While the media remains obsessed with an increasingly pointless impeachment by the House and the even more dubious removal of the president by the Senate, political news of genuine electoral importance has slipped in under the rug.
According to two new polls, Trump has now gained popularity with African Americans—and the numbers are significant, even “bigly.”
Both polls—Rasmussen, which usually tilts Republican, and Emerson, which is considered even-handed—came out almost exactly the same, putting Trump’s support among blacks at a surprising, almost astonishing, 34 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively. Typically, Republicans poll in the single digits among blacks.
“Game changer” may be one of the great clichés of our time, but this would actually be one. If even remotely true, Democrats should be having a nervous breakdown. They depend more than ever on African Americans for success in elections. If Trump were to garner even 18 percent of the black vote, he would easily win in 2020. If he had anything close to the 34 percent, it would be a runaway, a disaster for the Democrats.
But is this accurate? Polls are fickle, as we know, and are often distorted by the skewed nature of the questions; but in this case, several factors lead me to believe there is truth to this.
One is, of course, economic. Due in great part to Trump’s policies, African American unemployment rates are the lowest on record, even for teenagers, and wages are rising, as they haven’t in years. This is likely not being overlooked at the kitchen table.
Almost equally important and working in tandem is the Kanye West factor. Wildly talented and justifiably one of the most popular entertainers in the world, the rapper has made a sensation wearing a MAGA hat, while telling an obvious truth: No group, blacks or anybody else, profits by putting all its political eggs in one party’s basket. That group is setting themselves up for exploitation.
It may be painful to hear that, but when it comes from West, young people especially are listening and agreeing. Being a Republican, even and possibly especially a Trump supporter, can be cool, if West does it.
Which leads to the Al Sharpton factor. How much longer will blacks follow the likes of exploitation artists who obviously prosper when other blacks fail—indeed, prosper because they fail? Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the rest of the victimologists (Larry Elder’s great term) prey on their people, raising money off their economic and social problems and, in essence, perpetuating them. This is the exact opposite of progress, masquerading under the rubric progressive.
In West’s world, the right approach isn’t to see yourself as a victim, but to improve yourself as an individual, to work hard, go to school, be entrepreneurial, and, of course, as we know from his latest hit and endeavors, believe and trust in God.
Would you follow West or would you follow Sharpton? The results of the decision are obvious, irrespective of the extreme differences in their talent.
Meanwhile, Trump has been doing his part, quietly (for him) going about wooing black voters with his message of economic opportunity at their schools and churches. His success has either been ridiculed or, more often, deliberately ignored by the mainstream media. They are loath to report what he is doing for fear that it might be good. Nevertheless, he is continuing and increasing his efforts going into the campaign.
In the larger political schema, this is about a turning away from the “identity politics” (actually a new form of segregation) so beloved by the Democrats and back to the color-blind society envisioned by Martin Luther King Jr. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the idealism of those days was finally realized with the help of Trump or an alliance of Trump and West? Stranger things have happened.
Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Roger L. Simon’s new novel, “The GOAT,” is available in paperback, hardcover, audiobook, and Kindle.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.