Donald Trump’s outreach to African Americans is smart move, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it works for him on many levels.
I have advocated that he should do just that. In May, I wrote this in LifeZette. Who knows, maybe he read it.
In 1984, Ronald Reagan asked American voters whether they were better or worse off than they were four years earlier. Enough thought their circumstances had improved to give Reagan a landslide re-election victory.
In 2016, the time is ripe for the Republican nominee to ask the same question of African-Americans and other minorities, a question that if answered honestly, could help Donald Trump seize the presidency from the grasp of Hillary Clinton. It is an undeniable fact that, under the leadership of America’s first black president, blacks are worse off than when he took office.
Bringing this message to African-Americans could bolster the historically miniscule numbers of blacks who support the Republican presidential candidate and secure GOP victories in key swing states that are among the top 20 in terms of the concentration of African-Americans, including Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The economic and social conditions for blacks are so dire — and the failure for them of the welfare state so stark — that the black community may be receptive to some truth-telling and proposals that offer opportunity instead of free, dependency-inducing stuff.
But is Donald Trump the one to deliver that message? He just might be.
The Republican Party was founded to combat the racism of the Democrats. Specifically, to oppose the expansion of slavery. Trump should be asking blacks to “come home to the Republican Party.”
His labeling of Hillary Clinton as a “bigot” is the perfect political counter-programming. She is a bit of a bigot because she takes a whole ethnic group’s support for granted. But she is, in fact, worse than a bigot in that she proposes to make the lives of the many African Americans who are struggling worse by continuing the same policies that have kept so many blacks in the dire social and economic circumstances where they have been mired for so long.
The outreach to blacks helps counter the narrative that Trump is a racist, of course. But it also sets him up as a compassionate figure, which is obviously not how he is portrayed in the media. And it adds to his luster as someone willing to think outside the box and to rattle the establishment and its conventional thinking.
When was the last time establishment Republicans made a serious attempt to appeal to African Americans? Never. They’re too busy talking to each other.