As President Trump lays out and implements his vision for American success — via his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” — there remain defiant naysayers.
Among the most defiant are those who want to talk about race.
They oppose Trump, claiming he is biased against minorities.
Unfortunately, talking about race is a great diversion from the discussion about the ideas and policies we need as a nation to move forward.
The proposition that America is a country defined by a set of founding principles that are true for all is itself taken as racism. It flies in the face of the identity politics, so loved by the left, that sees American greatness not in universal principles but in giving credence to the claims of interest groups and responding to these claims through new laws and court decisions.
African-Americans are, of course, the poster children of interest groups, because of the history of injustices to which blacks can point.
But we seem to forget that in order for there to be a sense of injustice and wrong, we need principles defining what is just and right.
If we look back to Barack Obama’s famous speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention — the speech that put him on the political map — he sounds like Donald Trump.
“Now even as we speak,” he said, “there are those preparing to divide us, the spin masters, and negative ad peddlers, who embrace the politics of anything goes.
“Well I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America or a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.
“There’s not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.
“We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the Stars and Stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”
When Trump makes these same points, because he is de facto delegitimizing interest group politics, many blacks — and, of course, most liberals — call him racist.
Granted, our president is not always careful with his rhetoric. But policy and principles are what we should be looking at, not rhetoric.
We might recall that four years after Obama stated those inspiring words, he was quoted during the 2008 campaign, speaking about working-class Americans hard hit by the recession, saying, “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
The point is that the difference between Obama and Trump is not prejudice toward white working-class Americans versus prejudice toward minorities.
The difference is in their ideas of what makes America great. One sees big, activist government as what defines us. The other sees limited government and individual freedom as what defines us.
Trump is bringing back individual freedom and economic freedom. And it’s working. Deregulation and a new tax-cutting law are freeing up the marketplace, and the economy is seriously picking up steam.
The latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, which measures “small-business owners’ attitudes about a wide variety of factors affecting their businesses,” shows the highest score in 11 years.
Fifty-two percent of “business owners reported their revenue increased a little or a lot over the past 12 months … the highest reading on this measure since 2007.”
Is this good for blacks? A growing, churning economy is good for every American.
Economic growth is the engine of opportunity.
Let’s not get diverted by racial rhetoric. Individual freedom, not interest group politics, is the platform through which every American, of every background, can realize their potential and participate in a growing, job-creating economy.