Today marks one year since Donald Trump announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, and—well, bless his heart. He is spending the day in Dallas, just six weeks after he kept himself busy by loudly speculating about Rafael Cruz’s role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy—a baseless attack on Ted Cruz’s father, of course, but also, in a way, on the city of Dallas itself, where that national trauma left a particularly painful legacy. The Dallas Republicans who will attend today’s fundraiser and rally might remember that.
Some may also remember more sweeping offenses against Texas, and Texans, that began on the very first day of Trump’s campaign, when he slurred Mexicans as criminals and rapists; that was ugly, and his recent attacks on Gonzalo Curiel, the Indiana-born federal judge, have made it clear that unauthorized immigrants weren’t the only people he was breezily maligning. Trump’s apologists, of course, tend to dismiss criticisms of his bigotry as an example of excessive “political correctness.” Any Texan who does so should be ashamed of their ignorance, if nothing else. It’s a matter of common sense that Trump’s antipathy to Mexico makes him an avowed menace to Texas. “They are not our friend, believe me,” he warned in that announcement speech, a year ago, adding that Mexico is “laughing at us, our stupidity.” Regardless, Mexico is Texas’s biggest trading partner. And if our neighboring nation is laughing at us, it would be surly to object: Trump has, after all, commandeered national politics for an entire year.
The good news, after this grim year, is that general election polls suggest that a healthy majority of Americans have a clear view of Trump. According to a new Washington Post/ABC poll, 70% of Americans have a negative impression of him, including 94% of African-Americans, 89% of Hispanics, 77% of women, and 76% of adults under age 50. Those are numbers that “should shock the collective conscience of the GOP”, as Jeff Leach, the Republican state representative from Collin County, observed earlier today; they should also reassure the rest of us, that the nation will probably manage to avoid the disaster a Trump presidency would represent.
And so we can, hopefully, soon return our focus to the many subjects that are far more worthy of the public’s attention. Let’s prepare with this big-picture look at how Texas’s economy is holding up today, courtesy of our friends at the Dallas Fed. There will be plenty of yapping from Trump today. The details in this dispatch matter are far more consequential to the 27 million people of Texas: