Skip to main content

Public education is the most important function of state government and we spend more tax dollars on education than any other budget item. Given those two facts, a reasonable person would assume that everyone in our state, especially our legislators, would be doing everything humanly possible to excel in educating our young — all of them.

Saturday, June 03, 2023

There’s been a huge amount of commentary on former President Donald Trump’s big lead over Gov. Ron DeSantis in national polls. In the current RealClearPolitics average of polls, Trump has a 30.8-point lead — 53.2% to DeSantis’ 22.4%. That lead, while enormous, has been shrinking in the last week; on May 20, it was 36.9 points. Now, it’s six points smaller. That is something to watch in the days ahead.

Friday, June 02, 2023

For someone living in a rural county like Rutherford where the name of the Republican candidate is the only one on the ballot in most local races, it’s not news that the state Democratic Party has been largely missing in action during the past several election cycles. At the state level in 2022, Republicans were unopposed by a Democrat in one-fourth of House and Senate races.

  • Updated

A thought occurred to me as I was traveling through the North Carolina Piedmont last week. The notion didn’t have to do with my location but was instead prompted by the lecture I was listening to on the way.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

Telegram Special Editions

Local Events

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced he's in.

He's running for president.

I caught DeSantis' remarks in Orlando at the annual meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters the day before he formally announced.

It was immediately clear that this is no ordinary politician.

It has been said that there are two types of people. Those who want to be someone and those who want to do something.

DeSantis is clearly that latter. And at age 44, he has already done a lot.

Yale baseball captain, Harvard Law School, Navy veteran — including serving in the war in Iraq —three-term U.S. congressman and two-term governor of Florida, the nation's third largest state in population and fourth largest in economy.

What immediately spoke to me, and probably most of the 4,000 Christian broadcasters in the room, was DeSantis started right off talking about bringing water from the Sea of Galilee in Israel to Florida to baptize his three children.

This is a man who stands firmly in cement regarding his view of the world in terms of right and wrong, and man's ability and responsibility to make the right choices.

His battle against woke culture is really a battle for freedom and against indoctrination.

And hence DeSantis' remarkable achievement of making school choice available practically throughout the whole state of Florida.

This puts parents in charge of their children's education — not politicians, bureaucrats or unions.

This defines real conservativism. You start with clarity about right and wrong and then give people freedom to live their life as they choose.

DeSantis' list of accomplishments as governor in many important areas is long. But the headliner is his bold and courageous move in opening his state's economy and schools during the pandemic, when most other states were still closed.

He has made the point that Disney, which has fought him in his battle against sexual indoctrination among youngsters in school, profited handsomely because they were able to operate their business in Florida during the pandemic while being forced to close in California.

It speaks much about the widespread unfortunate realities of many corporations today, which on the one hand profit from freedom and capitalism and at the same time promote policies that undermine that very freedom.

One line of criticism that has been aimed at DeSantis is that he is not charismatic and that, in the words of The Wall Street Journal, "He's a cultural brawler more than a likeable unifier." The Journal suggests he adopt a little of "Ronald Reagan's self-deprecating humor."

But DeSantis is a soldier, not a socialite, motivated, as was Reagan, to do what is right for the country. He is not going to reinvent himself based on alleged wisdom from political consultants about what voters want to see and hear.

More importantly, the leadership challenges today are even greater than those faced by Reagan. Our fiscal and cultural challenges are daunting.

Our national debt today is about 100% of GDP. When Reagan ran in 1980 it was less than 25%. Federal spending today is almost 25% of GDP. When Reagan ran it was 20.6%. The federal budget deficit now is 5.4% of GDP. In 1980 it was 2.6%.

As result of dramatic expansion of government, our economy today is growing around 2% per year, well below the historic rate over 3%.

As a result of the breakdown in traditional values and family, the country is aging. The percentage of Americans over 65 stood at 16.9 % in 2020, compared to 11.3% in 1980.

The birth rate of babies to unwed mothers is now 40%, compared to 18% in 1980.

If there is any hope in turning it all around, it's more important that our leadership is tough than jovial.

From what I have seen so far, Ron DeSantis has exactly what America needs in 2024.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show "Cure America with Star Parker." To find out more about Star Parker and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


Last Updated: Tuesday, May 30, 2023 15:19:32 -0700

In a perfect world — or even a really good one — there’s no doubt that the debt ceiling agreement President Biden struck with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the weekend would be a frustration and a disappointment. The agreement will inflict all manner of painful cuts to core public structures and services that are both essential to the nation’s wellbeing and eminently affordable for a country as large and wealthy as the United States. Americans have right to expect much, much better.

Here we go again.

A strong, prominent woman in the political arena comes under attack for being too strong, too ambitious, having too big a role in her spouse's campaign.

Sound familiar? Painfully so. Sexist? No question.

“Summertime… and the living is easy. Fish are jumping and the cotton is high.” Anticipation of summer parties, cookouts and pool parties. Beach trips and lake trips, and our favorite, the Neuse River. My memories are thick with the good times of summer. That is the privilege of growing up White in the South.

Mark Robinson is still the prohibitive frontrunner for the GOP primary, even if the last few weeks’ developments have bruised his image a bit. But the fact is that several candidates have joined Robinson in the primary contest, and although each of them faces forbidding probabilities in their quest to languish the large fellow from Greensboro, their candidacies still merit attention.

As I sat down to write a tribute to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who turned 100 last week, I was distracted by “very disturbing” news I will address at the end of this article (it’s not about Kissinger).

The North Carolina General Assembly is about to make all children eligible for the state’s Opportunity Scholarship program. They won’t all receive the same amounts — poor and middle-income families will be eligible for vouchers in the range of $6,500 to $7,200 per student, while upper-income households will receive much less. Nevertheless, both proponents and opponents are quite properly using the term “universal” to describe the policy, which will go into effect for the 2024-25 academic year.

Here we go again. What we have here is a classic moral panic, a repeating theme in American public life. Remember the McMartin preschool trial in Los Angeles back in the 1980s? Bizarre allegations of satanic sexual abuse were made against a family-run day care center in Manhattan Beach.

America in 1944 was vastly different from the nation we are today. As a student of history, I’ve read much about the leaders of that era — Churchill, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Montgomery, Patton and others. I marvel at how they faced the challenges of the day and were willing to make great sacrifices to preserve peace.

For a generation, lawmakers have periodically engaged in a ridiculous — and very risky — charade of threatening to default on the nation’s debts. And here we are again, with a cadre of hard-right House Republicans holding our economic health and international reputation hostage.

Ron DeSantis apparently wants to be president. His pitch rests on the "Florida blueprint," the stuff he's done as the state's governor. But the assumption that the American majority wants much of the DeSantis program is shaky. It's not even clear that Floridians do.

The leaders of the G7 Western mafia comprised of Canada, France, Italy, Germany, the US, Britain, plus Japan and unelected European Commission President “Queen” Ursula von der Leyen and also Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who hitched a ride on a French government plane like it was an Uber, just met in Hiroshima about our collective fates. And the outcome suggests that we’d be better off led by the next handful of clowns who stepped into the big tent of a traveling circus.