With the California primary fast approaching, the media are rolling out their favorite fairy tale about how Republican Pete Wilson’s support for Proposition 187 in 1994 was a historic, game-changing error for the GOP, driving Hispanics from the party for good!
Both CNN and MSNBC retold this completely bogus narrative this week. NPR rolls it out once every two weeks.
I — along with other people capable of reading election returns — have written about this forever. I did most recently in “Adios, America,” in a chapter titled, “I Wrote This Chapter After Noticing How Stupid Rich People Are,” inspired by a dinner party I went to in Palm Beach, Florida, the day after I’d already turned in my book.
I’m writing an emergency book on Trump right now, due today, and liberals won’t stop lying about Prop 187 — so for this week’s column, I’m telling the real story of that initiative, again. Maybe the 700th time is the charm!
In 1994, Gov. Pete Wilson of California was headed for defeat in his re-election bid. He had an abysmal 15 percent approval rating — syphilis had a higher approval rating. He ended up pulling out an amazing come-from-behind victory by tying himself to Proposition 187, a ballot initiative that would deny illegal immigrants non-emergency government services.
In the lead-up to the election, the media freely dispensed advice to Wilson, nearly identical to the advice they’re giving Donald Trump today.
Proposition 187, was, in the words of The New York Times, a “nativist abomination,” “xenophobic,” and a “platform of bigotry, racism and scapegoating.” Republicans faced an epic loss unless they repudiated Prop 187 and leapt on the Hispandering bandwagon — and pronto.
Unaware that the Times’ political advice was a gag, Wilson’s Democratic opponent, Kathleen Brown, was convinced opposition to Proposition 187 would propel her to victory. She campaigned against the proposition, urging voters to “send a message that says we understand that in diversity is our strength!”
Pete “Prop 187” Wilson won the election with 55 percent of the vote. That included 21 percent of the black vote — nearly three times the 8 percent average for Republicans in House races nationwide the same year.
Wilson’s 1994 victory on the back of Proposition 187 also happens to be the biggest margin for any Republican running statewide in California in the last 30 years, except for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who won his 2006 re-election by one point more (after effectively becoming a Democrat).
Proposition 187 was even more popular than Wilson, winning 59 percent to 41 percent. It was supported by a majority of white voters, a majority of black voters, a majority of Asian voters — and a third of Hispanic voters, i.e., more of the Hispanic vote than Mitt Romney got.
Proposition 187 was twice as popular with Hispanic voters in California as George H.W. Bush had been two years earlier. In 1992, Bill Clinton won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in California to Bush’s 14 percent. Texas Hispanics chose Clinton over Bush by nearly the identical percentage, 70 percent to 15 percent.
Maybe there’s something else Hispanics don’t like about Republicans.
In 1992, Proposition 187 wasn’t even a twinkle in California’s eye. Hispanics had no idea they were supposed to hate Republicans yet. Nonetheless, they voted in a landslide for the Democratic presidential candidate, and also for two Democrats running for the U.S. Senate that year.
The reason California can’t elect a Republican statewide isn’t that Hispanics got even madder at Republicans since Proposition 187. It’s that they’re a much larger part of the electorate, thanks to: (1) Reagan’s amnesty; and (2) the ACLU running to a Jimmy Carter-appointed judge to get Proposition 187 overturned.
As with gay marriage, abortion and any number of other legal absurdities, whenever liberals lose by allowing people to vote, they dash to the courts to give them whatever they want. Judge Mariana Pfaelzer’s ruling declaring the popularly enacted Proposition 187 “unconstitutional” was on appeal when Gray Davis became governor of California, and dropped the appeal.
The combination of amnestied illegals and their kids, and illegal aliens coming for the free government services and their kids, has resulted in a state where whites are only about 40 percent of the population and 60 percent of the electorate.
Pete Wilson’s victory with Proposition 187 ought to be studied by today’s GOP like General Eisenhower’s Operation Overlord. Today’s America has nearly the same demographics as California did in 1994 — aka “the California Republicans Swept With an Antiā??Illegal Alien Initiative.” In 1994, California’s voting population was 75 percent white, 12 percent Hispanic, 7 percent African-American and 6 percent Asian. Today, the American electorate is 72 percent white, 10 percent Hispanic, 13 percent African-American and 3 percent Asian.
I understand why the left doesn’t want the GOP to try anything like Prop 187 again. But why can’t Republicans do the math?