How Trump Can Win the Black Vote to Win the Election
In the welter of cable commentary over Donald Trump's overwhelming victories in the so-called "Acela primary" Tuesday, among the most startling was an aside by CNN's Van Jones that Trump could win the election if he got just 25% of the black vote. Now this didn't make the African-American activist who co-founded and is the current president of Dream Corps, a “social justice accelerator,” particularly happy. Nor did or does it please BET's Tavis Smiley, who has made similar mention of Trump's possible inroads in the black community. But it's true.
Donald Trump really could win the general election by being the first Republican in years to gain a significant percentage of the African-American vote. He just has to make a serious and sustained effort, with genuine proposals, to do it. If the attempt is simply self-referential bluster (like bragging about the actually paltry number of Hispanics who voted for him in Nevada) coupled with unspecified pledges of "greatness," he might as well not bother. It will end up a disheartening misfire that will not only be an insult to his supporters but a continuing -- and worsening -- wound to our country.
Nevertheless, the auguries for Trump in this area are extremely good, certainly the best in recent years for a Republican, if he should choose to act upon them. And for the sake of all Americans, he should. In fact, he'd better.
The African-American community is in a miserable condition that has been getting worse for decades and has reached its nadir under Obama -- two-parent families disappearing, unemployment rates skyrocketing, incarceration rates catastrophic, drug addiction epidemic. We all look on in despair as gang members shoot children in the streets of Chicago and murders -- almost all black-on-black -- proliferate in Baltimore after years of decline.
What is to be done about all this? Hillary Clinton will certainly have plenty to say, but it will all be the same old disingenuous bilge. She can't be part of the solution because she -- like the Democratic Party she has served loyally for almost her entire life -- is part of the problem. For reasons of moral narcissism and political expediency, beginning with the Great Society that party has set up a system in black communities that has trapped African-Americans into a non-stop cycle of government dependency, turning them into what talk show host Larry Elder dubbed "victocrats," believers in perpetual victimhood, a self-fulfilling prophecy, if there ever was one. The #blacklivesmatter movement is only the most recent avatar.
Many black people -- just not the brilliant minds like Thomas Sowell and Elder -- know this. They are just constrained by the atmosphere in their communities, the evil influence and machinations of those like Reverend Al and Maxine Waters, against speaking up. Others have simply given up. It's hard to blame them. How do you break this cycle?
Enter Donald Trump.
No, Donald cannot solve the problems of black America by himself -- not by a long shot. That job goes to African-Americans themselves. But he can do something, get things kick started and possibly win (in this case deservedly) a presidential election in the process. Here's why and how:
WHY: This is easy. He's Donald Trump. As the biggest celebrity ever to run for president, he'll get the full attention of African- Americans, especially if he goes to their communities personally, which he must. (Do you think any other Republican of recent vintage would raise a stir? In a recent episode of Watters' World, several Harvard students didn't even know who John Kasich was.)
HOW: This is the important part. As luck would have it, one of Trump's signature campaign goals -- bringing jobs back to America -- refers directly to one of the key problems of black America -- rampant unemployment. But it gets more specific. Trump speaks continually of American corporations -- Carrier, Pfizer, and Ford, among others -- moving their factories out of our country to lower their taxes and other costs, while we lose jobs.
What if Trump were to propose that those corporations could return to America tax free (for a certain amount of time), if they were to build those new factories not in foreign countries but in our own disadvantaged communities? (This is a variant on the old Jack Kemp opportunity-zone idea.) In the case of a Ford, Trump could go further, talking to the UAW and asking them to reduce their minimums in those communities as well (for a similar amount of time) until the local work forces were sufficiently trained and the factories humming. The man who invented, or at least wrote, The Art of the Deal should be able to get this done. It would be a win, win, win for everybody.
Republicans always claim capitalism is the true motor of society and that earning a decent wage for honest work is far better for the psyche than a welfare check. And they're right, of course. But they don't do anything to demonstrate it -- all talk and no action. This is their opportunity. At the same time it could begin to put a dent in the loathsome identity politics that drives us apart and help get rid of ugly hyphenates like African-American, which I use only regrettably. We should all just be Americans. There's nothing worse for black people -- or any other group -- than to continue voting monolithically for one political party.
Donald, are you listening?
Roger L. Simon is a prize-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His next book - I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Country, If It Hasn't Already - will be published by Encounter Books in June 2016.
When it comes to the women’s card, Donald holds all the Trumps. He knows What Women Want, and it isn’t Hillary
‘They say every powerful man is good in bed,’ I once asked Donald Trump. ‘That true?’
He smirked. ‘I think there is a certain truth to that, yes. Put it this way, I’ve never had any complaints. A lot of it is down to The Look. It doesn’t mean you have to look like Cary Grant, it means you have to have a certain way about you, a stature. I see successful guys who just don’t have The Look and they are never going to go out with great women.
