Star Parker Explains How Conservatives Connect With Black Voters
ORLANDO, Fla.—Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, says more conservatives can learn how to reach the nation’s black community, which so often views the Right with suspicion.
“They can come around CURE, because that’s specifically the role that we believe we play in the conservative movement,” Parker told The Daily Signal in an interview last week at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention.
“We only and exclusively, and very focused, look [at] and address matters of culture, race, and poverty,” she explained. “We do a national summit where we bring all of our pastors out to Washington, D.C., and they have two and a half days of education.”
“We have an annual tome that goes against what the [National] Urban League has done every year, [called] ‘The State of Black America,’” Parker added. “They call it ‘The State of Black Progress,’ because it’s a lie that blacks are still stuck in the ’60s.”
Parker noted that although black Americans often identify with the Left and the Democratic Party, many are evangelical Christians and social conservatives. So her organization, CURE, assembled a group of pastors and reaches out to them with the message that welfare is not the answer to economic problems.
Parker joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss her decades of work on welfare reform, her efforts to help inner cities during the Trump administration, and why the Right needs to fight the environmental, social, and governance movement, or ESG.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.
Tyler O’Neil: This is Tyler O’Neil. I’m managing editor at The Daily Signal. I’m joined by Star Parker, founder of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and a syndicated columnist who frequently writes for us. It’s an honor to have you here, Star.
Star Parker: Thank you. It’s an honor to be with you, and I’m so glad that [The Heritage Foundation], through The Daily Signal, runs my nationally syndicated column. This is just an incredible place to get our insights out, and I just enjoy every time I see it there.
O’Neil: Thank you. Well, I want to just go talk immediately about CURE and your work there in pushing for education and renewal in urban communities and responding to a lot of the negative ideas that are out there promoting the welfare state and other issues like that.
Parker: Well, the reason I founded CURE and began this work that’s now in Washington, D.C., working with the political class, in particular the conservatives, to remove all barriers over poverty, we want the government out of charity, all of it—[the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Labor], all of these areas to where we see the weaponization of race focused by the Left and then entrapping people into poverty through this Great Society that was developed in the ’60s.
The reason that I’m in this work to dismantle is because I had believed all those lies of the Left. I understand, deep down inside, why they built the welfare state and what they intend to do with it, to paganize and build a totalitarian country out of America. I believed their lies. I got caught up in this rhetoric we’re hearing today that America’s racist, so don’t mainstream. I got caught up in this rhetoric that you’re poor because others are wealthy.
I got caught up in this rhetoric that now we’re promoting even … to say that your problems are somebody else’s fault. You don’t have to think about these things. We have built out a great society that you can live in and enjoy, and I did live there for a while.
I got caught up in a lot of criminal activity and drug activity and sexual activity that landed me in and out of abortion clinic after clinic, and then end up on welfare. I got caught up in the smoke of the fires after the ’60s rioting and all these other areas that we’re still seeing today. But I also, at a certain point, got born again. I accepted the Lord as my savior and turned my life around. I know the value of God over government.
And when I was then invited to work on federal welfare reform after the ’92 Los Angeles riots, during the Los Angeles riots, Rodney King riots, same thing happened then that’s happening now, that every time somebody’s up upset, you have these demagogues and these race hustlers out there that are increasing the volume and the tensions for those that are most vulnerable and just cannot figure out for their own selves what is really going on.
The next thing you know, the city is afire, and that’s what happened during the Rodney King. During the Rodney King, though, I began to speak out.
I had not only gotten born again, got a college degree and started a business, and it was running successfully in LA, I then started speaking out about what was really broken because I had lived that welfare lie, and it made national news.
My hero, Rush Limbaugh, caught it, did a report on it. Next thing I know I’m hearing from Jeb Bush, who had just become the governor of Florida, and said, “Hey, I want to make some of these reforms. What would you think that I should be thinking about?”, then Pat Buchanan.
The whole world, at that time, during the ’90s, as the GOP was preparing for welfare reform, were calling and contacting me because I mentioned my story, what I just told you.
