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It Doesn't Matter Which Democrat Wins

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

There is poetic justice in the chaos we've witnessed in Iowa.

First, the Des Moines Register pulled its definitive poll, to which everyone turns as the final word before the caucuses, because of "irregularities."

Then results of the caucuses themselves were hung out to dry because of "inconsistencies."

No one ever said that making political sausage is pretty.

But it is for this very reason that we should want to minimize the extent to which political sausage-making impacts our lives. But if those who are running for the presidency in the Democratic Party get their way, we can only expect more and more of it.

We too often make the mistake of thinking that democracy and freedom are the same thing. This is a big mistake.

Democracy is about the process by which we elect government. Freedom is about how big that government is and how much of our lives it controls.

Democrats will talk to us forever about the former but could care less about the latter.

The rhetoric from all these Democrats boils down to how they claim they're going to make our lives better by increasing government/political power over every decision we make.

More government power over health care, education, housing and business. More power in the hands of politicians in general to determine what is fair and not fair.

In the end, private citizens will cower in the corner waiting for marching orders about what they're allowed to do.

History tells us, as did the founders of our country, that the path to corruption is giving politicians more power.

It's why they wrote in our Declaration of Independence that our freedom comes from God. Government's job, they wrote, is to protect it.

Those who think the main issue facing us is how we elect politicians, rather than the power that we give to politicians, need to look at what has happened in Iowa.

What divides America today are those who aspire to American ideals of individual freedom and those who want to crush it and turn our lives over to a governing political class.

The growth in government over the last half-century has been about the growth in political power. In 1970, 35% of the federal budget consisted of so-called transfer payments, that is, government taking money from taxpayers and recycling to others by way of government programs. Today it's 70%.

And with all the talk about democracy, it's done in a most undemocratic way. Instead of raising taxes so voters know what's happening, the government just borrows the money. It's like turning your credit card over to your neighbor.

Now we've got a federal government debt load the size of our whole economy. Scholars from Stanford University's Hoover Institution estimated recently that the national debt will soon amount to a quarter million dollars per every American family of four.

Unfortunately, after the civil rights movement, African Americans largely bought the lie that government would make their lives freer and fairer.

Government took over large portions of their lives -- housing, education, health care, welfare. The main thing that happened by turning government into a deity is that the real values that free us were pushed aside. Black marriage and families were decimated.

And today, black poverty, and the gap between black household income and wealth and the national averages, are not much different from half a century ago.

It's why I called one of my books "Uncle Sam's Plantation."

The truth is it doesn't matter which Democrat wins in Iowa or elsewhere. They all have the same misguided answers for America. Follow me onto the government plantation.

The secret of American success, of all human success, is people free in body and spirit, taking responsibility for their lives.

All of American history is about fighting for freedom. This is what the 2020 election is about.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and author of the new book "Necessary Noise: How Donald Trump Inflames the Culture War and Why This is Good News for America," available now at

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