As my readers know, I don’t pay much attention to polls. I think they are a total waste of time and have proven to be extremely inaccurate over the past few years. According to polls, Mitt Romney should have been president after the 2012 elections.
Just as the polls have been egregiously wrong in predicting election results, so have most of the pundits in discussing the “Trump Phenomenon.”
Republican pundits attribute Trump’s rise to his outsized personality, but if they really faced facts, they would find the roots of his success in the mirror. The Republican establishment is out of step with the base of the party, and they also seem to suffer from cognitive dissonance — the inability to see what they don’t believe.
The base of the party doesn’t want amnesty for those in the country illegally, they don’t want all these trade deals that hurt American workers, and they don’t want us involved in wars all over the world.
Trump comes along advocating a simple platform: no amnesty for illegal immigrants and a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border; trade deals that put Americans first; letting other countries protect themselves, unless there is a clear overriding American security interest at state.
These seem like very reasonable positions to me, notwithstanding Trump’s sometimes bombastic rhetoric in expressing his vision for America.
Democratic pundits attribute Trump’s rise to his “racist appeal to low-educated white voters.” In the immortal words of legendary singer Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers, “what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away; what seems to be is always better than nothing at all.”
These Democrats have no choice but to blame Trump’s rise on “racism.” They are terrified of the lack of enthusiasm blacks are showing for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. According to every economic indicator, blacks have regressed during Obama’s two terms in the White House and Democrats refuse to blame it on their failed liberal policies, so they fall back on their tried and true — the race card!
I have warned the Republican Party incessantly of this quadrennial exercise by the Democratic Party, but, as usual, Republicans are yet again unprepared.
There are many areas of legitimate criticism one could place at Trump’s feet, but I am amazed that no one is willing to give him credit for a tectonic shift in the body politic that is unheard of for a Republican presidential candidate.
Trump has been roundly criticized for his cynical approach of outreach to the black community. I, too, have been one of his critics in this regard. Trump is just another example of a Republican trying to do the right thing, but doing it the wrong way.
Trump has single-handedly laid out in stark detail the devastating impact that liberalism has had on the black community more than any Republican since Richard Nixon. He has mentioned the black community more than the sum total of all of our presidential candidates combined over the past generation.
He has been roundly ridiculed by the D.C. punditocracy for this, but I challenge anyone to name another Republican in recent memory that has devoted this much time in their speeches to the black community.
His solutions to some of the pathologies affecting the black community are: school choice and vouchers; increased access to capital for small businesses; and more funding for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). This is a pretty good start.
Trump has shifted the conversation from the Republican Party ignoring the black vote to arguing about how much of the black vote Trump is going to get.
This is where the tectonic shift in the political landscape has taken place and no one is even talking about it.
In marketing, this is considered the “proof of concept stage,” where one has moved beyond whether you have a viable product to how viable the product is. No one is arguing whether anyone will buy an electric car, the question is now how many will be sold.
Trump’s actions regarding the black vote have now shifted the conversation from not whether, but how much of the black vote he will get. This is truly transformational.
If Trump had “real” black operatives around him who were Republican, he could truly gain a decent amount of support from the black community; but he, unfortunately has surrounded himself with blacks who are not up to the task.
Blacks are begging the Republican Party to give them a reason to vote Republican. The door is still cracked just a little for this to happen this cycle, but there must be a more substantive approach to the black community by blacks who have credibility both in the party and in our community.
This has been the missing ingredient. If Trump can correct this in short order, double-digit support from within the black community is not out of the question.
Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more blacks involved in the Republican Party. Follow him on Twitter @Raynard1223.