And in that, not only was I invited to participate in messaging out on general welfare reform, I was actually invited to speak at the national convention because we were successful. It was No. 8 on the Contract with America and I got to check the box in front of the country.
But what happened during all of that discussion, a lot of the rhetoric and tension that we’re hearing today, “Well, what should we do?”—and even from good people, they’re saying, “OK, what do you do when somebody, everything in their life is busted?”
CURE, during the 2020 so-called Summer of Love and the peaceful protests, we went directly into some of our most distressed ZIP codes, including in Minneapolis, where this began after George Floyd, with billboards, with a beautiful black woman on one of them, a beautiful black male on another one that said, “Tired of poverty? Are you really tired of poverty?”
Now, these neighborhoods, everything’s broken. Their schools are broken, their families are broken, their community’s broken, everything’s run by government, so there’s just nothing there for them to get another message. We had to go billboard route.
We put up on the billboard, “Are you tired of poverty? Then finish school, take any job, get married, save and invest, give back to your community.” We put a little success sequence address on it because that’s what we all know as the success sequence, and then we put a little proverb on it, Proverb 4:10.
Do you know [Black Lives Matter] demanded that Clear Channel tear those boards down? They told them, “Bring them down or we’ll burn them down.” They took the only little messaging that this community could have.
Anyway, I divert, because now we’re coming through welfare reform, and after we were able to finish that beautiful opportunity, and we’re all patting ourselves on the back—well, you’re too young to remember all this time under the leadership of Newt Gingrich.
O’Neil: I’ve read about it.
Parker: You got to read about it. But what we noticed, also, is that the women were taking the jobs. We thought they had capacity. We knew that they could do it and get out there and work, and they did and they were being very successful.
In fact, I heard from one lady, she said, “I used to hate you when you were all over TV talking about why you were going to change our welfare, but you should see the way my little boy looks at me now when I get up and put on my little uniform.” I heard from all the best.
But anyway, but what I also knew is we didn’t reach down into the communities where, just in 2020, we did our billboards. That still was a reality in ’96 when we did all this. It’s still a reality today.
During that time, that’s why I started CURE. I said, “We just told 5 million women, 9 million children at that time that we had trapped in 4,000 housing projects across the country what they should not do. We told them they should not just sit on their talent, on their gift, on their purpose, they should start investing in their own lives. We’re going to put time limits on you and we’re going to put work requirements on you. But how do they get into the success sequence?”
That’s why I started CURE, to work with the clergy that are serving in those communities, the clergy on the Right, not the clergy that we hear from—everybody has a reverend under their name that’s out there telling people how horrible the country is, but there’s a clergy on the Right.
We looked at a lot of the data that was coming out of Barna and Pew and Gallup and saw that there is a center right in Black America, maybe 6,000 churches out there, to where the pastors have a biblical worldview and they represent about 10 million African Americans who’ve been telling pollsters for years, “We’re evangelicals, we’re conservatives,” but they didn’t vote that way. We went to start rounding up their pastors.
O’Neil: They’re socially conservative. They really believe the Gospel.
Parker: They believe the Gospel, but they’re trying to sort through.
O’Neil: They don’t trust the Republican Party.
Parker: They didn’t trust the Republican Party. I don’t even know that they trusted the messaging of capitalism, when they think about economics. And most voters vote their economic values, not their religious values.
We knew that they needed education. I decided I’m going to round them up and find out who they are and build out an educational program for the clergy so that the good guys can get their work done in the Congress and add more good guys because, once the lights come on with these clergy, then they would send more good guys instead of 100 progressives and a Black Caucus that’s trying to destroy their community and keep us all out of Florida.
O’Neil: Yeah. Well, you also worked with the White House Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives under the Trump administration. Could you speak a little bit about that work and about that administration in particular and the turbulent years we’ve seen since?
Parker: Well, that was an incredible opportunity because, as you know, welfare reform, and Heritage took a major lead in welfare reform, and this was an incredible opportunity.
