It’s the voice of Louisiana State Sen. Elbert Guillory, who announced several weeks ago his departure from the Democratic Party, which he calls “the party of disappointment,” to become a Republican.
I wrote about Guillory a few weeks ago after I met him at the @Large conference in Baton Rouge, where he announced his change of party.
Subsequently, Guillory explained in a video that went viral why he, a black Democrat, would become a Republican, and he continues to deliver his compelling message with such power and clarity that I cannot see how he can be ignored as a leader who should rise to national prominence.
Republicans are still in search for a candidate to run in 2014 against incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Why not Guillory?
Recently Guillory tweeted out, “It’s no longer the American dream, it’s the American nightmare of relying on a monthly government check.”
Speaking to Republicans in Arkansas, he appealed to the Republican Party to stop “cowering behind closed doors.”
“It’s time to shout our values and ideals from the mountaintops,” he says. “Prayer, family, free markets, limited government, lower taxes.”
I don’t think it is possible to be any clearer about what this country needs to turn around.
America is not growing. Jobs are being created at a painfully slow rate, and although the unemployment rate has dropped, the overall percentage of the population employed has barely budged from where it dropped to in the early days of the recession.
Stanford University economist Edward Lazear laid out the dismal picture in a recent Wall Street Journal column.
In 2006, 63.4 percent of the working age population was employed. By 2011, this was down to 58.2 percent and it’s still at 58.6 percent.
Usually, when the unemployment rate drops, Lazear explains, there is a corresponding increase in the percentage of the population employed. But not this time.
Now more and more able-bodied men and women are dropping out of the workforce. Today 37 percent of the unemployed are long term — more than 26 weeks. At the peak of the last major recession in the early 1980s, Lazear notes, this never exceeded 27 percent.
Why? The government plantation has grown even more generous (while we run trillion-dollar deficits to pay for it) to encourage not working.
Disability roles have increased 13 percent and food stamp recipients have increased 39 percent since 2009. And, of course, unemployment insurance was increased to 99 weeks.
Meanwhile, while we take more and more of our own resources to subsidize people to not work, the growing government stranglehold over businesses — such as the Obamacare mandate (parts of which were just delayed by one year by Obama administration) to force businesses of 50 or more employees to provide government defined health care — makes growing businesses and hiring full-time workers harder and harder.
What is wrong with America is not a mystery. It’s the Democratic Party. People who don’t want to be free. People who don’t want to take the personal responsibility for their lives that freedom requires. A political class drunk with the power and money they get running the government plantation.
As always, blacks, with unemployment twice the national average, are hurt the most as the strangled economy doesn’t grow.
More and more blacks are realizing they need freedom, not the plantation.
And without freedom, America will not grow.
It’s why black conservatives like Elbert Guillory see it all so clearly.
It’s why America needs him. Louisianans should get behind him and run him against Mary Landrieu.
Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and Education.