Candidate Trump posited the rhetorical question to black voters during a campaign event on August 18, 2016, while asking for their vote he said:” what the hell do you have to lose? Trump asked black voters, ” give me a chance, I’ll straighten it out.
Three years later, most recent polling would indicate Black Americans may have listened to the challenge. Positive movement in support of this president and his policies is uniformed across six major polls. Two of those polls, Rasmussen poll released November 22, 2019, showed black likely voter approval of Trump at 34 percent. The Emerson poll, conducted between November 17-20, of registered voters, showed 34.5% support.
There is a shift happening in the almost cult-like, loyalty vote democrats have taken for granted for decades. Candidate Trump performed stronger among black and Hispanic voters than either McCain or Romney did as the Republican nominee. Historically, the previous six decades, favored the Democrat Party capturing 90% or more of the black vote. In 2016, African Americans made up 24 percent of Democratic primary voters, the most ever climbing from just 14% in the 1980s. The percentages increase down-ticket for state and local offices. The first African American president carried 93 percent of the black vote against Romney. However, Clinton came in five points below him against Trump. Clinton also performed lower than Obama with Hispanic voters by a margin of 71 percent to 65 percent.
Overall, Trump’s 2016 Presidential run captured 8% of the black vote. Broadening the number by just 3-5% more would be a game-changer. Democrats rely on their coalitions to hobble together an electoral win. Simply stated, they cannot afford to lose 10% of the black coalition to the GOP candidate. Vox reported in Nov. 2019 evidence of further erosion, indicating Black turn out was higher than before at 12% of the Midterm electorate, but the black vote for the democrat fell from 93% to 90% between 2016 and 2018 elections. The recent Sienna College and the New York Times Swing States polling, indicated in a head to head match up with Sanders, Warren, and Biden, all three fell behind previous strength of Clinton’s numbers with black voters falling to only 74 %.
So why is there movement in the numbers and what factors may be contributing to a possible 2020 historic win for Trump with Black voters?
LBJ was known for Vulgar and racist comments and while president reportedly made the most notorious being some variation of “I’ll have those _______ voting Democrat for the next 200 years .” The context for this supposed statement was attached to the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and an ambitious series of legislation and policy initiatives set forth by Johnson collectively known as the ” “Great Society.” These were packaged and sold as anti-poverty and elimination of racial injustice, domestic programs catered for the Black American vote. These were geared towards education, Medicaid, urban renewal, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, a wide-scale fight against poverty, control and prevention of crime and delinquency, and the removal of obstacles to employment, transportation, and housing. Programs such as Food Stamps, Head Start, Immigration Act of 1965, Economic Opportunity Act, Medicare Act of 1965, HUD were some definitive actions to have government play a larger role in social engineering.
Fifty- five years after LBJ’s State of the Union address, promising an “unconditional war on poverty in America”, what do the statistics show? The United States Taxpayer has spent 16 TRIllION over five decades to combat poverty, and more than 15% of all Americans still live below the poverty line. The poverty line is a moving goalpost and is dependent on how each administration determines criteria. The 1967 goalpost was approximately 18 %. Roughly, 22 percent of children live in poverty in 2014. In 1964, it was 23 percent. What is unquestionable is that ” The Great Society ” ushered in an ever-expanding government footprint in our lives. The growth of massive Byzantine bureaucracies, the multiplicity of programs and overlapping jurisdictions, and stunning incompetence, fraud, and waste followed.
It is accurate to state starvation and necessities are more readily available to lower economic citizens but generational poverty and dependence on government just for basic survival as becoming a way of life for many. Many of the entitlement programs implemented correlated with increases in skyrocketing births out of wedlock, lower education scores 1st -9th grades, increased High School drop out rates, higher violent crime rates in inner cities, higher unemployment, and higher incarceration rates among Black Americans. In 1964, just 6.4 percent of children were born out-of-wedlock. Today, nearly 41 percent are. Among African-Americans, more than 70 percent of children are born to single mothers. ( per Census).Numerous studies have linked increased availability of welfare benefits directly correlating with an increase in out-of-wedlock births. Black children have been adversely impacted by high Black men incarceration rates.
