by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The point is not so much “It’s the economy, stupid,” but rather that the economy is the font of all contemporary politics, and it adjudicates the parameters of presidential prerogatives.
In the standoff between the “Squad” and Donald Trump, near-record peacetime unemployment in general and in particular historic-low minority unemployment argue against the idea that Trump is racist.
Polls suggest that Donald Trump may well win a greater share of the minority vote than moderates John McCain and Mitt Romney — largely because of a raise in middle-class wages in a tight labor market, and new leverage of entry-level workers over labor-hungry employers. Do working-class blacks and Hispanics suffer then from false consciousness, and do they need tutorials from progressive grandees so they won’t be so incorrect as to appreciate having more jobs at better pay? Racists do not craft economic policies that empower African Americans far more so than those promoted by the first African-American president. …
… Booming times provide Trump the latitude to tweet incessantly, and to editorialize on contemporary dramas, from Colin Kaepernick’s take-a-knee movement to the so-called Squad of incoming hard-left congressional representatives. Had we suffered zero growth and high unemployment, Trump’s enemies would have had some traction in their demands that he quiet down and focus on the economy. Successful economies are like successful wars: Everyone wants ownership, much as defeats and recessions are orphans.