Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Can Trump Win Over Blacks?

 

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.

There are 72 comments.

  1. DocJay Inactive

    Yes. Schools improved and safer neighborhoods. Better jobs instead of welfare. Anything is possible.

    • #1
    • January 26, 2017, at 3:18 PM PST
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  2. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    I think the suggestion makes sense, but all of your doubts are also justified. The potential for republican polices to improve the standard of living for inner-city minorities is there, but unambiguous improvements in 4 years seems unlikely. Even 8 years seems unrealistic, but it’s more plausible.

    I’m not sure that Trump needs that kind of improvement to increase his popularity though. The “Trump is an Alt-Right, racist, Klansman” meme won’t stand up for four years. That combined with mere glimmers of hope could turn some votes.

    • #2
    • January 26, 2017, at 3:21 PM PST
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  3. Henry Castaigne Member

    Trump needs to make the case otherwise we will never know.

    • #3
    • January 26, 2017, at 3:24 PM PST
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  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DocJay (View Comment):
    Yes. Schools improved and safer neighborhoods. Better jobs instead of welfare. Anything is possible.

    Schools! Now there’s an opportunity for outreach. No one would benefit from school choice and voucher programs more than poor people (so long as hyper-litigation doesn’t prevent the schools from drilling bad habits out of undisciplined kids).

    Democrats would fight it tooth-and-nail both federally and locally. But nothing could be more beneficial than improving education standards and undercutting the propaganda machines.

    • #4
    • January 26, 2017, at 3:26 PM PST
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  5. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Democrats would fight it tooth-and-nail both federally and locally.

    The good news is that many education policy and funding decisions are made at the state level. Republicans don’t control the big cities in which most poor minorities live, but we’ve got most of the states locked up. Furthermore, a comparison of education outcomes between red state and blue state cities would provide pretty conclusive evidence regarding which education polices work better.

    • #5
    • January 26, 2017, at 3:32 PM PST
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  6. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Democrats never quit fighting. Remember California has hired Holder.

    • #6
    • January 26, 2017, at 3:38 PM PST
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  7. I. M. Fine Lincoln

    Yes. African Americans tend to vote action and results – not promises and ideology. So the President is starting from a strong position. But Trump’s challenge is to find a genuine urban voice – which is distinct from what he often used during the campaign. Can he find this voice? I actually believe he can – and I personally pray he does. He must go to the cities and begin by listening. Many of the African Americans I know felt Obama never listened to them. A lot of these communities are in the blue patches on the map, but that is the very reason the President must go.

    And I completely agree with DocJay. Schools. Safety. Jobs. In that order. Action. Results.

    • #7
    • January 26, 2017, at 3:56 PM PST
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  8. billy Inactive

    I was about to post on this. I predict that in 2020 Trump will get a greater percentage of the black vote than any Republican since the Civil Rights Act.

    Now that does sound crazy but I have noticed something about Trump’s speeches. When listing the nation’s ills, he always includes the violence, crime, and the failing schools in the inner cities. He addresses the issues most important to people living in the urban centers in a way that Republicans and Democrats don’t.

    He can’t “fix” anything in a four year term, but convincing people that you care is most of the way to getting their vote.

    • #8
    • January 26, 2017, at 3:59 PM PST
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  9. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    After you account for all the agenda-driven Democrat-operative black folk who scream KKK in absolute desperation, most black folk see zero racism in DJT. That’s because he just isn’t. He has a lot of African American support, and this is one thing that alarms the race-baiters, which is why they scream so loudly about him. If he succeeds, they lose and lose big.

    Omarosa was on the first Apprentice, and I didn’t like her one bit. She made everything about her race. I was annoyed at Trump who seemed to defer to her too much. I thought he didn’t fire her because she was controversial and helped ratings, and that may have been true, I don’t know, but now she works for him.

