Star Parker

Understand that the messenger is as important as the message. One reason Bill Clinton gets the affection he does from blacks, despite the truth that he represents everything destructive to our community, is that blacks sense that he cares. Nothing gets done without trust, and the truth is that there are few Republican leaders who can walk into a black church, even with the best news in the world, and be received with trust. Black religious leaders need to be courted by Republicans they can trust and feel comfortable with.

Really care. Every single black in America should have voted for George Bush. His social agenda and economic agenda are precisely what black America needs. Yet because of the trust issue, the word is not getting through sufficiently. Too many blacks feel that Republicans really don't care about them _ that they just want to use them. We need Republicans whose hearts hurt as much as black pastors' hearts hurt about the problems in the inner cities.

Maintain a regular ongoing program of communication. Considering the points above, get the message to black religious leaders that the critical common ground they share with the Republican Party is traditional values.

Educate on the connection between the social agenda and the economic agenda. Ownership and self reliance grow out of faith and family. Black household wealth remains pathetically low compared to white household wealth. Blacks need private social security accounts more than whites. But this community needs education on this and other economic issues.

We have much to do but we can and must do it. Blacks should love George Bush the way they love Bill Clinton. His agenda of traditional values and ownership is the only way out for our community. Fortunately, there are many blacks who are getting the message. But too many still are not.

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.