Trump’s Racism Is Feudal

The president wants African Americans to kiss his ring.

Delusions of Kanye

For decades, the essential failure of conservative outreach to African-Americans has been the insistence that the right just want to treat black Americans as individuals — a fine-sounding idea, except that white America has never found a way to treat its former slaves that way, making black identity politics not an indulgence but a matter of survival.

To this failure Trump has added an exclamation point. He has been shrewder than libertarian conservatives in recognizing that individualism is not enough, that the right needs a politics of solidarity. But his appeals to solidarity have often been racially exclusive in exactly the ways an African-American skeptic of conservatism would have predicted.

.. If you’re telling African-Americans that their current political leadership is failing them, don’t package that message with the exaggerations about “urban” voter fraud that too many Republicans have propagated. If you want people to consider joining your coalition, act like you want to compete for their vote, not just discourage them from voting.