Racial Identity Politics Is Electorally Futile for the Right

American identity politics, however, is not.

Donald Trump ran a campaign in 2016 on challenging the elite, and did so without any overt pandering to specific minority groups. It played out very well for him, as he won states that had not been won by a Republican since the 1980's. His message stood for the American identity and putting America first, contrasting to Hillary Clinton's globalist agenda and pandering to ethnic groups in exchange for votes. Trump received the best margins with Hispanic and Black voters for the GOP since 2004 in the process, but it was the white working class in the rural Midwest that put him across the finish line.

In the 2020 Election, Trump's campaign spent many efforts on black outreach specifically, thinking that it would earn him more of the black vote. However, he ended up maybe doing 2% better with the demographic as a whole, despite all of the outreach efforts and borderline pandering when it came to certain issues, even embracing the left's position on policing/criminal justice at times. It did not matter, as the black vote is largely unmovable. Republicans are largely seen as racist or the "party of the rich" among the black community, and black people who are willing to try something new gravitate towards authenticity. Running black candidates does not help either, no matter how much money you throw at them (cough, Klacik, cough, Collins, cough). There is a reason why AFPAC was more black in terms of its audience than your average Blexit event, despite it falsely being described as a "white nationalist" conference per even many "conservative" publications. It is because authenticity, new ideas, and conviction resonate more with voters than a weak attempt to be the "diet left" on most social issues.

People that care about identity politics will never vote for us anyways. Trump should have used this time and effort on reaching out to the working class in the Midwest. The working class is mostly white, but the economic and cultural policies that resonate with them can resonate with Hispanics in places like Florida, Texas, and Arizona as well. Plenty of midwestern transplants live in those states as well, so this strategy is the most electorally viable. Trump instead should have focused on emphasizing deregulation for small businesses, yet railing against big tech and special interests, hammering home his trade policies, label Biden as a corporate globalist instead of a "socialist," and actually formulated a healthcare plan (and I mean ANY healthcare plan). He also should have been tougher on law and order during the riots instead of playing to both sides, which never works. This easily would have helped him win big, flipping all of the rust belt states red and probably Arizona and Georgia as well. He would have probably also gotten MORE of the black vote than he did in reality.

I also find it funny that Trump gained the most with a group he spent little time making outreach towards--Hispanic voters. It seems as if pandering does not really do you any favors, and sometimes just focusing on key issues helps the most. The base of the GOP must remain the conservative, exurban and rural base across the country. I also want to grow our coalition to the small towns and small cities across the Midwest, as improving our margins in places like Scranton and Battle Creek could shore up Michigan and Pennsylvania to our column for good. We must focus on developing a healthcare plan, as well as sticking to true convictions on issues like immigration and an America First foreign policy. Wasting time pandering to minority groups is not going to help our cause, and we will probably get more minorities on our side by focusing on an issues-based approach anyways. I just want to win, and the GOP can too if they realize this.


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