    In every speech ( I watched a lot of them) no matter where he was, Iowa, the whitest crowds, he spent about 5 minutes talking about what he wanted to do for inner cities, sometimes the applause wasn’t that strong, not because these people were racists I don’t think, it just wasn’t their issue being rural folk, but still he talked about it in speech after speech. This is also why I don’t really buy the ‘populist’ tag on him. Unlike so many pols, he didn’t tailor his stump speech to different audiences. He could have easily cut out the urban plans he had when he was speaking to rural voters.

    • #9
    • January 26, 2017, at 4:31 PM PST
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  10. Wiley Inactive

    If inner city poor and minorities were given school vouchers that allowed them to send their children to private, charter, or suburban schools – that alone would change the trajectory of the inner city culture and next generation.

    Trump is a developer. Developers develop urban projects. I say healing inner city neighborhoods should be a top priority for Trump, it should be his expertise, but let him do it his way, the private sector way and not the gummit way. If he does he will decimate the Democratic party for 50 years.

    • #10
    • January 26, 2017, at 4:33 PM PST
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  11. GrannyDude Member

    Good Lord.

    During the election, I said my two issues were 1.) the well-being of police officers and 2.) the well-being of black Americans. If Trump actually improves the well-being of these overlapping groups…I might just vote for him in 2020?!?

    • #11
    • January 26, 2017, at 4:43 PM PST
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  12. billy Inactive

    Franco (View Comment):
    After you account for all the agenda-driven Democrat-operative black folk who scream KKK in absolute desperation, most black folk see zero racism in DJT. That’s because he just isn’t. He has a lot of African American support, and this is one thing that alarms the race-baiters, which is why they scream so loudly about him. If he succeeds, they lose and lose big.

    He has been a subject of the NYC tabloids since the 70’s and a reality TV star for over a decade. Yet only when he declared himself a GOP candidate did we find out that he was a racist, homophobe, misogynist.

    Funny how that works.

    • #12
    • January 26, 2017, at 4:43 PM PST
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  13. Wiley Inactive

    Trump might be on this already. Perhaps that is what he is up to in Philly and Chicago.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-26/trump-asks-what-hells-going-chicago-gets-one-word-answer

    • #13
    • January 26, 2017, at 4:44 PM PST
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  14. WI Con Member
    WI Con Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DocJay (View Comment):
    Yes. Schools improved and safer neighborhoods. Better jobs instead of welfare. Anything is possible.

    I’d advocate that the DOJ and Dept of Education get some type of data operation going. An operation where metrics like: numbers of gun infractions/numbers of prosecutions (city/state/county level) so that citizens could see how lack of enforcement has been ravaging their neighborhoods, publish the names of Judges & Prosecutors. With schools, compile those lists test scores/drop out rates/student achievement vs. other groups but get that information into those communities: press releases, black radio, email databases. I’m certain they’ve got the statistics – they need to get that information out, bypass the MSM. Trump could periodically Tweet those stats. They’d finally get covered.

    • #14
    • January 26, 2017, at 4:46 PM PST
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  15. Leigh Member

    Wiley (View Comment):
    If inner city poor and minorities were given school vouchers that allowed them to send their children to private, charter, or suburban schools – that alone would change the trajectory of the inner city culture and next generation.

    Unfortunately, this alone isn’t really such a fix — and I say that as a huge believer in school choice. But it doesn’t alone change a city. Education can provide a way out for some, but the underlying problem isn’t an educational one.

    Milwaukee’s had school choice for 25 years, and by this point that means school choice of every variety — within the district, public schools outside the district, charter schools, private schools. A majority of students use one or another of those. Milwaukee’s crime rate is still comparable to Chicago’s.

    Over the years since Walker came to power the Republicans in Madison have pushed one policy after another — and often good policy — trying to save the city of Milwaukee from itself. It’s a vain endeavor — so long as the city’s own leadership remains a disaster.

    You can only do so much good from the outside, and that’s even more true at the federal level. I think there is a real opportunity here — and if Republicans fail to take it they will pay in the future. But they’d best do so with humility. Paul Ryan understands that; I hope the president will be part of that discussion.

    • #15
    • January 26, 2017, at 4:50 PM PST
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  16. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Leigh (View Comment):
    It’s a vain endeavor — so long as the city’s own leadership remains a disaster.

    Maybe the best thing Trump can do is to keep publicly demanding that mayors of cities like Chicago and Detroit explain why they haven’t helped their cities’ residents yet. If the solution must come from the ground, the pressure could come from above. Use the bully pulpit to more appropriately direct the anger of people in bad neighborhoods.

    • #16
    • January 26, 2017, at 5:12 PM PST
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  17. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If Trump delivers prosperity, he’ll get more votes, black votes included. Increasing the GOP share from about 8% to maybe 12% doesn’t make him Abe Lincoln, it just puts the Party back where it was in GHWB’s time.

    But look at how he won the white vote. We wanted more jobs; we didn’t much care if they were so-called “fairer jobs” as long as there were a lot more of them. Notice he didn’t take the standard GOP pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by-when-you-die approach of saying that capital formation would lead to taxpayer alliances that in the out years of marginal rates might make it possible someday for the grandsons of today’s out of work miners to become piano teachers and pedicure artists by 2044.

    It wouldn’t be different for the blacks. They want to see results in their own terms, just like we do. If they want more jobs and less crime, it’s not enough to give ’em the old GOP playbook. They’ll need Roosevelt-style improvement to change their minds. Trump might be able to deliver that. But don’t kid ourselves about the irresistible appeal of yammering “ownership society”.

    • #17
    • January 26, 2017, at 5:30 PM PST
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  18. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Leigh (View Comment):
    It’s a vain endeavor — so long as the city’s own leadership remains a disaster.

    Maybe the best thing Trump can do is to keep publicly demanding that mayors of cities like Chicago and Detroit explain why they haven’t helped their cities’ residents yet. If the solution must come from the ground, the pressure could come from above. Use the bully pulpit to more appropriately direct the anger of people in bad neighborhoods.

    I don’t mind him saying it, but I doubt it will work. Dems are quick to blame insufficient help from outside. They’ll resist reform and productive change, while arguing that the real problem is insufficient funding. They’ll protest that rather than try to eliminate inner-city public schools, Trump should send money.

    It’s an old argument, but it’s worked for a long time and I haven’t seen anything that would stop it from working in the future. We need to find a way to demonstrate results.

    • #18
    • January 26, 2017, at 5:36 PM PST
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  19. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Trump could “team” with highly credible succcessful conservative black people in many communities all over the country to champion his causes. They could be models for working hard and success. And those folks could enlist people like themselves. They are out there.

    • #19
    • January 26, 2017, at 5:38 PM PST
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  20. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    capital formation would lead to taxpayer alliances that in the out years of marginal rates might make it possible someday for the grandsons of today’s out of work miners to become piano teachers and pedicure artists by 2044.

    I didn’t know you were a GOP speechwriter.

    • #20
    • January 26, 2017, at 5:39 PM PST
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  21. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Trump could “team” with highly credible succcessful conservative black people in many communities all over the country to champion his causes. They could be models for working hard and success. And those folks could enlist people like themselves. They are out there.

    I’m starting to feel like a negative ninny, but I doubt this would work either. Liberal black leaders have less difficulty marginalizing black conservatives than they do white ones. It’s a shame.

    There’s a time when I would have suggested somebody like Corey Booker would work. He’s not conservative, but he was sympathetic to market-based solutions for many of these problems. Of course, now that he has presidential aspirations he’s off the table. Does anybody else come to mind?

    • #21
    • January 26, 2017, at 5:42 PM PST
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  22. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    An important distinction should be made. Blacks are not especially liberal in the cultural sense, but they are redistributionists; in that respect, they aren’t that far from the political faith of my grandparents, who disliked Adlai Stevenson but trusted the unions. There’s a political opportunity here but only if the next four years delivers the goods. We always look to the black entrepreneurs, but there aren’t a whole lot of them.