‘The Look is very important. I don’t really like to talk about it because it sounds very conceited… but it matters.’
I thought of this exchange when Trump launched into Hillary Clinton today about her lack of appeal to women.
‘I think the only card she has is the women’s card,’ he scoffed. ‘She has got nothing else going. Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5% of the vote. And the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her…’
He was instantly and roundly ridiculed for being a revolting pig, of course.
Such is the habitual reaction from the sneering swathes of America’s political and media elite to everything Trump says or does.
They’re the same experts who predicted Trump ‘won’t last three weeks’ when he entered the race last summer, and who more recently predicted with equal confidence that he’d ‘never win the nomination.’
Now they assure us just as vehemently that Trump can’t beat Hillary because women hate him.
That’s what I keep reading and hearing as the cocky billionaire tycoon continues to steamroller his way to what now looks like an inevitable confirmation as Republican nominee.
(Seriously, Senator Cruz and Governor Kasich, it was over from the second you two clowns decided last week to tag-team against The Donald, thus making yourselves look utterly incapable of beating him on your own. I’d quit the race now before you both lose the last remaining vestige of dignity..)
The Women-Hate-Trump theory dictates that if he IS the nominee and comes up against Hillary Clinton, then he’ll be crushed not just because women loathe him but also because they all love Hillary.
As Goldfinger used to say to 007: ‘Not so fast, Mr Bond….’
I suspect Trump’s a lot more popular with women than people think, and Hillary a lot less so.
I spent well over 100 hours observing Trump in his former Celebrity Apprentice boardroom lair. First as a (winning) contestant in 2008, then as one of his advisors in every subsequent season.
He was whip-smart, very funny and brilliantly provocative at creating compelling television drama.
He was also extremely charming when he wanted to be, especially with the female contestants. Many of them, including sports stars, actresses, supermodels and rock stars, ended up melting like fawning putty in Mr Trump’s famously delicate hands.
Even the legendarily ferocious comedienne Joan Rivers used to blush from his effusive compliments. I know, because I was there and saw it happen.
Part of this was because they wanted to win, obviously, so sought his approval.
But part of it was undeniably also because Trump is genuinely at ease with women and seems to love their company – unless it’s Rosie O’Donnell - as much as they enjoy his.
I always think you can judge a man pretty well by his relationship with his former partners.
Trump’s remained good friends with both his ex wives, Ivana and Marla. He even let Ivana get re-married at his Florida home.
His current wife Melania has proven to be a very effective electoral asset, combining brains with beauty and a feisty side which shows she’s no pushover.
And his daughter Ivanka is by common consent, a beautiful, vote-winning working mother superstar whose respect for her Donald is touchingly unequivocal.
Even fearsome Fox News star Megyn Kelly has made up with the man who attacked her mercilessly in public after they locked horns in a poisonously personal way after a heated presidential debate.
If Trump can get Ms Kelly back onside, after mocking her menstrual cycle, then surely he’s got a good chance of persuading millions of other women in America that he’s not such a bad guy after all?
I watch how the women behave at his gigantic rallies in all parts of America and I don’t see much hatred in those ecstatic eyes; I see fevered adoration.
Recent primary results, especially in his thumping 5-state clean sweep last night, suggest that adoration is beginning to translate into votes with more and more woman coming out for Trump.
He’s charismatic, that’s why.
They like his swaggering self-confidence, his non-PC and non-politician style, his fierce ‘I’ll make America great again’ patriotism, and his often outrageous, off-the-cuff sense of humour.
I spent some time in Texas and Florida recently and most of the women I met there were positively cooing over the prospect of a President Trump, and snarlingly scathing about the very notion of President Clinton.
Hillary likes to boast that she’s the only possible candidate for women, but I know a lot of women who can’t stand her.
They think she’s hard, elitist, they don’t really trust her after Benghazi and the email scandal, and they find it hard to forgive her own repeated forgiveness of her husband’s brazen infidelity.
They also feel she has a sense of entitlement to become the first female president, and has sold her soul to Wall Street through chums like Goldman Sachs.
This explains some of the catastrophically bad results she had early on in this campaign. In the Iowa Caucus, for example, she got just 14% of the under-30 female vote, while 74-year-old Bernie Sanders romped away with 84%.
The irony of Hillary’s position is that there’s only one man in America who can possibly compete with Trump for populist appeal right now, and indeed his ability to seduce women, and that’s her husband Bill.
Unfortunately, he’s not running, she is.
If it comes down to Trump vs Clinton in November, as now seems likely, I think a lot more women are going to vote for him than she assumes.
And that could be enough for the man with The Look to win the White House.