Donald John Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States was a stunning repudiation of the establishment by the nation’s whites, contrasted to black support of the “status quo.” Ironically, the majority of whites supported the Trump revolution while the majority of blacks sought after “more of the same” Democrats. As his bombastic style grated on almost all black voters, Trump’s triumph came from whites of both sexes and almost all ages and education levels. The results illustrated the political difference between African-Americans and the nation’s white, working-class and rural voters.
It’s time blacks looked objectively at “The Donald,” who was elected in a stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy.
In the party-politics labeling process, blacks have been indoctrinated to believe that Trump is racist. While Trump won the white and wealth vote, Hillary Clinton won a broad majority of black voters — 88 percent, compared with 8 percent for Trump.
There is a racial, wealth and ideological schism between blacks and Trump electoral supporters. The election illustrated blacks seeking to maintain the political status quo. But Trump won key battleground states largely on voters who expressed deep dismay with Washington. Nearly nine in 10 of his voters were dissatisfied or angry with the state of the federal government. As many disapproved of Obama’s job performance, three-quarters dissed his health care law. Liberal Democrats are trying to push the narrative that Donald Trump’s win was propelled by racist Americans.
“This was a whitelash against a changing country,” said Van Jones, CNN’s resident African-American. “It was whitelash against a black president, in part.”
Too many blacks have become complacent “second-class citizens” whose issues are low political priorities. To effectuate the changes blacks need where we live, more of us will want to adjust to more private than public sector dealings. A Republican, Trump is considered more business-friendly and favors limited government. Trump believes that Section 8 and other housing assistance programs are unnecessary and that the free market can and should be used to provide housing. Trump has rejected some free trade agreements and called for up to $1 trillion in government spending on infrastructure, but his populist, anti-PC rhetoric got him over.
Trump can gain favor and friends running this country like a business. The president-elect’s net worth is estimated to be $2.9 billion to $10 billion, and the Trump Organization is an international conglomerate based in midtown Manhattan. Dad Trump will relinquish his position as chairman and president to his three eldest children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric. Trump’s companies own, operates, invests and develops residential real estate, hotels, resorts, residential towers and golf courses.
Trump can rebuild the Republican Party by going to a few urban Friday night fish fries. His business posture and acumen will set a realistic role model and profile for African-American enterprise. The actions voters expected early in Trump’s tenure include rejection of Obama’s health care legislation.
Too many Blacks wanted to stick with political mediocrity — contentment with Obama without demanding he produce competent programs, policies and performance. Trump would do well to put forth economic plans designed to grow the nation’s overall economy 4 percent per year, and target for 10 percent annually investments inside black enclaves.
What did Obama do for blacks that they are now in danger of losing? Obama is a community organizer evolved into an accomplished politician that has gracefully avoided leaning on the side of blacks. But blacks support Obama, competency or not. Trump is a successful businessman blacks need to support. Blacks are not effectively involved in politics, but mostly operate as “fan clubs” for professional politicians. Blacks’ prosperity should be bigger than voting Democratic.
Too many blacks view Trump and wealth as “evil.” It’s time Trump helped educate blacks in business and set that spirit loose across ghettos. With Trump at the helm, the next eight years could produce a cache of black business leadership.
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com.