How did all that social engineering work out? While it is true that America has evolved on equal opportunity and confronting institutional racism over the last century, does that directly equate with LBJ’s ‘The Great Society?” If one affixed a map of the United States to a wall and plotted the following stats up to 2016 :
- Highest violent crime rates
- Lowest performing schools
- Highest Unemployment
- Highest Taxes
- Highest out of wedlock birth rate
- Highest infant mortality
- Highest welfare dependency rate
- Highest drug crime /addiction rate
- Most corrupt governance
One will be looking at an overwhelming demographic black in a blue city under decades of democrat governance. Once our great cities like Baltimore, St.Louis, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, Newark, Oakland, and alike now suffer from these stats. Tax base dwindled as corporations have no incentive to provide chain grocery services, Banking services, blue-collar, middle-class, wage jobs, and other vital services that make a community safe and vibrant, related to high crime rates and lack of education opportunities. Once our great cities like Baltimore, St.Louis, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, Newark, Oakland, and alike now suffer from these stats. Tax base dwindled as corporations have no incentive to provide chain grocery services, Banking services, blue-collar, middle-class paying wage, and other vital services that make a community safe and vibrant, related to high crime rates and lack of education opportunities. Our inner cities gave way to gang violence in our streets, and law enforcement, struggling to be effective. Housing/rental costs are prohibited other than Section 8. These Petri dishes of Liberal social engineering resulted in systematic failure.
So why the increase in support for Trump? In a word … results!
Black unemployment rates have historically been high compared to white. When Obama took office, he inherited a significant recession. Black unemployment was 14% but climbed to 17.3% by January 2010, before falling back to 8.2% by May 2016. Obama policies were in play when unemployment was in double digits from January 2010 through March 2015. President Trump took office in January 2017, and the unemployment number for black Americans stood at 7.4. The policies of the Trump administration find the rate for October 2019 at 5.4%, which is the lowest level on record. The unemployment rate for black men hit a record low of 5.1 percent, and for black women was 4.8 percent. Even the black youth rate for unemployed is dropping.
The most significant finding is the change in the gap between Black and white unemployment, which now stands as the smallest gap on record. According to the BLS report, there were 349,000 more blacks employed in August 2019 compared with August 2018. Since Trump took office, 1.3 million more, black Americans are employed. Black Entertainment Television founder, America’s first black billionaire, Robert Johnson, said on CNBC, “I think the economy is doing absolutely great, and it’s particularly reaching into populations that heretofore have had very bad problems in terms of jobs, unemployment and the opportunities that come with full employment, so African-American unemployment is at its lowest level.” Wages are also increasing. The President has made border security, decreasing illegal immigration, and immigration reform a priority. He has pointed to how the lack of addressing the issue has disproportionately and detrimentally affected the safety and the wages of black workers. Black median household income has risen as well.
Economic stimulative growth policies
Tax and regulatory environments have a direct impact on small businesses and new startups. Trump’s reduction and overhaul of regulations and 2017 Tax legislation have stimulated economic growth. Additionally, the Opportunity Zone initiative has created compelling tax incentives to drive investment to 8,700 distressed ZIP codes nationwide and impacting as many as 1.4 million minority households. Policies focused on empowering minority-owned businesses such as limiting burdensome regulatory compliance, Implementing the Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, Job Training funding, and STEM grants have contributed to improving minority communities. Through targeted tax incentives, the initiative is projected to generate approximately $100 billion of new private investment in communities that need it most.
President Trump campaigned on improving education and particularly for those in minority communities. His budget included 1.1 billion investment in school choice, which includes $500 million in federal grants to school districts willing to expand and experiment with it. Trump’s budget request also included an additional $7 billion in spending on education, a 10.5 percent increase, with money going to support STEM, childhood intervention in the opioid crisis, and post-secondary vocational training. He has also championed and fought for historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). His administration in one year alone appropriated more money($360 million grant ) to HBCUs than any other president by 14 %, and he has taken steps to establish the Presidential Board of Advisors on HBCUs, as requested by community leaders. The President also signed a memorandum dedicating at least $200 million a year to promote STEM education and especially benefiting women and minorities. Trump’s renegotiated Trade Policy with several countries has also benefited Black communities.
