“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” — Winston Churchill
Donald Trump has been condemned for saying that 81 percent of whites who were killed last year were killed by blacks. There turns out to be no truth whatsoever in the statement, raising the question: Why did he say it?
Perhaps because the statement resonates with a significant number of non-blacks, raising Trump’s poll numbers while not hurting him at all with African-Americans, who, for some reason, simply do not vote for Republicans.
Why don’t black people vote for Republicans? They used to. Before 1964, when Barry Goldwater ran for president, African Americans routinely voted for Republicans in significant numbers. From 1936 to 1956, the black vote for the Republican presidential candidate was between 28 and 39 percent. In 1960, Nixon got 33 percent of the black vote.
But Goldwater, whose reputation of not being a racist was well known, had voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because he objected to the public-accommodations provision and the fair-employment provision, saying that he could find “no constitutional basis for the exercise of Federal regulatory authority in either of these areas.”
That didn’t stop Democrats, who are still whining that Nixon’s “Southern strategy” was immoral, from demonizing Goldwater for his principled stand. Lyndon Johnson, whose complete corruption must have been the model for the Clintons, got 94 percent of the black vote in 1964. The Democrats have swept the black vote ever since, and never more so than in the elections of Barack Obama: 99 percent in 2008, 95 percent in 2012.
Trump might ask blacks, channeling his inner Sarah Palin: How’s that voting for Democrats thing workin’ out for ya?
Democrats routinely and almost uniformly (including, now, Hillary Clinton) oppose charter schools and vouchers, which may be blacks’ only hope for a decent education. The Democratic Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the teachers’ unions — the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. President Obama himself, lui-même, opposed the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program. It reminded some people of George Wallace’s blocking the doorway of the University of Alabama in 1963 in order to avoid integration. Extra-credit question: Which is nobler — to victimize blacks in order (a) to promote racial discrimination, or (b) to buy votes? Discuss calmly.
Democrats routinely and almost uniformly support minimum wage legislation, which almost any high school student not interned in the AFT-NEA public school gulag could tell you causes low-skilled employees (disproportionately blacks) to lose their jobs. Milton Friedman said the minimum wage law was “the most anti-black law on the books of this land.”
Democrats routinely and almost uniformly support unlimited immigration, especially of Latinos (who Democrats hope will vote Democratic in their sleep, perhaps several times). Donald Trump wants to build a wall to keep them out. It seems plausible (at least?) to think low-skilled Latino immigrants take the jobs, housing, and other opportunities that would otherwise be available to low-skilled blacks. See the piece by Bruce Bartlett here.
And Democrats caused the economic meltdown of 2008, and caused it by pandering to, primarily, blacks. Congress passed what were called “affordable housing goals” which, essentially, required banks to make loans to un-creditworthy people (disproportionately blacks) who couldn’t possibly afford them. Peter Wallison has written the book on the subject (Hidden in Plain Sight); if you don’t have time for the book, you can get the gist of it here. It is generally agreed that the recession has been harder on blacks than on any other group. So, Mr. Sharpton, how did that policy, a gifted combination of pandering and incompetence, turn out for ya?
Two University of Chicago economists say that “most black men [are] in a position relative to white men that is really no better than the position they occupied only a few years after the Civil Rights Act.” The Pew Research Center says that black financial worth has fallen since 1984, and that blacks’ home ownership rate is “no different” from what it was in 1976. The lowest unemployment rate blacks ever achieved was 7 percent, back in April 2000. Now it is around 9.2 percent, only a fraction above what it was (9.0 percent) back in December 1973. And all this failure — for that’s what it is — occurred while the number of black Americans with certificates from the AFT-NEA gulag was reaching new highs.
The clichéd political question is, “What have you done for me lately?” But blacks might ask the Democrats, “What have you ever done for us?” It was Republicans, after all, who passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the only aspect of that battle that the Democrats, and the media, ever rehash is Barry Goldwater’s voting no. Yet blacks continue to vote for Democrats, who keep them out of good schools and out of jobs, spoil their incentives with endless welfare, glorify the out-of-wedlock “lifestyle,” and wreck the economy with taxes, regulations, and loony-bin schemes for social leveling.
For all we know, Donald Trump may think he can do something for blacks — but he has to get elected first. The left will assume he’s as anti-black as he is anti-women. And they may be correct. But it turns out that, despite Trump’s obnoxious anti-woman rhetoric, the women in his companies think he’s a great boss, as reported by The Washington Post (perhaps to help him get nominated because they think Hillary can beat him). Maybe Trump treats blacks the same way he treats women, as individuals. In which case, he’s a hypocrite — of the Oscar Wilde variety: being good while pretending to be bad. That is certainly a subtlety the American press is not ready to cope with.
But, then again, maybe Trump just thinks black voters are deluded and unreachable. And, given their almost half-century practice of voting for people who advocate and enact policies that harm them, he may be on to something.
The thought raises the question: “How well is American democracy working?” — the same question that will be asked if Donald Trump secures the Republican nomination.
Daniel Oliver is Chairman of the Board of Education and Research Institute and Senior Director of White House Writers Group in Washington, DC. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Ronald Reagan, he was Executive Editor and subsequently Chairman of the Board of National Review.
Email Daniel Oliver at Daniel.Oliver@TheCandidAmerican.com