In the welter of cable commentary over Donald Trump’s overwhelming victories in the so-called “Acela primary” Tuesday, among the most startling was an aside by CNN’s Van Jones that Trump could win the election if he got just 25% of the black vote. Now this didn’t make the African-American activist who co-founded and is the current president of Dream Corps, a “social justice accelerator,” particularly happy. Nor did or does it please BET’s Tavis Smiley, who has made similar mention of Trump’s possible inroads in the black community. But it’s true.
Donald Trump really could win the general election by being the first Republican in years to gain a significant percentage of the African-American vote. He just has to make a serious and sustained effort, with genuine proposals, to do it. If the attempt is simply self-referential bluster (like bragging about the actually paltry number of Hispanics who voted for him in Nevada) coupled with unspecified pledges of “greatness,” he might as well not bother. It will end up a disheartening misfire that will not only be an insult to his supporters but a continuing — and worsening — wound to our country.