I heard something this week that made my jaw drop: Someone who, for decades, has said that Republican outreach to blacks is a waste of time now tells me that President Donald Trump might be uniquely capable of persuading another five percent of blacks to vote Republican.
Why Trump? Because he is bold and communicates directly with voters by sidestepping the traditional media gatekeepers. How could he do this? By improving conditions for poor blacks — via jobs, infrastructure, and a Department of Justice focused on crime reduction — and making arguments that other Republicans have been too timid to make. That is, after objectively improving their lives, Trump could say to blacks: “We did this for you. Republicans did this. You’ve been voting Democrat for generations and they didn’t do this for you. They kept you poor. They treated you like helpless children. Welcome to prosperity!”
I’m not sure the Department of Justice can do much more than to simply get out of the way and stop harrassing law-abiding officers with federal investigations. Most infrastructure that would help urban blacks is controlled locally, so Congress couldn’t do much more than offer funding and, perhaps, assistance against corruption.
And jobs? Deregulation and healthcare reform could help immensely, but local Democrats and bureaucrats could do plenty to prevent national recovery from infiltrating their own communities. Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles do it all the time.
Is there anything to this rare hope for outreach? Are there steps the federal government could take to improve local conditions for minorities, and would Republicans actually receive credit for their good deeds? Does Trump have unique opprtunities to make inroads into those communities?
If nothing else, at least we no longer have Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and Loretta Lynch deliberately inflaming racism from the bully pulpit. That’s a start.