The Corner

Politics & Policy

Kavanaugh Conversions

I’ve been a lifelong conservative but was a registered Democrat until October 1991. My father, an immigrant, had been a Democrat until 1964. I retained my Democratic registration, in part, because I live in inner-city Cleveland where my wife and I are now the only registered Republicans in our entire ward. Remaining a Democrat allowed me to at least have some input into local races in this heavily blue district. But as I watched the reprehensible behavior of Senate Democrats during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearing, I could no longer abide having a “D” after my name. Not long afterwards I attended my first National Review Conservative Summit.

Democrats’ behavior during the Thomas hearing, however, was the epitome of parliamentary dignity and decorum compared to the Kavanaugh hearing. It’s likely that conversions similar to mine will occur, but on a larger scale (of course there will be some going in the other direction, although the astonishingly deranged and despicable behavior of the Democrats should repel far more than attract).

Because of my daily radio commentaries in the Cleveland market, listeners frequently contact me with their observations on the passing scene. Many have expressed revulsion at the behavior of Democrats and mainstream media (but I repeat myself) during the Kavanaugh saga. Some of the listeners are black, and more than a few are done with Democrats.

Of course, these are mere anecdotes, but recent polling shows President Trump’s approval rating among blacks increasing dramatically. Consider: Trump got 8 percent of the black vote in 2016 (about standard for GOP presidential candidates). A year later, notwithstanding the avalanche of hysterical accusations of racism and white supremacy, his approval rating doubled to 18 percent. Today his approval rating ranges between 31 and 36 percent. That doesn’t precisely translate into a similar percentage of black votes for Trump or Republicans, but it’s a blaring alarm to Democrats who depend on getting 90 percent-plus of the black vote just to be competitive. In fact, despite getting 90 percent-plus of the black vote, they’ve lost three of the last five presidential elections.

If the Democrats’ share of the black vote falls below 90 percent, they’ll be as competitive as the Whig Party in presidential and congressional elections.

The lowest black unemployment rate in history has something to do with this as does the highest median black income. Hundreds of thousands have dropped off of food stamps. But the Kavanaugh hearings — displaying both Democrats’ unhinged behavior as well as Trump’s steadfastness — will be a contributor.

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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