Then moving into the, when [George W.] Bush came to town, because now, OK, because this is after Bill Clinton, and Bush came to town. The work was continuing, but Bush brought a faith-based initiative with the work, which meant that now you’re going to put the churches on welfare as you were moving the women off. The thing totally collapsed, but what didn’t collapse was an interest to still work with those that were most broken and vulnerable in our society.
You fast-forward now, and I’m skipping over a lot of folks, and I hope that they are not—in fact, I think, no, after Bush, we didn’t have the White House. So now we’re going into the Trump administration, and he made a declaration during his campaign that he was going to fix our inner cities, and then he asked black people, “Well, what do you have to lose?”
Now, they didn’t majority vote for him. In fact, at that point, he got about 8%, 9% of black/African American vote, but he kept with that commitment to fix the inner cities. He said he wanted to do it and he did it.
He hired Ja’Ron Smith to lead that effort inside the White House. In the meantime, Sen. Tim Scott was working on Opportunities Zone initiative. This was something conservatives remember from a long time ago because Jack Kemp tried to do similar activity, to say, “Why don’t we focus attention only on those broken ZIP codes?” But Bush didn’t want to even try to identify them, and [Donald] Trump did.
What happened in this opportunity for me to be on that task force that Ja’Ron had developed to fix the inner cities, to focus time and attention for the Trump administration on the inner cities, Tim Scott worked to get a Opportunity Zone initiative into the tax bill.
And this initiative had a different focus than what Jack Kemp had because Jack Kemp was working with government. This one was working with the economic engine of our society, saying, “If you plant money in any of these ZIP codes, you can get a capital gain relief.” And so business loves to get around taxes, so we began to see some momentum there. It was a very exciting time.
The challenge was that, by the time Treasury came up with the rules, the business, the community, was through, and then the Left had already labeled it out as gentrification. They had already changed the meaning of the word gentrification. If you look it up now, it just says, “White people trying to take black people’s property.” It scared the black community to say, “You’re not coming in our broken ZIP codes.”
But it was really funny because how Trump got even those ZIP codes, he asked every governor in the state, “Hey, I want to know what your broken ZIP codes are.” Yeah, yeah. Guess how many governors said “no”? Not one. They all gave him the broken ZIP codes.
And so now that’s how we know that there are 8,700. It seems like a lot, but when you look at all of our society, it’s manageable, and it’s manageable because now we just have pockets.
For instance, I was just in Ohio making a discussion about this and how they can fix their state. There are not even 400 in their whole state, so it’s doable.
It’s like, really? Because, for instance, we talk all the time about Baltimore and we talk all the time about Chicago. We talk all the time, “Oh, my God.” Yeah, but if you get down into the weeds of it, you find out, no, it’s not all of Chicago that’s broken. It’s just these few little ZIP codes. Baltimore’s not all broken. People go there and say, “Wow, this is—” no, it’s just a few little ZIP codes. When we look at poverty that way. …
Detroit, it come back because they focused time and attention just on those few little ZIP codes.
That’s what CURE does. We look for pastors that are in those little ZIP codes and try to build the Nehemiah moment, “Do you want to fix this? Everything is broken. We’re No. 1 in everything ill in the country, and there’s an insistence from the progressive Left that we become the nemesis of this society. Is that what you really want? And if you don’t want that, then help us build. Help us rebuild the three C’s that built this country: Christianity, those principles; virtues of capitalism; and the rule of law in the Constitution.”
O’Neil: Yeah. How can conservatives listen and speak with the black community more in a way that encourages trust, that rebuilds? Because I cover a lot of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the demonization of the Right, and conservatives in particular, among many of the black communities and among many of the Democrats and liberals who are explicitly messaging to them, terrifying them about how every Republican has a Klan hood in his closet, and that messaging is really hard to get around. What advice do you have?
Parker: Well, they can come around CURE because that’s specifically the role that we believe we play in the conservative movement. We only and exclusively, and very focused, look and address matters of culture, race, and poverty.
We do many policy summits in these ZIP codes. We do a national summit where we bring all of our pastors out to Washington, D.C., and they have two and a half days of, I don’t want to call it indoctrination, it’s education.