    When I was a kid, two thirds of blacks lived in poverty; today, it’s down to about a third. Most attribute the change to a combination of their own hard work and the push of liberal legislation. You aren’t going to shake that faith; you can hope to replace it with something even stronger.

    • #22
    • January 26, 2017, at 5:53 PM PST
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  23. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    When I was a kid, two thirds of blacks lived in poverty; today, it’s down to about a third. Most attribute the change to a combination of their own hard work and the push of liberal legislation. You aren’t going to shake that faith; you can hope to replace it with something even stronger.

    Very interesting. I wasn’t aware of that trend. I’m not sure this information fits either side’s narrative. This demands some thought.

    • #23
    • January 26, 2017, at 5:58 PM PST
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  24. WI Con Member
    WI Con Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Leigh (View Comment):
    It’s a vain endeavor — so long as the city’s own leadership remains a disaster.

    Maybe the best thing Trump can do is to keep publicly demanding that mayors of cities like Chicago and Detroit explain why they haven’t helped their cities’ residents yet. If the solution must come from the ground, the pressure could come from above. Use the bully pulpit to more appropriately direct the anger of people in bad neighborhoods.

    Exactly, Tweet the stats (examples not actual stats): “Mayor Emmanuel, 105,000 gun violations, 3,500 prosecutions – Sad. Over 1,300 murders last year, explain your record to your citizens! #What have you got to lose”

    “Mayor Mosby – Black unemployment rate before riots 10.3% – now, after disastrous police prosecutions – Unemployment rate is 22%! – Unacceptable! #What have you got to lose”

    “Planned Parenthood aborts 38% Black Babies though African Americans are 13% of population – why do you think babies are better off dead than in your city? #What have you got to lose”

    “Chicago Teachers Union – only 40% of your students graduate from H.S., of that, only 12% read at 8th grade level – Return taxpayer money you have stolen! #What have you got to lose”

    I really think he could move the needle with these folks.

    • #24
    • January 26, 2017, at 6:03 PM PST
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  25. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    When I was a kid, two thirds of blacks lived in poverty; today, it’s down to about a third. Most attribute the change to a combination of their own hard work and the push of liberal legislation. You aren’t going to shake that faith; you can hope to replace it with something even stronger.

    Very interesting. I wasn’t aware of that trend. I’m not sure this information fits either side’s narrative. This demands some thought.

    It’s all the trickier because it doesn’t fit either side’s preferred story. Today, about an upper third of black America is reasonably well off, with a lifestyle not much different than whites (though usually with far less backup in the bank); and a lower third lives the way they did circa 1965, with erratic work, poor employment opportunities and frequent bouts of public assistance. A big problem with that middle third, the one that’s climbed out of poverty in two generations, is that it’s heavily employed by sectors of the economy due for shakeup–civil service, public employee unions, hospitals, schools. The 55 year old cafeteria lady may not be Michelle Obama, but she is a real success story to her family. The world of 2025 is likely to need fewer cafeteria ladies, as well as other public service niches that the blacks inherited from the Irish and the Jews. This will be a tough problem to solve.

    • #25
    • January 26, 2017, at 6:07 PM PST
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  26. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    When I was a kid, two thirds of blacks lived in poverty; today, it’s down to about a third. Most attribute the change to a combination of their own hard work and the push of liberal legislation. You aren’t going to shake that faith; you can hope to replace it with something even stronger.

    Very interesting. I wasn’t aware of that trend. I’m not sure this information fits either side’s narrative. This demands some thought.

