help to speak at least a little Spanish — or whatever other languages are spoken by immigrants there — for the purposes of baby-kissing retail politics, but the business of the nation can only be conducted in the common tongue.
More importantly, Roy’s suggestions are barely more relevant than e-mailing someone your LinkedIn profile — I don’t know, maybe at the level of following them on Twitter. What’s needed is something a little more sustained. One suggestion is something I posted at Ricochet: The party should open a chain of American Opportunity Centers in immigrant neighborhoods, where a core of paid staff would coordinate grassroots volunteers in teaching English and civics classes and maybe help people file their taxes or navigate the red tape required to start a small business. Not only are things like this in great demand, but such an effort would also enable more ordinary grassroots Republicans and blue-collar immigrants to see each other as they really are, without the distortions of the media or government-funded middle-man organizations.