And actually, Heritage sends over its policy experts. In fact, Heritage policy experts come on my weekly show. I have a weekly television show through CURE. It’s called “CURE America with Star Parker.”
The more the conservative movement helps us, then the more that they’re going to help get that message into that community. Not that there are not other things that they can do, but I can’t think of anyone that has the same model that we do, and we work with not just your policy institute, all the information gatherers where we’re preaching to the choir. We’re like the evangelists to go into these ZIP codes with the messaging from Heritage’s closet, if you will.
We do do some of our own study that’s more focused and specific to the issues of race and poverty. We just finished one called “The Weaponization of Race and How It Hurts America,” and so we’ve been talking about that.
We have an annual tome that goes against what the Urban League has done every year, “The State of Black America.” We’ve even named it “The State of Black America.” And they sent us a cease and desist from their lawyers, a huge law firm in D.C. I said, “You know what? I’d rather than fight Goliath, let’s just change the name.” And I like the new name anyway, “The State of Black Progress,” because it’s a lie that blacks are still stuck in the ’60s.
When you look at black progress, especially through the lens of what Israel is doing now, celebrating its 75th, I looked at the 75, when we look at the 75 years of blacks, we have been incredibly successful in this society.
When you think about only 1 in 5 is poor right now, when you think about, during the Trump administration, after the tax bill, we not only saw record-low unemployment rates like everyone was talking about, we saw, for the first time in the history of this country, more black people making over $75,000 a year than making less than $25,000 a year. This was unprecedented. Never one front page did it make except The Wall Street Journal, and it was below the fold.
We have many, many success stories. One of our bigger challenges, though, in these success stories and the state of black progress, is much of that employment is in government. We’re building big government, whether it’s teachers, correctional officers, post office employee. If it’s not city, it’s county. If it’s not county, it’s state. If it’s not state, it’s federal.
And this is a real challenge to have that much power in government in one community of people who all of the progressives that they send to Washington have rooted their ideas and their agenda in revenge. This won’t work out for the country. And that’s one of the things that we’re trying to expose right now.
O’Neil: Well, I think it heartens me to hear how much you’re working with pastors. And I think of [Alexis de] Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” discussing the importance of civil society. It would be amazing to see more of those jobs that are taken by government and where blacks are, thank God, succeeding, to have more of a civil society focus. Is that a shift that we can see?
Parker: I think the government workers have a different attitude about life and the pre-market and private sector. What we really need to see are more African Americans in the private sector and appreciating the benefits and the virtues of capitalism and a free market society.
And the generation that Planned Parenthood has killed off, those are the ones, 20 million blacks dead to abortion. Philosophies have just not worked for us. There were only 20 million African Americans alive during the civil rights era. When you balance it between this, this is not good.
When you think about the four S’s in life, everybody struggles, then you sustain, then you’re successful, then you’re significant, but you can’t kill off the significant generation. Those folks that have been killed through abortion would be the 40-year-olds today that would be moving the baton toward entrepreneurship and growth, innovation and other areas, and investment.
But we’re getting that messaging out there and it does need to be out there.
It’s interesting that you mentioned de Tocqueville because remember when he opened the “Democracy in America,” he asked three fundamental questions about America. He said, “Can you guys atone for what happened in your history? Is that a possibility?”
And I think that the answer is yes if we deliberately look to do that, because there are challenges that have been concentrated in certain communities, and the most vulnerable are hit by these promises of government that [are] unfulfilling and they shouldn’t be doing that work in the first place.
He also asked a question about this model. He said, “Can you really blend altruism and ambition when we look at the market?” And that’s one of the reasons that I think libertarianism doesn’t work well enough. When you take out the moral component off the altruism, then we get away from the discoveries that de Tocqueville wanted us to look to.
And then remember the third one was, “OK, so you set out to build this city on a hill and you ended up in a republic where you have this representative government. Is this going to work?” And 200 years later, it’s worked, but we’re in real crisis right now trying to discover which—we’re at the fork in the road.
