‘What the hell do you have to lose?” candidate Donald J. Trump queried black Americans in 2016, as he asked for their votes with characteristically blunt eloquence. Eight percent of black voters bought his pitch. While this seems like a rout, Trump outperformed Mitt Romney by one-third; 6 percent of blacks backed 2012’s GOP nominee. Trump’s total was astonishing, given that the Left/media slandered him as the guy who brings the lighter fluid to a cross burning.
So, what do blacks think of Trump today? Rasmussen’s tracking poll Monday found Trump’s approval among blacks at a record-high 40 percent, versus 50 percent nationwide. How could this be? The Trump-hating Left/media’s attacks have been ruthless, relentless, and more one-sided than a flounder. Answer: President Trump and Republican leadership have made black Americans better off than they were two years ago.
• Black unemployment was 8.6 percent in October 2016. Last month, it hit 6.2 percent, marginally above May’s lowest-ever 5.9 percent.
• The Labor Department counted 18.1 million blacks employed in October 2016 versus 19.3 million last month. In short, 1.2 million more black Americans have found work since Donald J. Trump was elected.
• Blacks below poverty fell from 21.8 percent in 2016 to 21.2 percent in 2017, the latest and historically lowest such reading.
This great news flows from Republican policies: abundant tax relief, robust deregulation, and a pro-business tone in Washington that is healing Obama’s “You didn’t build that!” public abuse of American enterprise.
The party that freed the slaves has done even more to liberate black Americans today:
• The GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which every single Democrat in Congress opposed, includes Opportunity Zones. These areas “offer tax incentives for businesses to invest in economically distressed communities, making them a powerful vehicle for economic growth and job creation,” a White House statement explains. Across America, 8,761 communities have been declared Opportunity Zones, not unlike the Enterprise Zones that the late Congressman Jack Kemp (R., N.Y.) advocated during the Reagan era. “Through these tax incentives, we will jumpstart our American communities, create momentum for economic recovery, and attract investment to diverse areas across our Nation.”
• Among his earliest acts, President Trump welcomed to the Oval Office the heads of historically black colleges and universities. He launched a White House office to assist HBCUs. These educators identified year-round Pell Grants as one initiative that sprang from their dialogue with these alleged racists.
“President Trump has kept his promise to make HBCUs a priority of his Administration, signing the HBCU executive order just six weeks into his presidency — by far, the earliest of any president,” HBCU Digest reported in September. Trump also “ordered certain federal agencies to develop annual plans to boost the competitiveness of HBCUs — to date, 29 federal agencies have developed HBCU plans.”
• Trump made Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s burial site a national historic park. Obama had eight years to sign such a proclamation, but he couldn’t be bothered.
• Trump and Jared Kushner, his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law and senior adviser, consider criminal-justice reform a major issue. They are working with Congress to give second chances to nonviolent offenders, which would reunite tens of thousands of black families.
Of course, when all Americans win, black Americans win, too.
• Gross domestic product growth averaged 1.9 percent across Obama’s first three quarters of 2016. In 2018’s like period, under Republican leadership, that figure roared to 3.3 percent.
• “On a yearly basis, wages and salaries jumped 3.1 percent, the biggest increase in 10 years,” CNBC’s Jeff Cox reported Wednesday. He called these compensation hikes “the missing link in the economy” — and they have arrived.
• The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index hit 137.9 Tuesday, its highest level since September 2000.
(For more details on the GOP’s economic boom, please see my spreadsheet here.)
In stark contrast to the “divider-in-chief” rhetoric he is accused of spouting, President Trump said: “We’re fighting to give every American — all over the country, every single American — a future of dignity and purpose and of pride.”
On Election Day, the only thing blacks have to lose is the Democrat hell from which Republicans are emancipating them.