Republican conservative radio host Larry Elder announced he will run for President of the United States.
“I’m announcing that I’m running for the presidency of the United States,” he broke the news on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News on April 20. “I have a moral, religious, and patriotic duty to get back to a country that’s been so good to my family and to me. That is why I’m doing this.”
He told The Epoch Times he has been asked by supporters and fans to run for president, and so after careful consideration and more than four decades of political commentary, he has decided to do just that.
Elder is the host of “The Larry Elder Show” on EpochTV, which he is pausing for his presidential campaign.
He previously ran against California Gov. Gavin Newsom in September 2021 in a recall election, in which he received 3.5 million votes—or 49 percent of the votes against the governor spilt among 46 replacement candidates. His closest competitor, by comparison, garnered 9 percent.
Of the replacement votes, Elder carried 57 of California’s 58 counties and raised $27 million for his campaign.
While he knew entering politics wouldn’t be easy for him, especially as a black conservative, Elder said he was still surprised by the smear campaigns during the recall election.
“I know how brutal it is,” he said. “I know how your enemies will dissect things that you’ve said and put the worst spin on it, or will even make things up … particularly when it comes to a black conservative, because I refute the narrative.”
Elder said that because the left promotes the narrative that America is inherently racist, he is often portrayed as an “Uncle Tom,” by leftwing media just for his conservative views.
“If a black guy from the inner city, as I was, whose dad cleaned toilets comes along and says, ‘I’m sorry. It’s all about working hard. It’s all about making sure that you invest in yourself, and avoiding bad moral mistakes, and if you can do that, you’ll be fine in America,’ that blows a whole narrative. So, I’m an enemy,” he said.
But Elder never anticipated the leftwing media would stoop to brand him as the “black face of white supremacy” as one Los Angeles Times columnist did during the recall election.
Elder claims many black Americans are being “duped” and “misinformed” to believe they’re victims of “systemic racism.”
Rejecting the push for reparations for slavery, Elder said that the notion of victimhood has affected the “attitude and mood” of the black community.
“You’re not a slave, and the person over here is not a slave owner,” he said. “Why should somebody who did nothing to you pay for something that was never done to you? It doesn’t make any sense. And this whole victim mentality is, in my opinion, almost a cancer within the black culture.”
Elder was also criticized for discussing the issue of fatherless homes in the black community and high rates of crime in black neighborhoods, and for pointing out that Black Lives Matters is a self-described Marxist organization that seeks to destroy the family structure in America.
“It’s all because of the breakdown of the family. The values are not there. The adherence to Judeo-Christian values is not there,” he said.
Thus, he said, young black people who grew up without a father figure are “angry” and “mad at the world,” which leads to a set of social ills, and “we don’t talk enough about this.”
An Unhyphenated American
Elder said he never uses the term “African-American” because he doesn’t support the notion of what President Teddy Roosevelt called “hyphenated Americans” because it is divisive.
“I’m an American. I’m an American who is black. I’m not a hyphenated American,” he said. “We’re all Americans.”
He said the United States is the most successful democracy in the world’s history because it is based on the concept that all its citizens are Americans irrespective of race and ethnicity.
“I was born in Los Angeles. My dad was born in Georgia. My dad’s never been to Africa [and] my dad never had this whole idea of African American,” he said. “I have friends who are Italian. They don’t call themselves Italian Americans … but black Americans call themselves African Americans. I think it’s ridiculous, and to me, it’s a refutation of what America is all about.”
As a syndicated columnist, Elder has written more than 1,200 weekly opinion columns since 1998, but he was attacked during his gubernatorial campaign for exploring the pros and cons of the minimum wage and suggesting it be abolished.
A Divided America
Disheartened by the political division in America, Elder said civil debate has become a lost art.
“I’ve lost friendships over Donald Trump,” he said. “I think almost everybody in this country has lost a relationship because of supporting Donald Trump or opposing Donald Trump.”
Pointing out that his mom was a lifelong Democrat and his dad a lifelong Republican, Elder said his parents had civil conversations despite their political differences.
During the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s, Elder remembers that his dad defended Richard Nixon, while his mom criticized the embattled president, “but they didn’t divorce each other over it,” he said.
Elder, who is pro-life, supports stronger borders, school choice, and lower taxation. He said he believes “racism is no longer a problem” and never thought it would reach the point in America where you can’t have a serious discussion or political disagreement “without calling the other side ‘fascist’ or ‘Nazi.’”
“I haven’t seen this kind of vitriol since the Vietnam War, [when] families were across the dinner not even talking to each other,” he said. “We’re at that point. It is even more vicious right now than it was back then.”
Elder criticized Newsom for pushing policies to end sales of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 in California because of climate change.
“The climate is always changing,” he said. “There is a good body of knowledge to suggest the thing is overblown, and the people who are going to be hurt the most by force-feeding us this so-called renewable energy, which costs a lot more than regular fossil fuel, are poor people.”
Elder supported the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and said he is baffled by the response of pro-abortion groups.
“I just never thought … the people who are pro-choice would not recognize all it does is put the issue back to the states, the way it was for all of our nation’s history until 1973 when the Supreme Court … nationalized that issue,” he said.
Former President Donald Trump has announced he will seek another four-year term. Three other Republicans—former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson—have also entered the race for the Republican nomination. Republicans Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, and South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott are also expected to run but have not made any official declarations.
President Joe Biden is expected to officially announce his re-election campaign Tuesday. Two other Democrats have also entered the race—Marianne Williamson, a self-help author who is running for a second time, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a nephew of former President John F. Kennedy.
From The Epoch Times