Are we going to be biblical and free or are we going to be secular in status, in fact, now pagan in status because they’re not only expanding government and government’s role in every American’s life, but paganism has taken a hold in trying to replace God’s influence in people’s individual lives?
There have been big challenges for the country as a whole, but I think that, when we strengthen the weakest link, which has been trapped in these failing communities for a long time, we’ll see some real successes. And that’s why I’m encouraged, as you can hear, by the role that CURE plays in the bigger story and the bigger picture of pushing conservatism back into the discussion.
O’Neil: You repeat that Tocqueville question and I think it really gets at the heart of what a lot of white people these days.
One of the reasons why critical race theory, and I know you’re not specifically focused on that, but why this ideology is resonating is because I think a lot of white people feel deep down that we haven’t reconciled fully with our past and that there are still those sins to atone for and they’re going for reparations. They’re going in probably what you would say is exactly the wrong direction, but what is the right direction? How do you answer Tocqueville’s question?
Parker: We remove the barriers of government. It’s really interesting. And when you said CRT, no, this is not our specific focus area because this is where school activity is, so it’s more local discussion. It’s a leaf on the tree. At CURE, we’re looking at the root of the tree, and that root is in affirmative action policy.
Dr. [Martin Luther] King, if you look at his “I Have a Dream” speech—and everyone points to his messaging about content of character versus the color of your skin. I believe that no Christian should put their skin color before cries. When you look at that speech, though—
O’Neil: Or their nation.
Parker: … it’s in three parts—or their nation—it’s in three parts. The first part speaks to the country, but he doesn’t try to overturn the country. He speaks to a country that he wants into an appreciation for the role of African Americans in this society, a free society. He believed in the values of that society. He wanted repentance and revival, but what we moved into as a country was, instead of just desegregation, there was just influence in the Left, the progressive Left, to force integration.
And when you move from desegregation, which is just remove barriers so we can be free, but now you’re into this forced integration mode, then it corrupts our schools, it corrupts our colleges, it corrupts our corporations that then grew out of those affirmative action programs all this multiculturalism.
Next thing you know, you have multiculturalism and extra emphasis on race in every space. Then, next thing, we’re in DEI—well, diversity, equity, inclusion. Your Left is so clever. They love to play around with the definition of words. Actually, the definitions are really innocent.
You think about diversity, we all want diversity. In fact, most of us now live in very diverse communities and we have diverse friendships. And I’m not talking just ethnically, I’m talking about every area of our life, the things that we do together and play together and worship together, and other areas.
When you think about equity, equity is an economic term. … Scripture, in fact, in Proverbs, the very first Proverb, he talks about you pursue this wisdom for justice, for equity.
And then, of course, inclusion. It is a lie that Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. Sunday morning is the most integrated hour in the world. We just get to choose who we want to worship with and how. I keep telling people, “OK, if you just want this one kind of church, who’s going to be in charge of music and the time clock? Because these things differ, variety of churches that we have and then what people personally want in their lives.”
We focus more on that DEI and that affirmative action area to say, “Let’s remove these barriers,” because now DEI has not only led us to [environmental, social, and governance] because it’s just a progressive, pagan playground that we have now, all this LGBT.
It’s all coming out of that moment in our history in the ’60s where we got diverted from desegregating our society so men can live free to forced integrating our society to where it’s just about division, and the demagogues have gotten and taken off course.
It’s a long answer to your short question, where the answer is, let’s patiently pray and wait for the Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action. And I believe what’s going to happen is same thing that happened when they overturned Roe and we became into a Dobbs world where activity now is in the states, well, once that activity is back in the states, we will then be able to dismantle.
California, we had taken our affirmative action programs out a long time ago, but we need a national decision at our United States Supreme Court that this is inconsistent with freedom and the Constitution to segregate people into categories, to progress them ahead of whatever they’re trying to do in these affirmative action programs that have taken on lives of their own. That’s the root of the tree.
And what’s fascinating is to see someone like [Florida] Gov. Ron DeSantis already doing that in his state and other states now saying, “Maybe we can do some things even though it’s a national law.” Maybe it’s even in anticipation that the Supreme Court is going to rule just within the next couple of weeks and we’re going to see which way we’re going to go.
