Star Parker

John Kerry and the Democratic leadership flip-flopped into the correct decision by changing their minds and giving Hillary Rodham Clinton a prime-time speaking spot at the Democratic convention.

By showcasing her, Kerry will establish himself clearly as the candidate of the political left and rid himself of the far less flattering image of being the candidate of unprincipled opportunism.

Americans want and should have a clear choice, and Senator Clinton will help make that choice clear. Standing in for Senator Kerry, she was correct when she told the National Education Association last week, "this is the most important election in a lifetime."

She then made clear what she and John Kerry are about by defining the solution to our problems in education as putting more money into the government public school monopoly and opposing vouchers and other attempts to give parents options in finding the best education alternatives for their children.

One has to wonder if Senator Clinton has ever taken note that the inexorable rise in postal rates inevitably means that we simply pay more and more for the same mediocre product. Monopolies exist to defend the status quo, not to find ways to improve. What's true of the Post Office is certainly true of the public school system. If Hillary Clinton and John Kerry have their way, we'll never see the equivalent in education to Federal Express.

Public schools nationwide last year spent over $400 billion, almost $10,000 on average per child. How much more does Hillary think we need to spend so that black children do not graduate from high school with eighth grade reading skills? The Democratic Party today should be understood to be the party with infinite confidence in government and infinitesimal confidence in people. Americans who think they'll be better off by turning more control over their lives to politicians should certainly support the Kerry/Edwards team.

Just as Hillary is helping define John Kerry for the American voter, my hope is that Herman Cain will help define George Bush.

Herman Cain is unknown to most Americans, but Georgia voters now know about him. He finished second this past week in the Republican primary in Georgia for the state's currently open Senate seat. Normally finishing second is not newsworthy. But Cain garnered 25 percent of the vote in this primary, which is not bad for a political novice running against a sitting Congressman and for a black man running for a Senate seat in the South.

For my money, Cain is what America is about and he certainly defines where black America, in its heart and soul, wants to go.

Cain's father was a chauffeur. However, Cain went to work in corporate America and wound up gaining control of and becoming chairman of Godfather's Pizza and becoming a multimillionaire. He also became CEO and president of the National Restaurant Association.

Cain's story is what black children need to hear _ that values and hard work are the formula for building a great life in our free country, regardless of where you start and the color of your skin. It's a story that drives the John Kerrys, Hillary Clintons, and the black political class up the wall because it says that the solution to human problems lies with individuals and freedom and not with government and politics. And it debunks the popular line of the political class that somehow blacks can't take care of themselves like other Americans can.

Cain put his own money up alongside of others' to run his campaign for the Senate seat in Georgia, advocating positions that defined with clarity the themes of personal responsibility that have defined his own life. He talked about school choice. He talked about reforming Social Security by giving individuals ownership and control of their own lives and futures through private retirement accounts. He also did not shrink from the pro-life agenda by championing the importance of the traditional family and responsibility in sexual behavior.

Any American who is sitting on the political fence should think about Hillary Clinton and Herman Cain. Who defines best what this country is and should be about? Is our future about elitists who think they know what is best for us and for our children? Is our sense of freedom young women sleeping around and aborting their unwanted fetuses, and turning to government to control health care, retirement savings and education? Or are we a nation of values, families, and the freedom that will allow those like Herman Cain to create new opportunities and prosperity for themselves, their children, and their neighbors. For me, the choice is clear.


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.