by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Andrea Widburg of the American Thinker explores support for President Trump among a key voting demographic.
One of the things that conservatives noted approvingly was the way that the Republican National Convention reached out to blacks. For too long, Republicans had a defeatist attitude about black voters. Even though Republican policies manifestly benefitted blacks, Republicans believed that the black bias in favor of Democrat candidates was insurmountable. Trump never believed that, and it’s his faith in black voters that may be paying off. A post-convention poll shows that 24% of registered black voters support him.
We all know how black voters switched their allegiance from the Republican party – an allegiance created during Reconstruction – to the Democrat party, beginning during the Depression. By the 1960s, even though the Democrat party was the party of slavery and Jim Crow, and even though more Democrats voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than did Republicans, the fact that a Democrat president presided over its passage seemed to cement blacks permanently to the Democrat party. That’s why, for more than 50 years, blacks give around 90% of their votes to Democrat presidential candidates.
Democrat policies haven’t been good for blacks. Instead, Democrats have pushed welfare-based policies like a drug dealer pushes heroin. The user knows the stuff is bad for him but just can’t say no. Regardless of the facts on the ground, though, the Democrats still consistently managed to convince American blacks that Republicans, the party of abolition and Reconstruction, were invariably the second coming of the KKK.
Trump, however, was not from the Republican old guard and saw no reason not to make a play for black voters. In 2016, his greatest efforts were not yet directed at blacks but, as he rightly asked blacks while outside of Lansing, Michigan, back in August 2016, “What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump? What do you have to lose?”