Politics & Policy

President of All the People

President Trump speaks at a rally in Louisville, Ky., March 20, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Trump’s job approval nearly doubles among black Americans

The Left and its henchmen in the old-guard media relentlessly insist that President Donald J. Trump is America’s racist-in-chief. This exhausted lie seems to fall on increasingly skeptical ears. And a surprising number of them are black.

An August 7 NAACP poll found that 21 percent of black registered voters approve of Trump’s job performance. Even more impressive, in Wednesday’s Rasmussen tracking survey, 36 percent of black voters gave the president thumbs-up, compared with 19 percent a year ago.

These are not landslide numbers. And Trump’s disapproval ratings — 79 percent in the NAACP’s study and 64 percent in Rasmussen’s — are daunting. Still, the fact that Trump enjoys the support of one-fifth of black voters in one poll and more than one-third in another is astonishing for someone routinely smeared as a white supremacist. These statistics should trigger klaxons at Democratic headquarters.

Trump’s progress among this demographic strongly suggests that his policies are serving all Americans, including blacks.

Tax cuts, deregulation, and Uncle Sam’s newly pro-business tone (notwithstanding the ever-roiling storm clouds on global trade) all helped to propel the second-quarter GDP growth rate to 4.1 percent. This robustly outruns the knock-kneed 1.4 percent growth rate in the second quarter of 2016, as Obama wheezed toward his finish line. Meanwhile, last month’s unemployment rate was just 3.9 percent, down from 4.9 percent in July 2016 — during Obama’s final summer in office.

These figures are splendid news for Americans of every hue. But the outlook for blacks is even sunnier. July’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for black Americans is 6.6 percent, well below Obama’s 8.4 percent in July 2016. Trump’s current black-teen jobless rate is 19.9 percent. Two Julys ago, Obama’s analogous figure was 25.7 percent.

“This president, since he took office, in the year and a half that he’s been here, has created 700,000 new jobs for African Americans,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told journalists on Tuesday. “When President Obama left, after eight years in office — eight years in office — he had only created 195,000 jobs for African Americans. President Trump in his first year and a half has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years. Not only did he do that for African Americans but for Hispanics; 1.7 million more Hispanics are working now. This is a president who cares about all Americans, who is committed to helping them, and is putting policies in place that actually do that.” These statistics help explain Trump’s 35 percent approval among Hispanics, as the NAACP survey reports.

Blacks increasingly are profiting from this economic boom. And more and more of them recognize that President Trump and his pro-growth, pro-jobs measures deserve credit for these developments.

Trump also is promoting prison and sentencing reform, which disproportionately would benefit so many blacks who are incarcerated (often for non-violent drug crimes) as well as the families and loved ones who want them home. Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have advanced school choice, not least by increasing taxpayer funds for new Opportunity Grants, charter schools, and other relevant initiatives. Whether one applauds or decries this federal spending, it surely will do more to help black students escape ghetto schools that teach them nothing than it will help white pupils in suburban classrooms who actually learn something.

Secretary DeVos testified on Capitol Hill in June about another Trump-administration school-choice initiative:

Local educational agencies participating in the Department’s student-centered funding pilot could request funds to build on the flexibility provided by establishing or expanding open enrollment systems. This way, funds follow children based on their needs — not buildings or systems.

President Trump also gave a posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, America’s first black heavyweight boxing champion. Johnson was convicted in 1913 of violating the Mann Act, a Jim Crow law that prohibited the transportation of women across state lines “for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose.” He served nearly a year in jail for this offense, which, Trump said, “many view as a racially motivated injustice.”

Obama had eight years to address this century-old anti-black outrage. But despite numerous calls for this action — including a specific request from Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.), then-senator Harry Reid (D., Nev.), and Representatives Peter King (R., N.Y.) and Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.) — he couldn’t be bothered.

Instead, as Trump said when he signed Johnson’s pardon, “We have done something today that was very important and that is, we righted a wrong.”

All of this good news for black Americans could be a major downer for Democrats.

Black voters are the foundation, lobby, and ceremonial entrance of the Democratic party. Come November 6, if 21 or 29 percent of black voters — or even half that number — either stay home or actually vote Republican, the Democratic skyscraper will buckle badly or tumble totally. As last week’s still-undecided U.S. House special election in Ohio confirmed, a mere 1,800 or so ballots can divide victor from vanquished. In similarly tight races, Democrats and Republicans will need every vote they can muster. Donald J. Trump’s rising popularity among blacks could augur far greater triumphs for the president and his party.

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Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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