As the South Carolina primary approaches, Democrats are ramping up their outreach to African American communities. In other words, they’re pandering, pandering and pandering some more.
Joe Biden has hinted at “cut[ting] into the African American vote,” while billionaire Tom Steyer claims he does “best with black people.” In Steyer’s words: “South Carolina happens to be a place that has a pretty high concentration of African Americans and those happen to be people that I talk to a lot and have a long history of working with and therefore that’s a population where I do really well.”
Yeah, right. What exactly can Democrats sell to black voters? Why would those voters buy a mix of liberal policies and identity politics when President Trump has already proven to support them?
How can Democrats compete with the Trump economy? Short answer: They can’t. The Democratic candidates are pandering to communities that have seen unprecedented success with President Trump in the office, and they won’t just buy snake oil all of a sudden.
After all, what African Americans — and all Americans, for that matter — want is quality education and economic opportunity. They want to see jobs, jobs and more jobs. Financial security is ultimately of the utmost concern, and we expect Washington, D.C. to address that concern.
Good news: President Trump is doing just that. Business is booming. In 2016, Donald Trump told us that he would “make America great again,” and the U.S. economy is certainly great now. It’s great for all kinds of Americans — white, black, all of us.
The numbers don’t lie. America’s unemployment remains under four percent — nowhere near the 10 percent seen during the Obama years. In January, the labor market added 225,000 jobs, once again beating analyst expectations.
Wherever they look, Americans can find career opportunities that make financial security more attainable than ever for them and their families. This is especially true in South Carolina, where the unemployment rate has dipped below three percent — below even the national average.
When even the left-leaning New York Times describes the Trump economy as a “standout” one, that’s a big deal. Even the Democrats’ favorite newspaper is betraying them.
And that’s an especially big deal for black voters. While higher than the national average, the African American unemployment rate currently stands at six percent — down from nearly 17 percent in 2010. Think about that: Under President Obama, black unemployment skyrocketed. Economic enslavement was the harsh reality of the time.
Yet it dropped to a record low under the Trump administration, ushering in the days of economic empowerment. Wage growth for many historically-disadvantaged groups is now higher than wage growth for more historically-advantaged groups.
In other words, the Trump economy is the best in history for African American communities. And black voters will reward him for it in 2020. Why wouldn’t they, when the results are real?
The Trump administration is sending the message that, through education, we can all experience success. Remember: It’s President Trump who is providing more than $250 million a year to America’s historically black colleges and universities, enabling them to prepare America’s next generation of leaders. Earlier this month, President Trump offered an opportunity scholarship to Janiyah Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia, as an example of school choice lifting people out of poverty through education. Black voters are taking notice.
Democrats, on the other hand, continue to oppose school choice — the path to a quality education for so many black Americans. It was President Obama, after all, who cancelled Washington, D.C.’s school voucher program. He cared more about appeasing public-sector union officials than doing right by black students.
How far we’ve come. No matter how much the Democratic Party panders in South Carolina, they’re swimming against a rising tide. That tide is President Trump, and it’s sweeping Democrats away.
President Trump has evidenced to African American communities that his policies advance equality of opportunity. The Democrats only seek to retain their stranglehold on those communities with equality of outcome. It won’t work in 2020.
Allen West is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and former Florida congressman. The author of We Can Overcome: An American Black Conservative Manifesto, Col. West serves as senior advisor to the Committee to Defend the President.