Important headlines for June 12th – Politics is local. Especially minority politics
Bottom Line: These are stories you shouldn't miss and my takes on them...
Trump Is Wooing Black Voters & Killing Democratic Party Rochelle Riley, USA Today
Excerpt: In Detroit, and other urban areas – where we can’t get more than 14% to 20% of registered voters to turn out for a municipal election — and where many people still love Kanye West (though he thinks slavery was a choice) or R. Kelly (who is avoiding jail by inexplicable means) — Trump may be resonating.
While the Democratic Party is sleeping, focused on winning November’s midterms rather than uniting behind a single 2020 candidate to challenge Trump, the president is wooing black voters with the help of Kim Kardashian, who’s married to the Mad Rapper and has 60 million Twitter followers, many of whom are black.
Donald Trump is succeeding at something few people thought possible. He is getting some black people to compare him to Barack Obama. Obama didn’t get Alice Johnson out of jail. Obama didn’t pardon Jack, even though Ken Burns asked him to and produced an entire documentary explaining why.
Donald Trump isn’t killing the Republican Party.
He is killing the Democratic Party.
Hot Take: So, here's the thing. This story is largely a hit-piece on Trump. The overtones in the story are decidedly negative and anti-Trump while expressing frustration with Democrats. It also illustrates larger points. If Democrats don't deliver on the promises of a better life and more equality and Donald Trump does – if that's your concern... Why wouldn't you embrace President Trump's policies rather than lament that he's the one making a difference? This story is the perfect illustration of those who put politics over people. The truth is that Democrats have been making promises for decades to minority communities about a better life. Truth is their policies haven't done anything other than create greater dependency on the government which, as LBJ put it in the 60's, was the point of their policies. Creating a class of dependent people that'd "vote for Democrats for generations". Well generations have come and gone without real improvement. Enter President Trump and low and behold after a year's worth of improved economic policy we have dramatically improved employment for the most vulnerable in our society and record low unemployment for black adults, Hispanics and women. That's independent of the gestures cited in the story. And isn't that all part of Donald Trump the candidate promised to our minority and inner-city communities?
But that's not the only thing... A month ago, I put together this story....
Who's the most religious and what's it have to do with Kayne?
Bottom Line: The past couple of weeks have featured atypical discussions of Kayne West being taken seriously in political circles. Most notably because he's had a point that highly relevant. Why do blacks have to be Democrats?
Agree or disagree, right or wrong, the point Kayne's advanced is one that's gained traction. In fact, President Trump's average approval rating reached a high last week in part influenced by an improvement with black men. According to polling last week President Trump's approval rating improved from 11% to 22% among black adults. Clearly not good but certainty significant in its implications. There's plenty of historical context for black adults to identify with the Republican party – starting with President Lincoln and continuing through the Civil Rights Act which was passed with a greater percentage of Republicans voting for it than Democrats. For those reasons alone, it might be odd that an average of 92% of black adults have voted for Democrats over the past 40 years. But there could be a lot more to the story that further supports potential political shifts.
While social issues have been minimized in Republican politics in recent years there's still a stark political difference in matters of faith. It's no secret that Democrats have largely been opponents of traditional faith-based values being espoused and included in public policy while Republicans have often fought to retain them. That could matter a great deal with the potential re-evaluation of one's political preferences. According to the latest from the Pew Research Center black adults are far more religious than other ethnicities. The percentage of adults who read scripture weekly outside of a religious service by race:
And this potentially opens up additional conversations about shared values generally. Previous research has indicated that black adults are often far more conservative on social issues than the Democrats as a party happen to be. It's unclear if Kayne's conversation has really started something that has staying power in the black community or if this is just a blip that will go away by the next time new polling rolls out but the potential for there to be a lot more to this story is there.
It's easy for many to forget that the Republican party has always been the party of advancement for minorities in our society. For far too long typical politicians in the Republican party were told they couldn't compete politically for blacks so they were wrongly ignored by the party generally – until the candidate the party didn't want beat them, made promises and carried them out as President.