Star Parker

Those who get paid generously to dredge up the sleaze could care less that they may damage forever the most valuable possession of any individual _ their name and reputation. If they succeed at destroying an opponent, at whatever price, and their client wins, their cash registers ring today and will ring in the future.

It's not just individual candidates who are on the wrong end of sleaze campaigns that pay the price. It's the American people in general.

While the mud gets thrown, the real issues that need to be addressed are pushed to the sidelines. Is it any wonder that the country's many problems are ignored, accumulate and get worse?

Racism is one of the more popular allegations for the sleaze sleuths to dredge up. The Democratic operatives who found a few individuals, who for whatever reason want to damage George Allen, must have been thrilled with their find.

Again, whether or not the allegations are true, the operatives have done their job and have hurt Allen and can cash in for themselves. Does anyone think for a minute that these operatives care about blacks and improving their troubled lives?

Forget it. Today race is not an issue that is raised out of concern for the exploited. It is raised to exploit. The objective of the Webb campaign is to slander Allen and generate mistrust. There is no issue here about protecting black interests.

The fact is that Allen, with a conservative agenda to protect life and families, and to keep taxes low and limit the scope of government, would be far better for improving the lot of blacks in America today than his Democratic opponent.

But it would take some thought to appreciate this. The only thought the Webb campaign is interested in is how to smear Allen and brand him as a racist.

With the big-government formulas of the left irrelevant to dealing with black problems today _ of family breakdown and 50 percent high-school dropout rates in urban areas _ character assassination is the only thing left for Democrats to campaign on.

Voters should understand that today's real racists are those who choose to play political games while blacks languish as a growing underclass in America's cities.

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.