    It’s all the trickier because it doesn’t fit either side’s preferred story. Today, about an upper third of black America is reasonably well off, with a lifestyle not much different than whites (though usually with far less backup in the bank); and a lower third lives the way they did circa 1965, with erratic work, poor employment opportunities and frequent bouts of public assistance. A big problem with that middle third, the one that’s climbed out of poverty in two generations, is that it’s heavily employed by sectors of the economy due for shakeup–civil service, public employee unions, hospitals, schools. The 55 year old cafeteria lady may not be Michelle Obama, but she is a real success story to her family. The world of 2025 is likely to need fewer cafeteria ladies, as well as other public service niches that the blacks inherited from the Irish and the Jews. This will be a tough problem to solve.

    That’s a far less inspirational explanation than I was hoping to discover. Thanks for bursting my bubble Gary.

    • #26
    • January 26, 2017, at 6:10 PM PST
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  27. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Trump could “team” with highly credible succcessful conservative black people in many communities all over the country to champion his causes. They could be models for working hard and success. And those folks could enlist people like themselves. They are out there.

    I’m starting to feel like a negative ninny, but I doubt this would work either. Liberal black leaders have less difficulty marginalizing black conservatives than they do white ones. It’s a shame.

    There’s a time when I would have suggested somebody like Corey Booker would work. He’s not conservative, but he was sympathetic to market-based solutions for many of these problems. Of course, now that he has presidential aspirations he’s off the table. Does anybody else come to mind?

    Point taken. But we have to stop making excuses — follow Trump’s example. How about Jason Riley, Tim Scott, for starters?

    • #27
    • January 26, 2017, at 6:15 PM PST
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  28. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Trump could “team” with highly credible succcessful conservative black people in many communities all over the country to champion his causes. They could be models for working hard and success. And those folks could enlist people like themselves. They are out there.

    I’m starting to feel like a negative ninny, but I doubt this would work either. Liberal black leaders have less difficulty marginalizing black conservatives than they do white ones. It’s a shame.

    There’s a time when I would have suggested somebody like Corey Booker would work. He’s not conservative, but he was sympathetic to market-based solutions for many of these problems. Of course, now that he has presidential aspirations he’s off the table. Does anybody else come to mind?

    Point taken. But we have to stop making excuses — follow Trump’s example. How about Jason Riley, Tim Scott, for starters?

    Tim Scott may have some cred in the South out of the gate. It would take some careful marketing to give him purchase on the national level, but it might work. I don’t think blacks care a lick what Jason Riley thinks. He’s an Uncle Tom through-n-through.

    • #28
    • January 26, 2017, at 6:20 PM PST
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  29. Leigh Member

    Maybe, rather than trying to figure out what combination of policy and rhetoric they need to win the black vote, Republicans should just do what is right, and then go talk about it straightforwardly and humbly?

    A far from exhaustive list of suggestions:

    1. Absolutely do school choice (on the state level). It happens to be an issue that works politically, too. Just don’t expect it to solve all ills. And consider what can be done to shake up the public schools a little, too.
    2. Welfare reform. (Scott Walker is working on this at the moment.)
    3. Crime: obviously, primarily a local responsibility.
    4. Also, find the places with the best relations between police and public and see what can perhaps be learned and applied elsewhere.
    5. Promote non-government answers. Conservative politics is only half of conservatism, and that’s part of our problem. If we don’t want the government to do it, how do we address people who don’t know how to help themselves? This has been Paul Ryan’s focus.
    6. Go talk to people — everyone from the president to state legislators.
    7. Some grassroots reformers might flourish best with conservative co-operation, but not too much conservative praise and attention.
    8. On the other hand, it never hurts to point out as appropriate which party happens to be running Chicago and New York and Baltimore.

    And much, much more.

    • #29
    • January 26, 2017, at 6:20 PM PST
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  30. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    People are trying frantically to move into New York City because despite Mayor DeBlasio, it’s a great place that’s worth a ridiculous amount of money to live there.

    I keep hearing from conservative friends about what a hell hole Los Angeles must be. On the other hand, housing has quintupled in value over twenty years because people want to be here.

    “Urban policy” will have many contradictions. City Journal is a great magazine for making sense of it.

    • #30
    • January 26, 2017, at 6:32 PM PST
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