Star Parker

Too many blacks still don't get the fact that the only thing government can do for them is get out of the way so that they can take care of themselves. This means government needs to keep taxes, inflation and interest rates low. Politicians can steal what you have, but they certainly can't create wealth for anyone.

By these measures _ low taxes, inflation and interest rates _ things could hardly be better.

Democratic palliatives like the minimum wage, redistribution schemes and social engineering schemes are sad illusions that far too many blacks still buy into. If these things actually worked, blacks wouldn't be in the state they are in today.

The extent to which blacks do indeed still buy into this stuff, and clearly they do, simply tells us the extent to which they are still dreaming rather than working.

The bad news we're getting every day about the war in Iraq is also contributing significantly to the bad mood in the country. And, again, this is more pronounced among blacks.

The AP/Ipsos/AOL polls show that 82 percent of blacks, compared to 58 percent of the overall population, say that going to war in Iraq was a mistake.

According to the Pew Research Center, even one in four moderate Democrats feel that the war in Iraq was the right move. So why do blacks poll on the farthest left fringe of the Democratic Party on this issue?

I'm afraid that it's not because of some special insight on how better to contend with the very real threats to us from terrorists and Islamic extremists. Unfortunately, I think a lot of it is driven by the same distorted ideas about government that are so persistent in black attitudes. The issue isn't so much about how we're spending our defense dollars, but that we should redirect that government spending into domestic social programs (which don't work).

Loss of ground that Republicans may have experienced this year with blacks reflects more deficiencies in getting the message of limited government into this community and not that the message is any less relevant.

Black progress still hinges on education, and this means school choice, on ownership, and on re-building black families, which means traditional values.

This is a Republican agenda. It's clear that this party has a lot of work to do in the black community.

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.