This week, the petite and gorgeous star of Desperate Housewives, Eva Longoria, will be taking center stage at the Democratic National Convention. It’s all part of a strategy to reinforce the idea of a “war on women” by rolling out pro-choice leaders and celebrities in the Democratic Party. As a co-Chair and Hispanic surrogate for the Obama re-election campaign, Longoria is positioned to reach out to one of the most coveted of all niche demographics: Latinas. Theirs is a matriarchal culture where family reigns supreme and “madres” wield tremendous influence over their households. No wonder political strategists want to know what real Latina housewives want.
As a Mexican-American at-home mom of six, I can tell you: Es la economia, estupido. Today, the Hispanic family has been hit hard by the Obama economy. Unemployment in our community is 10.3 percent, two points higher than the population overall, and 330,000 more Latinos are out of work today than when President Obama took office in January 2009.
Latinos are conservative in their principles and values, hardworking, entrepreneurial, and willing to make tremendous sacrifices to give their children a better life. That’s why the looming and predictable economic crisis and the staggering debt we are passing off to the next generation greatly troubles Hispanics. They’ve seen this before, and it’s the reason so many fled the dysfunctional governments of Mexico and Central and South America. Hispanics know that the real enemy of upward mobility is not other people’s success. The enemies of upward mobility are economic instability and fiscal irresponsibility, as well as government-centered societies that reward the well-connected, and foster corruption and cronyism. Why on earth is the Obama administration pursuing the same policies that compelled so many to leave everything and go North?
Latina moms at their core are conservatives — deeply religious and fiercely pro-family and pro-life. Raised in an enduring Catholic culture that venerates motherhood as the pinnacle of human achievement, Latinas are rarely plagued by the angst and doubts that epitomize modern American motherhood. Whether we work in or out of the home, our hearts remain at home. Our babies account for more than a quarter of the population younger than age 1, and more than a quarter of all at-home moms in America are Hispanic. Which calls into question the wisdom of the Democratic convention speaker strategy. Nothing could be more alienating to the inherently traditional Latina than the crusades of a Georgetown co-ed or the radical agenda of Planned Parenthood and NARAL’s abortion activists-in-chief – yet they are celebrated speakers at the DNC convention.
As for Eva Longoria, she is talented and beautiful and, yes, Latina, but the fabulously wealthy and pro-choice Longoria (whose Parisian wedding was a true 1 percent affair, held in a 17th century castle) is a curious pick to speak for the profoundly conservative values and economic worries of the millions of Latina moms who are working harder than ever to keep their families above water.
From school choice, to making it easier to start and grow a business, to standing up for religious liberty and the unborn, Mitt Romney seems to understand what Latinas want and need more than President Obama, Eva Longoria, or any of the surrogates the DNC will showcase this week.
Desperate Democrats don’t deserve the loyalty and votes of a demographic they can no longer even pretend to represent. If Hispanic women get past the labels and simply consider the issues that will most affect their families and reflect their principles and values, then a whole lot of them will have the same political epiphany that compelled New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez to declare to her husband, “I’ll be damned – we’re Republicans!”
Rachel Campos-Duffy is on the Women for Mitt National Advisory Board and the wife of Wisconsin Republican Congressman Sean Duffy.