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Love or hate him, Trump has changed politics

MAIN ACT: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on stage with sister act supporters Diamond and Silk at a recent town hall rally

AS READERS may have gathered from my previous articles, I don’t pay much attention to polls. I think they are a waste of time and proven to be extremely inaccurate over the past few years. According to polls, Mitt Romney should have been US president after the 2012 elections.

Just as the polls have been egregiously wrong in predict- ing election results, so have most of the pundits in discuss- ing 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 so out of step with the base of the party.

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.

Donald Trump comes along advocating a simple platform: no amnesty for illegal immigrants and a wall on the US Mexico border; trade deals that put Americans first; let other countries protect themselves, unless there is a clear overriding American security interest.

These seem reasonable positions to me, notwithstanding Trump’s sometimes bombastic rhetoric.

Democratic pundits attribute Trump’s rise to his “racist appeal to low-educated white voters”. In the words of 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”.

The Democrats have no choice but to blame Trump’s rise on “racism”. They are terrified of the lack of enthusiasm black Americans are showing for Hillary Clinton’s 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 unprepared.

There are many areas of legitimate criticism one could place at Trump’s feet, but I am amazed no one is giving him credit for a tectonic shift in the body politic unheard of for a Republican candidate.

Trump has been roundly criticised 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 the wrong way.

Trump has single-handedly laid out in stark detail the devastating impact liberalism has had on the black community more than any Republican since 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 Washington DC 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. 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 land- scape 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. 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, he could truly gain a decent amount of support from the community; but he, unfortunately, has surrounded himself with blacks who are not up to the task.

Black people 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 black members who have credibility in the party and in our community. This has been the missing ingredient. If Trump can correct this, 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, a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more black members in the Republican Party. He is also a popular radio host in Washington.

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