I guess a lot of Donald Trump’s team is having a hard time adjusting to the campaign’s new message of ‘appealing’ to black voters.
In the past few days, since Trump shook up his campaign staff and promoted Kellyanne Conway to the role of campaign manager and hired Breitbart chief Steve Bannon as CEO, The Donald has begun his long-awaited and breathlessly anticipated PIVOT. Part of that pivot is to reach out to the African-American community, make it appear that he’s trying to court their votes.
When I say “make it appear,’ it is because Trump and his team know they won’t flip black votes — or any other minority votes — his way. 14 months of racist and bigoted rhetoric has already has already baked that cake; those votes are lost and ain’t coming back. No, his ham-handed inroads, which includes labeling all blacks as poor, jobless and stupid while asking them what do they have to lose, are just a way to portray to moderate and college-educated white conservatives that he’s making an attempt. (Especially as he’s delivering them in all-white exurbs before homogeneous crowds.) He’s telling them, ‘See, I’m not that racist after all!’
With this new messaging being spewed forth, Trump’s surrogates and mouthpieces took to the airwaves spread the word — Trump loves the blacks! However, old habits die hard, and with the real estate mogul simultaneously pushing a law and order message, in which black and Hispanic thugs will get their heads cracked by the police, it leads to wires getting crossed.
Hence, Jack Kingston’s CNN appearance Friday. Speaking to host Brianna Keilar — she’s certainly had an interesting week — the former GOP Congressman turned Trump adviser tried to claim that Trump was taking his message directly to black communities while denying his awful poll numbers with African-Americans. After Keilar noted that Trump was polling at 2% with blacks and that these recent speeches were in communities that were overwhelmingly white, Kingston dropped the facade:
“I mean, maybe it would have been nice if he went and had a backdrop with a burning car.”
I’m sure Conway, desperately trying to control Trump’s messaging at this point, just buried her head in her hands when she saw that clip. However, this is what Trump built. This is his appeal. The vast majority of his supporters believe this about all blacks in America. They all live in bombed-out inner cities, spend their days collecting welfare checks until night falls, when they go and burn shit down in a rage.
And, let’s face it, Trump might be trying to convince ‘respectable’ conservatives that he isn’t a white nationalist, but bringing on Bannon and Breitbart shows that he’s very much all in on the Alt-Right. The feeling here is that they can win this election solely with white votes, and they now just need to retrieve the ones that have drifted away over the past few weeks during Trump’s implosion. Thus, they need to merely soften the overt racialist themes and ideas of Trumpism, especially since they have that contingency hooked.
Below is video of Kingston’s interview, courtesy of Media Matters: