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Thomas Gallatin / September 28, 2020

Trump’s Contract With Black Americans

He appeals to his strong record and promises greater economic opportunity.

Last Friday in Atlanta, President Donald Trump made an appeal to black voters by unveiling his “Platinum Plan,” which he described as a “contract with black Americans.” “For decades, Democrat politicians like Joe Biden have taken black voters for granted,” Trump argued. “They made you big promises before every election — and then the moment they got to Washington, they abandoned you and sold you out. The Democrats will always take black voters for granted until large numbers of black Americans vote Republican.”

Trump promises to fight for blacks. The centerpiece of his plan is a $500 billion investment in black communities that he contends will provide three million jobs and 500,000 new black-owned businesses. Furthermore, Trump pledged to make Juneteenth a national holiday, make lynching a hate crime, and designate the Ku Klux Klan and antifa as terrorist organizations.

Making his case to black voters, Trump noted, “In the first three years, we’ve achieved the lowest black unemployment rate in history. The black youth unemployment rate reached an all-time low. I will always put Americans first and that includes — very importantly — black Americans.”

Trump hit Joe Biden over his objection to school choice, which Trump calls “the civil rights issue of our time.” He added, “After years of rebuilding other countries, we’re finally rebuilding our country. The path to the American Dream has always been education. Republicans believe that school choice is the civil rights issue of time and Joe Biden isn’t allowed to go there because of the radical left. He’s controlled by the radical left, totally. He’s exhausted. But Biden promises to ban charter schools and to oppose school choice. Joe Biden is willing to spend billions and billions upon resettling refugees from all around the world, but he won’t spend one penny providing school choice to black children in America.”

Will it work? In 2016, Trump received just 8% of the black vote to Hillary Clinton’s 88%. Trump appealed to black voters four years ago by asking, “What do you have to lose?” Now, with an impressive economic record benefiting Americans of every color, some are predicting Trump could earn as much as 20% of the black vote. Yet what may be an even more telling indicator is that no one, not even Democrats who regularly smear Trump as a racist, is suggesting that the president will receive a lower percentage of the black vote than he did in 2016.

The “Platinum Plan” is a smart move for Trump with little downside. Too often Republicans have utterly conceded the black vote to Democrats, rarely expending much campaign capital to make even half-hearted appeals. Trump, however, has recognized a genuine opportunity to take his case to black Americans and is making a serious effort, despite the dismissive and hateful rhetoric raised against him by Democrats and the Leftmedia. Should Trump win reelection, gains within the black community may have much to do with it.

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