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Why the supposedly racist Trump grew his numbers with black and Latino voters

They called Donald Trump “the grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” They said Donald Trump is a “racial arsonist.” They even warned that if you support Donald Trump, you’re a racist, too.

Democrats have been demonizing the president as a bigot since he descended his golden escalator in 2015. Indeed, many say that no black or Latino American should ever support Trump and that if they do, they are self-hating sell-outs.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), for example, said recently that young black men who “think somehow they can align themselves with Trump” are betraying their race.

“If they help put Trump over, and help him get elected, they will go down in history as having done the most despicable thing to their families, and to their communities, and to their mothers and their grandmothers,” Waters said. “They will shamefully be accused of having attributed to the lack of equality life for the people they claim to love so much.”

“I will never ever forgive them for undermining the possibility to help their own people and their own communities,” she continued. “It is absolutely unconscionable. It is shameful.”

As a black conservative, I am disgusted by Waters’ comments. I have been hearing charged language like this since I was a kid. It’s intended to make black people, young and old, hate Republicans and attach themselves to the Democrats.

It’s easy to see how open-minded people who find conservatism attractive may refuse to say so, speak out, and join the conservative movement, afraid of the social consequences. In some cases, those consequences include losing friends and family.

Despite statements such as Waters’, President Trump has invested heavily in the black and Hispanic communities. Policies like the First Step Act, opportunity zones and funding for historically black colleges and universities have paid off. As of this writing, exit polls conducted by Edison Research show President Trump won at least 18 percent of black men this year, up from 13 percent in 2016, and 8 percent of black women, doubling his percentage from four years ago.

The president also increased his support among Latino Americans. According to Edison Research, he captured 36 percent of Latino men and 32 percent of Latino women. These votes helped Trump secure victories in Texas and Florida.

Trump received historic levels of black support not seen since 1960, and record-breaking Latino support suggests people value policy over rhetoric.

“If your starting point is that not a single Latino should vote for Trump, then, of course, you are going to need a more complex explanation for understanding why Trump would win 25 to 35 percent of the [Latino] vote” nationally, said Bernard Fraga, an associate professor of political science at Emory University.

Republicans say that in Texas, Trump’s message about the strong economy and record low unemployment — before the coronavirus pandemic — resonated with voters.

“I think Latinos understand Trump can be coarse sometimes and can be uncouth, but then they take a look at his policies that a lot of Latinos embrace — pro-growth, entrepreneurial — these are all policies Latinos can embrace,” said Daniel Garza, president of The LIBRE Initiative, a Hispanic center-right organization.

The black community and the Latino community may prioritize certain issues differently, but more often than not, those issues haven’t been addressed properly — if at all — by the Democratic Party.

Kimberly Klacik, a black woman who ran for Congress in Baltimore and released a viral ad that received more shares on social media than Michelle Obama’s DNC speech, said on my podcast, “Outloud with Gianno Caldwell,” that it wasn’t the GOP who helped her in her congressional race. It was Donald Trump, who helped her fund raise and gave her national attention. If it weren’t for him, she wouldn’t have raised $6.5 million in the third quarter.

No matter who wins this presidential election, Republicans need to take a page out of Donald Trump’s handbook and woo more minority voters. My party should not change its principles to accommodate new voices, but we should propose policies that specifically benefit minority communities and welcome these new voices in.

Gianno Caldwell is a Fox News Political Analyst and the author of “Taken for Granted: How Conservatism Can Win Back the Americans That Liberalism Failed.”

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