In the comments section of an article by a Latina describing the unwillingness by the GOP to connect with Latino voters, I found an interesting take by "Jamie in Peru" on why the GOP seems unable to attract minority voters:
Another aspect is that many Republicans do not KNOW how to care about races or ethnicity because historically Republicans have stood for more broad-based ideology that was deemed faceless and nameless; while Democrats have been the big tent party attempting to address different issues of different people.
Republicans have posited, “it is not about the people, per se, it is about the beliefs. Beliefs for all people willing to accept them.” Democrats challenge this with the response, “a belief which to Republicans seems neutral but to the rest has been overwhelmingly white and male dominant.”
Thus a dilemma. How can one blame a party for not caring about a segment of people, when they were never taught that this was part of the plan?
If I understand this correctly, Jamie says the Republicans concentrate on "If you believe as we do, then you should be one of us", whereas the Democrats' emphasis is on "you're a part of 'X' segment of society, tell us the concerns of the 'X' segment, and we'll address them as best we can". In other words, it's about the beliefs versus about the people.
The more cynical among us might say the people path is all about getting more votes, and getting and remaining in power - and I'd have to agree that this is at least partly true. After all, how many racist white Democratic politicians witnessed the civil rights struggle of the 60's and saw a burgeoning young source of political power? As I've pointed out before, the Democrats saw which way the political wind was blowing, and embraced it. The Republicans either didn't see which way the wind was blowing, or ignored it.
Perhaps the last two sentences capture the difference between liberals and conservatives in a nutshell: liberals by nature want change, and conservatives by nature want things to stay the same. This would indicate that the Republicans, as literate and intelligent as they surely are, did indeed see the approaching change for what it was, and resisted it with all their might.