Are we going to live free men regardless of your ethnicity, regardless of your past, or are we going to live just totally governed by government to tell us who we need to associate with and when and why and how we get to pick winners and losers?
And then one more point I want to make, because you mentioned the word reparations. There is a big difference between restitution and reparations. Restitution, if I err against you, the Bible says I might even have to pay you sevenfold, but that’s you and me. This is not about groupthink. This is about restitution. You repair, and you do it in the moment.
And I’ve even had to say to some friends, “Sometimes you do it on behalf of others.” I had a cousin who got really rude with a waitress one day and I apologized to the waitress because that was not necessary and an apology was in order, and I did restore because I gave her an extra tip.
But on reparations, we’re talking about a generational error that landed us in a civil war. I think we’ve paid, many paid the ultimate price. This was a rebirth, as Abraham Lincoln reminded us. This is a new opportunity.
O’Neil: In the second inaugural address.
Parker: In the second inaugural—everyone needs to reread that.
There are some sins that are so egregious, they’re just so flagrant that there’s nothing you can pay except to say, “I’m sorry,” and to say this country didn’t say they’re sorry to God—remember, one of the things that was asked during that time, we got both sides here praying to God. Well, God, are you on our side? Well, no, we don’t know where God is going to come down when there’s a big crime against humanity, except on the side of his truth and his love.
What we have to do as a society to reconcile ourselves around these pagan progressives who are now forcing us in discussions of reparations, what we have to do is say, “We’ve already done that. A lot of blood was shed.”
Sometimes you just say, “I’m sorry,” and you start over again. And we had that opportunity in that Civil War, and I’m just not going to be pulled into now trying to divide this country to say, “Who owes whom what?” This is an impossibility for us to even want to do.
How do you put a figure? Whether it’s 2 million, now I heard it’s 5 million. Hey, I did the calculation in California, since my residency is still there, to see, OK, they’re saying if you lived here this long and you did all these things, their means test would have me get about $700,000. I’m like, “Oh, really? Why are you even thinking that? How do you put a figure on what my great-grandfather went through?”
There’s just no way to repay. All you can do is say, “I’m sorry,” and the others to say, “I forgive you.” This is a forgiving moment for us, and if we allow ourselves to get there, I really think that we can push the pagan progressives back into the corner that they belong in.
O’Neil: Well, it’s inspiring to hear your answers to all these questions, and I look forward to hopefully working with you more in the future and hearing more CURE.
Parker: Listen, if you put my column in your—
O’Neil: Oh, we do.
Parker: I know. I want more. I want more. I like my column. I like my column everywhere.
O’Neil: Is there anything else you’d like to add, maybe about what you’ve been seeing here at [the National Religious Broadcasters Convention] and where you see the country is headed?
Parker: Oh, NRB has been fabulous. In fact, I’m on the board here. I’m also on the executive committee. So full disclosure that this is the biggest opportunity we’ve had to bring communicators, Christian communicators, from around the world. We have over 4,000 here, owners of the radio stations, owners of the television stations, owners of the print, owners of the everything, your broadcasts, the whole enchilada when it comes to communicating …
When you have a society like ours, where 100 million people still get up and go to church on Sunday morning, these are the people that speak to their lives, and they’re not necessarily political lives. Most of the people of the evangelical world that get up and go to church on Sunday morning and tell their kids to behave all week and we’re going to go to Bible study on Tuesday, most of them are looking at their life in terms of eternity.
Do they participate in electoral? Of course they do because they understand the responsibility that comes with a free society, especially the way that the Founders developed ours. President [James] Garfield said, “If you have corruption and recklessness in governance it’s because you tolerate it. We gave you elections.” And all those that are crying for term limits, it’s like, “We gave you term limits, we gave you elections.” And so it’s a participating opportunity that we have here in America.
I think we’d like to see more participation from the evangelical in the primaries because this will then help us make sure that the candidates, especially on the conservative side of the aisle, are conservative and have a good heart for what needs to be done toward freedom, freedom, limited roles of government in consistency with the founding of our country. But we still have that opportunity.
