Star Parker

Americans go to the polls Tuesday.

Who would question that this is not just another election?

We’re fighting for our nation’s soul. For what we believe freedom is about. Or if we really care to be free.

In most elections, we’re all pretty much on the same page about who we are as a nation. The debate is about details concerning how it’s going to be managed. This year the debate is about what page we’re on.

New data from Gallup shows how polarized we’ve become.

In 1994, 40% identified as conservative, 48% as moderate, and 12% as liberal. Now, 48% say they’re conservative, 32% moderate, and 20% liberal.

Sixteen points have been lopped off the moderate category, half of them moving to the conservative right and half moving to the liberal left. The middle has collapsed and the poles have accentuated, with the nation clearly leaning right.

Americans are clearer now about what they think is right and wrong. This not a time of gray ambiguity.

The intellectual bankruptcy of the left is too evident. We hear no ideas, no substance. No attempt to explain why the massive expansion of government has not been the elixir promised to fix our wheezing, gasping economy and has made things worse.

Instead we’re getting personal attacks. The Tea Partiers are nuts, kooks, fascists, racists.

Rob Reiner, appearing on Bill Maher’s show the other day, likened the Tea Party movement to the emergence of Nazis and Hitler in Germany in the 1930’s. They’re “angry and frightened,” selling “stupidity and ignorance,” said Reiner, as Maher nodded in agreement.

If Reiner got out of the wealthy left wing Hollywood bubble that he lives in, he might see what is going on in his own state of California and gain some appreciation of what’s driving the Tea Party movement.

California’s unemployment rate, at 12.4%, is more than 20% higher than the national average.

So far this year, 158 companies have packed up and left the state. Earlier this year, a survey of 600 CEOs ranked the Golden State as the worst state in the country in which to do business.

California is overtaxed, overregulated, and over unionized, with a state legislature that uses the state’s citizens and businesses like an ATM machine. As result, it is an economic and fiscal basket case.

According to the Wall Street Journal, last month California led the nation in job losses at 63,500. During the same month, Texas gained 4,000 jobs.

Over the last year, Texas added 153,000 new jobs while California lost 43,700.

Rental fee for a U-Haul truck from LA to Houston is $2,279, 2 ½ times the rate from Houston to LA, $892.


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.