Trump to Black Americans: “What The Hell Do You Have to Lose?”

Trump Makes Likely Ineffective Appeal to Black Voters

by Josh Guckert

On Friday in a predominately-white suburb of Lansing, Michigan, Donald Trump made the case for his candidacy to black Americans. He began by reciting the common conservative refrain that black communities had suffered under Democratic leadership. He then asked “what do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump?”

The Republican nominee then continued, “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth in unemployed. What the Hell do you have to lose?” He continued on to say that following a four-year presidency, in 2020, he will earn “over ninety-five percent” of the black vote.

One poll from July showed him at 6% among black voters, including 0% in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. A more recent poll showed him at 2% nationally. The Republican Party has not been successful in winning the black vote in a Presidential election since 1928. The Party has failed to win even 30% of the demographic since 1960.

With the rhetoric he has thus far employed, Trump is unlikely to be the candidate to break this unfavorable streak for the GOP. The tone he uses can very easily be interpreted as “talking down” to black Americans. While he points to real and specific problems, his marketing strategy is seriously flawed.

Moreover, black Americans are unlikely to see Trump as someone who is a champion of their causes. Unlike fellow Republican Rand Paul, who has spent serious time and effort in outreach efforts, Trump has shown no inclination toward policies like criminal justice reform or ending the War on Drugs. While these are far from the only issues black Americans care about, they unfortunately touch many of their lives.

While Republicans seemingly pledge to better seek out black support during every election, 2016 appears yet another lost opportunity. If the GOP wishes to invite more minority (including black) voters into the fold, it needs a more libertarian direction. Following a likely November landslide defeat, the Party will have the choice once again to go in a more productive direction.

Watch the clip below:

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