This umbrellas those discussions and there are a lot of discussions going on, including that Gov. DeSantis spoke for, what, 40 minutes and couldn’t even get through all of his sentences because they kept standing up giving him major ovation. A lot of people said, “Well, he’s really stiff.” Well, he’s a soldier. We could tell he is a soldier because he is very trained by our military.
O’Neil: And Trump was also here speaking remotely.
Parker: Trump, oh, I’m getting there. Oh, I’m getting there, too. Oh no, I’m getting to the difference in the two.
You got a soldier in one place where he is just in the audience and they’re into everything that he’s saying. And then you also have the media itself who are entertaining the other candidates, including President Trump. I don’t think he came in person, but he was certainly here via video. People were hearing the messaging and the reminders even of what he did during his administration that are of value to this evangelical world, and there was such appreciation for what he did, including the court.
This is the main place that people are very appreciative that are here at this particular conference. This is an annual conference, so people that might think, “Well, it’s a—”, no, it was not political. This is annual, whether we’re in election season. But other candidates were also speaking in because it’s media.
You have every voice of every one that touches into the evangelical Protestant world her, so there were many a candidates voices heard. It was really interesting, some that didn’t come.
But you’re right, those two major candidates spoke into this conference. And so going into the 2024 primary season is going to be electric, I believe, because you have such electricity on policy.
And one of the appreciation I have, even though the media is coming after both of these leaders, a potential one will come out in the head of the primary, or who knows? I watched the Kentucky Derby. You never know when other horses might come forward. And there are some exciting people in there. I’ve got great friends in this and some took—
O’Neil: Tim Scott just announced.
Parker: Amazing friend. And what he did for the Opportunity Zone initiative and on tax reform, and what he did even to unify the country around some real tragedies, like what had happened in South Carolina to where then-Gov. Nikki Haley brought down that flag. Let’s forget all of what happened during that season that Republicans were being demonized, but yet had real control and were moving forward.
Some ideas have missed a very dark time in the way that the main media were addressing our issues, but what we have this time is a lot of opportunity, because we have a lot of bright candidates, is to get down into the weeds of policy and principles.
And this is something I don’t think that the Left can compete with because they only want two things, paganism and progressivism, which is big government.
It’s going to be nice. I was very surprised to see the outpouring of standing ovation and love toward Gov. DeSantis, even though he was very powerful on many of the issues that the folks care about here, but also for those that are saying that Donald Trump delivered, and we really appreciate that as well.
O’Neil: Well, thank you so much for taking the time with me, Star, and pray that the conference is great and the future is bright.
Parker: And my conference coming up in October with CURE, yeah, so if any of your audience wants to help us deliver that conference, we’re hoping for that Monday night to actually have a presidential forum ourselves, not a debate, just a forum only and specifically on issues of culture, race, and poverty. And that will be at the Press Club in Washington, D.C.
We’re hoping that we’ll be able to get that budget so that all of the candidates will get there so that we can ask them, in a very quiet forum, what their ideas are, give them plenty of time to talk only on issues of culture, race, and poverty. And that’s through CURE, and people can find it through curepolicy.org.
O’Neil: OK, wonderful. Well, that was exactly what I was going to ask.
Parker: Oh, yeah, curepolicy.org. But that’s one project that, if anyone is hearing this and says, “I’d like to help, help, and help big on this one project,” I think that we can really make the discussions and the case for conservatism in our society.
It’s really needed because, as you mentioned earlier, the Republicans have been so branded with terms of racism that it has metastasized, and it’s got to be hard to rid it out. Can you get healed from cancer out of the fourth stage? Yes, you can, but it’s a lot easier at the first stage.
We didn’t do it in the first stage. We lost our way when the ’60s were having great debates and the candidate was [Barry] Goldwater. What we need to do is recover ground and get to the place where Ronald Reagan was able to build that country into one idea, which is America and American patriotism. And you had anyone from any background of all ethnicities saying, “We like him and we want to heal our country.” We need that moment again.
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