BY JIM OSTROWSKI
For years, I have advised GOP candidates, to seek the votes of African Americans by campaigning in blighted urban minority neighborhoods.
While no one took me up on the suggestion, coincidentally, a few days after I chided Donald Trump in various published articles for turning down invitation to speak before black organizations, he at least asked for African-Americans to vote for him, albeit in clumsy terms.
Next, he visited a black church and Ben Carson’s old street. These efforts are a good start but Trump really needs to get out there and see what 100 years of big government policies have done to the inner city.
There is a rumor that Trump will be campaigning in Buffalo. If that’s true, he should take some time out to observe what generations of progressive policies supported by both parties have wrought. It isn’t pretty. There is block after block of vacant buildings and lots that, just a few decades ago were occupied and vibrant if not thriving.
Hillary Clinton represented these mean streets as a US Senator for eight years but hardly left a fingerprint. In her tenure, she represented the interests of the political class and worked hard to get grants for the politically-connected such as the purveyors of bioinformatics and loft space for artists. This illustrate the Clinton model of economic development. It’s a negative sum game whereby tax money is taken from all of us and given to politically-connected businesses which then kick back campaign donations to the politicians. In this corrupt pay-to-play system, politicians and bureaucrats with no expertise in markets and risking none of their own funds, try to pick winners in the marketplace based on their own whim and political self-interest. Think Hyatt Hotel. You may see a few shiny new buildings and the occasional success story for the billions invested. What you don’t see are the victims: the taxpayers fleeced, the unconnected firms going out of business and the delay this new model of development causes to new startups which now must spend years navigating through the economic development labyrinth seeking grants and special tax breaks just to stay competitive.
Alas, Trump is not a policy wonk. It is not enough to simply state the obvious fact that progressive policies—economic development, drug war, government schools, welfare—have failed. Clichés and platitudes will not suffice. An alternative vision needs to be presented. Realistically, that cannot be done before the election. After the election, Donald, talk to the libertarians. We have plenty of good ideas that haven’t been tried yet. What can be done before the election is, to paraphrase Woody Allen, just showing up. Walk the streets, talk to the people, and promise not to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
Hillary’s poll numbers in New York is not particularly impressive at 52. An aggressive assault into a traditional Democratic constituency might just put New York in play.