President Trump moved Thursday to repeal a fair housing rule that he claimed would lead to “destruction” of the country’s suburbs, continuing an aggressive push that coincides with his campaign’s attempt to paint Democrats as angry mobs on the brink of upturning peaceful, mostly white neighborhoods.
Trump had telegraphed the Housing and Urban Development Department’s move against the Obama-administration rule in recent tweets and comments that made thinly veiled appeals to a key electoral constituency that has drifted away from him over the past four years: suburban white voters.
Trailing Democrat Joe Biden, the presumptive presidential nominee, in the polls just over 100 days before the election, Trump has shed much of the subtlety behind his pitch to skeptical voters. Increasingly, he is portraying himself as the only barrier between them and chaos.
“The Suburban Housewives of America must read this article,” Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter, linking to a New York Post op-ed by former New York lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey that argued that Biden would ruin the country’s bedroom communities.
“Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream. I will preserve it, and make it even better!” Trump said in his tweet.
Political strategists say the overt appeals to racial fear and grievance are politically precarious at a time when much of the country is trying to reckon with issues such as systemic racism and discrimination.
“There seems to be a complete lack of understanding why he’s been getting drubbed in the suburbs,” said Brendan Buck, who was a top aide to Republican officials including Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) when Ryan was House speaker. “Educated suburban voters are not interested in — and are actually repelled by — his fearmongering and these racial dog whistles.”
I don't buy that at all.
Trump won college-educated white voters in 2016.
This plan worked perfectly four years ago, especially in the Rust Belt and Sun Belt states. All Trump is doing now is dropping the pretense, and is straight up saying that he will work to preserve white neighborhoods and "property values" by ending housing desegregation.
Attitudes among white suburban voters have shifted somewhat, enough for Republicans to lose dozens of House districts in 2018, but let's also remember that Democrats lost several Senate seats regardless. It makes sense for Trump to go on the attack here, because it's an effective strategy that has worked in the past time and time again. The gains Trump has made by turning out rural white voters who never voted before was the key to his win then, and he's mashing on that button as hard as he can now.
What I'm saying is that college-educated white voters put Trump in power.
Don't depend on them taking him out of it. He's playing to their weakness directly, and it's going to start tightening up the polls, especially if Trump can force armed confrontations in multiple major US cities.
Only Trump can save white America™
A hell of a motto for 2020, but one that's going to keep him close.