Criminal justice reform
The president signed the historic bipartisan criminal justice reform known as the First Step Act. This legislation is designed to improve fairness in sentencing/disparities to reduce recidivism. This involved easing sentences for nonviolent crimes and allowing those sentenced under racially motivated mandatory minimums to be reviewed along with extensive rehabilitation overhaul. Early release from prison terms resulted in 2,000 prisoners released, of which 90 percent of those prisoners were African American.
Opioid Crisis Initiative
The administration has tackled the Opium Crisis head on which took the lives of 42,000 in 2016 alone. Many of those victims live in minority communities. The approach is three-pronged:
- Reducing demand and over-prescription, including educating Americans about the dangers of opioid misuse.
- Cutting down on the supply of illicit drugs by cracking down on the international and domestic drug supply chains that devastate American communities
- Helping and funding those struggling with addiction through evidence-based treatment and recovery support services.
In 2018, President Trump worked with Congress to pass the SUPPORT Act, securing 6 billion, making it the largest legislative act on a single drug crisis.
Trump has made significant changes to health care affordability and access that has improved all Americans but minorities in particular. Through HHS, he implemented Associated Health Plans (AHP) to small business owners so they can compete in the marketplace just like larger companies can to obtain more affordable healthcare options for themselves and their employees. Consider that in 2012, African-Americans owned 2.6 million small businesses and employed 975,000 people contributing more than $150 billion to the American economy. In 2017, the percentage of black-owned business owners increased by 34%. AHP allowed growth and expanded coverage in those minority businesses. Changes made to compliance of what type of insurance companies must provide on the exchanges allowed for lower-cost premiums and deductibles across the board. For older Black Americans, Trump’s Medicare reforms and Prescription drug price reductions mean you get more in quality care but at a lower price.
Trump created a network of resources and built a coalition of shepherds to engage the minority flock. Early on in his term, he brought Black religious leaders, entertainers, CEO’s, and sports figures directly into the Oval to hear their concerns and brainstorm solutions. This resulted in several outreach initiatives set up through an official White House office of the engagement team. There have been several examples of results from prison reform to education reform, but one that stands out is the Black Leadership Summit. The White House team coordinated with Turning Point USA, and this last year, the second annual event had 400 young black conservatives in DC for the three-day event. The President hosted these enthusiastic young Americans with a speech in the East Room and a reception that followed. The 2020 Campaign has launched ” Black Voices,” an initiative to expand black voters in the Trump coalition. The focus is on getting the message out on what his policies are doing for black communities and exposing those who have given their loyalty vote for decades to democrats the demonstrable lack of progress they have received in return.
Perhaps after decades of media propaganda and democrat handlers, Sharpton and Jackson, indoctrinating and conditioning black voters, an awakening has begun. Social media has helped in this revival of sorts, and more voters go straight to the source for truth. The black voter can watch on YouTube the president’s Charlottesville speech and see for themselves what he said. Despite media and democrats saying he praised and sided with the KKK, the tape reveals otherwise. The only thing this faction of voters despise more than a racist is someone diminishing the meaning of racism by lying about it. The same gatekeepers to the plantation attempted to stir this faction with the S___hole misquote, and the political attack on the squad.
Candidate Trump and now President Trump considered that “Racist” was baked into the cake from the left as the only way to divert from his successful policies. It appears black voters are paying closer attention to what the man says and does than to the talking heads and manipulating handlers. In America, our power and liberty is in our vote. Our vote should never be taken for granted as a known variable. Maybe it is not the fabrication of what the government will give to you in exchange for a vote, but rather how your vote may remove government obstacles, intended or otherwise, from your path to independent success and freedom. Some might even say, what you have to lose is your independence and freedom when you give away your vote so cheaply.