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November 6, 2020

Trump, Blacks, and the New Republican Party

The president has remade the American electorate and widened the tent for the GOP.

When Americans from all walks of life saw the awful video of a Minneapolis police officer using his knee to press the life out of George Floyd, it provided an opportunity for the country to come together.

Instead, the radical Left and Black Lives Matter used the death of Floyd to rip the country apart and blame “systemic racism.” It wasn’t just a lone police officer who was guilty, they claimed. It was an entire country and its thoroughly racist institutions.

As former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal writes, “Shifting the focus from the evil acts of individual racists, liberals now assign culpability to society at large and millions of unwitting Americans. They’ve even changed the definition of racism.” Of course, the goal is to remind the rest of us that there’s no path toward redemption. The “racists” can never be free from their original sin, and they must work throughout their lives to support the very movement that suffocates them in perpetual guilt.

Even blacks are accused of racism against their own people if they don’t decry the systemic racism all around them or adhere to the ideals of critical race theory. Black men are now denounced as chauvinists for supporting President Donald Trump.

Perhaps this prospect of being made to feel guilty is why so many people of color finally crossed the line and voted for Trump on Tuesday.

There are millions of blacks who support our ideals and institutions while rejecting the Black Lives Matter mantra that says this nation is rotten to its racist core and built to perpetuate white supremacy. For decades, though, most blacks were convinced they had no place to turn except the Democrat Party.

It’s no wonder Democrats pulled out the race card when Trump became the nominee in 2016. “For four years now, Democrats and their media allies have tarred President Trump as a reprehensible white supremacist leading a dying party,” columnist Josh Hammer writes. “The Trumpian, populist GOP, they claimed, was doomed to become a regional rump party, whose electoral prospects were tied to a shrinking share of bitter, downscale whites.”

And that’s arguably what the Republican Party had been … until Trump came along.

Despite the endless characterizations of Trump as a racist, he’s the only Republican president in modern history to make an effective and earnest effort to reach out to black voters. To put it simply, during one of Trump’s final rallies before the election, he looked into the crowd and said to black Americans: “I’m asking for your vote.”

And it worked.

We’re still sifting through voter data (not to mention still counting votes in some states), but the numbers reveal one of the greatest demographic shifts we’ve seen in modern political history: people of color voting in large numbers for a Republican president. Indeed, it appears that Trump received more non-white votes in 2020 than any Republican president in 60 years.

He earned their votes by creating economic conditions that led to the lowest unemployment numbers in history for blacks and Hispanics. He realized that millions of minorities still believe in the promise of America, including young blacks who are moving to the right.

For decades, Republican strategists and political analysts scratched their heads about how to break through and connect with African Americans. And let’s be honest: Many others didn’t even try to figure it out. As it turns out, though, all they had to do was ask, and then offer black voters something that Democrats couldn’t: a job and a shot at the American Dream.

If Republicans at all levels follow Trump’s example, one day we’ll realize that this billionaire businessman did more than merely change the Republican Party for the better. He may have saved it.

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