On April 22, 2013 Ken Mehlman published an op-ed on USA Today about the future of the Republican Party. With the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center this week, he states an important reminder, “We can win the votes of non-whites, but only if we try. President George W. Bush won an historic share of Hispanic voters and grew African- and Asian-American support by acknowledging the different and often difficult experiences of many minorities, while pursuing policies that recognized the universal appeal of freedom and opportunity. “ He believes that Republicans need to take this approach again.
Ken Mehlman explains that President Bush’s growth in non-white support was good for public policy and he understood that “family values doesn’t stop at the Rio Grande,” while promoting a new immigration policy. While President Bush was in office, the nation helped the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which again shows the compassion he had for non-white communities who are in suffering. President Bush also increased funding for programs that supported the recovery of more than 200,000 substance abuse addicts, helped transition 50,000 homeless people into a place to live, and provided over 100,000 children with parents in jail with supportive mentors. This is another example of how he worked to strengthen civil society.
Ken Mehlman ended his piece explain that, “While there are many strategies our party must deploy as we work to appeal to a changing American electorate, it all comes down to the advice of the late Jack Kemp, the modern father of ‘compassionate conservatism’: people don’t care that you know unless they know that you care. As Republicans look towards the future, policies that speak to the common dreams that unite Americans from all background are worth remembers and in many cases emulating.”