President Donald Trump made a last “straightforward” pitch to Black voters on Friday in an op-ed titled “My Message to Black America,” as part of a concentrated effort to win a larger percentage of the critical demographic in 2020 than was the case in 2016.
First, let’s look at a few facts.
Trump lost the Black vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 80 points. Regardless of what the “mainstream” media told you, the margin was less about Trump and more about the historical Black vote in presidential elections. By comparison, Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by 91 points in 2012. Yes, Obama is Black, but the fact remains that Blacks overwhelming voting Democrat in presidential elections has long been a foregone conclusion.
Having said that, after four years of Trump’s presidency, there are indications that he will receive significantly more support from Black votes in this election than was the case in 2016. According to the latest Fox News poll, 80% of Black Americans support the Biden-Harris ticket, while 14% back Trump and Pence. Even Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight recently acknowledged Trump’s increased support among Black voters.
While older Black voters look as if they’ll vote for Biden by margins similar to Clinton’s in 2016, Trump’s support among young Black voters (18 to 44) has jumped from around 10 percent in 2016 to 21 percent in UCLA Nationscape’s polling.
Black voters remain an overwhelmingly Democratic-leaning constituency, but a notable reduction in their support could still be a problem for Biden.
In Trump’s “Message to Black America,” he began with a familiar — and valid — question he repeatedly asked Black voters during the 2016 campaign; he then updated the question, based on accomplishments over the last four years he laid out in the op-ed.
“In 2016, I had a straightforward question for Black Americans: ‘What do you have to lose?’ Black Americans don’t have to ask what they have to lose in 2020. Instead, the question should now be, ‘How much more do we have to gain?’
Trump has consistently hammered Biden during the closing days of the campaign by telling voters he (Trump) has “done more in 47 months” as president than Biden “did in 47 years” as a career politician in Washinton, D.C. In the op-ed, he applied the charge against Biden to the Black community in particular.
“As your President, I’ve done more for the Black community than Democrats like Joe Biden have done in 47 years, and we are going to do so much more.
“As part of our efforts, we’ve unveiled my second term agenda called the “Platinum Plan” for Black Economic Empowerment, to ensure even more Black Americans have the opportunity to succeed over the next four years. The plan is built around the pillars of opportunity, security, prosperity and fairness.
“I’ve committed to adding 3 million new jobs for the Black community, creating 500,000 new Black-owned businesses and increasing access to capital in Black communities by almost $500 Billion to create an era of new prosperity and to finally close the wealth gap.
“We are increasing access to capital and economic empowerment for the Black community as a way to build Black generational wealth.”
Incidentally, Trump met with rapper Lil’ Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., during a campaign stop in Florida on Thursday. After the meeting, the rapper praised the president and the Platinum Plan on Twitter.
“Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done.”
Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done. 🤙🏾 pic.twitter.com/Q9c5k1yMWf
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) October 29, 2020
Trump rattled Biden during their final debate by repeatedly taunting the former vice president with “You’re all talk and no action, Joe” — in reference to the eight years of Obama-Biden administration — to the point that Biden finally declared “I wasn’t the president,” as if to suggest he would’ve been more effective than Obama. I don’t want to digress, but that might have been a toss-up. A “tallest midget” contest, as it were.
Trump made the same appeal in his op-ed to Black America.
“I knew that I could do more for Black America than the Democrat Party has ever done because I am about action. In fact, it’s the Democrats who exploit the sympathies and trust of Black Americans with false promises and empty rhetoric.”
Among the accomplishments Trump touted were the following.
“The unemployment and poverty rates for Black Americans hit record lows just before we were attacked by the China Virus. Wages are now growing faster than they have in over a decade, especially for blue-collar workers.
“I was also honored to work with U.S. Senator Tim Scott to create the Opportunity Zones program established through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which has already attracted $75 billion in new private investments and created 500,000 new jobs in struggling underserved communities.
“When it comes to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), it was my honor to be the first sitting President to invite all HBCU leaders to the White House, address the HBCU Week Conference and permanently fund these important schools through the FUTURE Act.
“I am proud that we also passed landmark criminal justice reform to undo the damage of mass incarceration. This is helping people, who in many cases have served harsh sentences for non-violent crimes, to have a second chance at their American Dream.
“In Black communities across the nation,” Trump wrote, “there’s been a reckoning to the reality that the Democrats have failed them for generations. D.C. Democrats are happy to leave urban communities mired with failing schools, no jobs, and lost hope while wasting time and taxpayer money on baseless and partisan politics.”
There is more truth than politics to the above paragraph; Donald Trump was right.
The Democrat Party has exploited Black America for six decades. President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 declared “war on poverty,” aimed in larger part at urban Black America. That “war” has cost more than $23 trillion and counting over the last 55 years. As reported by the Cato Institute in January 2019, the federal government was projected last year to spend close to a combined $1 trillion to fund more than 100 separate anti-poverty programs. A 2014 commentary piece for The Heritage Foundation was titled “The War on Poverty: 50 Years of Failure.”
The urban Black nuclear family has been decimated. Three out of four black children are born to single — very young, in many cases — women. Violent crime, including gun crime, is rampant. Drug usage is rampant. Robbery is rampant. Gang activity is rampant.
Trump’s truth is this. The Democrat Party has exploited Black America for 60 years or more with hollow promises, scare tactics and a mindset that while the Democrats might not have achieved for Black America everything they promised, Blacks would be in far more dire straits if the Democrats weren’t there to protect them from the “racist,” “party of the rich,” Republicans. And for that hollow claim, Blacks should remain ever-faithful to the Democrat Party and be perfectly content living on the liberal plantation. Harsh? Yes. True? You bet.
In closing, Trump pledged to do what he’s done for four years — interrupted by the COVID pandemic, but not deterred.
“I will continue to work with any and all Americans who want to Make America Great Again by bringing back American jobs, improving our schools, building safer and more prosperous communities, and reuniting families through meaningful justice reforms.
“When I promised to stand for the forgotten men and women of this country—whether they live in Chicago or Charlotte, Detroit or Dubuque, or if they are black or white—I meant it. And that’s exactly what I’ve done.
“So, I ask you to examine my record and consider voting for me to continue to fight for you, as your President, for four more years.”
Trump was right in 2016 when he asked, “What do you have to lose?” Only four years later, that question applies to America, as a whole.
With the Democrat Party of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden insidiously morphing into the Democrat Party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Kamala Harris, one shudders at the thought of the changes that might befall all of America over the next four years or more if mentally-declining Biden wins the presidency and the Democrats regain control of the Senate.
A final thought.
Think about the last four years. Think about the treatment Donald Trump has received from Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats and a complicit media hellbent on destroying the guy — or at the very least getting him the hell out of the White House. Think about the hoaxes, the lies, the deception, the vitriolic venom. Think about where Trump might be in public opinion, two days out from the most important presidential election in at least a generation if it were not for “all of the above.”
What we have seen throughout this man’s presidency has been despicable. The stuff of European politics at its worst, if not that of Banana Republics. I always thought we as a country — all of us, regardless of political affiliation — were better than that. Sadly, I was wrong. We must defeat those who have done what they have gleefully done over the last four years, and we must defeat them soundly.