Amid the dense fog and hot air blowing around the Republican Party, a new voice of clarity has emerged.
It’s the voice of Louisiana State Senator Elbert Guillory, who announced several weeks ago his departure from the Democratic Party, which he calls “the party of disappointment,” to become a Republican.
I wrote about Guillory a few weeks ago after I met him at the @Large conference in Baton Rouge, where he announced his change of party.
Subsequently, Guillory explained why he, a black Democrat, would become a Republican in a video that went viral, and he continues to deliver his compelling message with such power and clarity that I cannot see how he can be ignored as a leader who should rise to national prominence.
This could have practical implications for the Louisiana Senate race in 2014, where Republicans are still in search for a candidate to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu.
Why not Guillory?
Recently Guillory tweeted out “It’s no longer the American dream, it’s the American nightmare of relying on a monthly government check.”
Speaking to Republicans in Arkansas, he appealed to the Republican Party to stop “cowering behind closed doors.”
“It’s time to shout our values and ideals from the mountaintops,” he says. “Prayer, family, free markets, limited government, lower taxes.”
I don’t think it is possible to be any clearer about what this country needs to turn around.
America is not growing. New jobs are being created at a painfully slow rate, and although the unemployment rate has dropped, the overall percentage of the population employed has barely budged from where it dropped to in the early days of the recession.
Stanford University economist Edward Lazaer laid out the dismal picture in a recent Wall Street Journal column.
In 2006, 63.4 percent of the working age population was employed. By 2011, this was down to 58.2 percent, and today it’s still at 58.6 percent.
Usually, when the unemployment rate drops, Lazear explains, there is a corresponding increase in the percentage of the population employed. But not this time.
Now more and more able bodied men and women are dropping out of the work force. Today 37 percent of the unemployed are long term -- more than 26 weeks. At the peak of the last major recession in the early 1980’s, Lazear notes, this never exceeded 27 percent.
Why? The government plantation has grown even more generous (while we run trillion deficits to pay for it) to encourage not working.