On Sept. 25, President Donald Trump unveiled his Platinum Plan for Black America. The plan is a comprehensive strategy designed to make it easier for those in the black community to access capital, start small businesses that would create more jobs, and revitalize their cities. While many have lauded the plan, there are concerns about how it would be implemented. This demonstrates the importance of focusing on local politics rather than fixating only on the national government.
President Trump Unveils Black Agenda
Trump announced his Platinum Plan in front of an audience in Atlanta, GA. In his speech, he talked about how Democratic politicians such as former Vice President Joe Biden have taken the black community for granted, refusing to effect positive change in exchange for 90% of African American votes. Trump said:
“For decades, Democrat politicians like Joe Biden have taken Black voters for granted. They made you big promises before every election—and then the moment they got to Washington, they abandoned you and sold you out.”
The president also highlighted significant points in his blueprint for black America. The four pillars of the plan include opportunity, security, prosperity, and fairness. Under the Trump administration’s agenda, black Americans would see their access to capital increase by nearly $500 billion. Black entrepreneurship would experience a drastic increase with the creation of 500,000 new black-owned businesses.
Trump’s plan addressed school choice and the closing of learning institutions that are failing. It advocated for increased research into the causes of health disparities between black Americans and the rest of the nation. Under the plan, the administration would prosecute the KKK and Antifa as terrorist organizations. All worthy goals if Trump manages to get re-elected.
The points outlined in the document would make it easier for the black community to catch up to whites. But there is an issue with the plan, and it has to do with the local governance of the cities it intends to help.
Who Runs the Cities Blacks Live In?
You’ve likely heard it said that “all politics is local.” It’s a familiar maxim that many on the right purport to espouse. But in practice, this does not seem to be the case. The American public’s attention is overwhelmingly on the office of the presidency when it comes to political discourse. Some of the focus is also given to Congress and the Supreme Court.
Unfortunately, most Americans concentrate on national politics while all but ignoring the operations of their local governments. So one’s mayor and city council operate virtually unchecked because most city residents are more concerned with Trump or Biden than they are with their local leadership.
If Trump wins re-election and puts the Platinum Plan into action, it will inevitably be up to local governments to implement the programs or measures outlined in the strategy. This does not seem too difficult until you consider the following question: Which party controls predominantly black cities?
The Importance of Local Politics
The vast majority of the officials in charge of governing black cities are Democrats who have held power for decades because the Republican Party has failed to compete for local votes. As many are aware, the Democrats have mostly failed to provide real solutions for blacks; indeed, some of their policies have made the situation worse for many African Americans.
Moreover, Democrats have shown little interest in offering a way forward for the black community. Indeed, they seem to have a vested interest in ensuring that those under their governance remain in suboptimal conditions. As conservative black commentator Sonnie Johnson says, “If they want to be the party of the poor, they have to keep you poor.”
To put it simply, if Trump activates his Platinum Plan, it will have to go through the Democrats in charge of these cities at the local level. Is it likely that they will work with the Trump administration to ensure citizens actually get to enjoy the benefits?
For starters, the Democrats will not want to give this president another feather in his cap. Instead, they might mismanage the program and then claim it didn’t work because Trump is racist.
Second, if the progressive officials running these cities use a GOP-created plan to benefit the black community, it might encourage Republicans to compete for local offices again. In fact, with the changing demographics, Republican leadership may be waking up to the reality that if the party doesn’t open its tent to more Americans, it will become obsolete.
But local politics isn’t crucial only for the black community; indeed, many policies that negatively impact our lives are passed at the local and state level. A mayor has far more impact on your life than the president could ever hope to possess.
This story is yet another reminder the American public must realize that federal politics might make for good theater, but it is the members of the city council and mayor who need the most scrutiny. Otherwise, local governments can continue to operate unchecked.
Read more from Jeff Charles.