The DNC’s Keith Ellison Dilemma

Photo credit: Michaela McNichol

As we enter 2017, the Democratic Party has good reason to be concerned.

In Washington, Republicans now control the White House and both houses of Congress.

Thirty-three governors are Republicans, and Republicans control both houses of state legislatures in 32 states whereas Democrats control both chambers in just five.

Because I am a conservative, I am happy about Republican ascendancy. But I also want a vibrant two-party system where both parties are competitive in their appeal for hearts and minds of citizens.

Lack of competition produces at best mediocrity and at worst corruption, whether we are talking about the commercial or political marketplace.

In this regard, the current race for chairman of the Democratic National Committee is not encouraging. The two leading candidates — Rep. Keith Ellison and Labor Secretary Tom Perez — are lodged on the far left and look to push their party further in this direction. For a party that loves the word diversity, the lack of it in the Democratic Party when it comes to ideas is disconcerting.

Woodrow Wilcox


Why Ellison, in particular, has emerged as a darling for some Democratic Party leaders is a real mystery, both from the perspective of ideas and from the perspective of tactics.

Ellison gets a perfect 100 percent rating in the liberal Americans for Democratic Action congressional ratings. In ratings of National Journal, he tied as most liberal congressman in 2008, 2011 and 2013.


Ellison backed socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, and Sanders is now backing Ellison for DNC chairman.

But we just had an election where Americans rejected chucking overboard everything that our country is about in exchange for a system — socialism — that has failed everywhere it has been tried.

Can anyone believe that government is not big enough, taxes not high enough, that we have too much individual freedom? Or that socialism — politicians spending other people’s money — is the way to deal with our massive national debt? Or that we will solve the huge fiscal problems in Medicare and Social Security, together swimming in $100 trillion of red ink, by expanding these programs like Ellison and Sanders propose?

But perhaps most concerning about Ellison is not what we know about him — his confused left-wing socialist ideas — but what we don’t know about him.

Ellison is a Muslim and would like us to believe that his religion is important to him. When he first won election, he wanted to take the oath of office on the Quran rather than on a Christian Bible.

But on the other hand, the values he extols as a politician are in direct opposition to his Muslim faith.

He supports alternative sexual lifestyles and redefined marriage. Fine for a boilerplate liberal. But this behavior cannot be rationalized with Islam. Ellison will perhaps make a distinction between his religious convictions and his political convictions. But do we need yet another left-wing politician telling us that religious values have no place in the public square — let alone one who will claim what is good for the public square is exactly what his religion prohibits? Who is this man? Does he stand for anything other than hunger for political power?

Which then takes us to his aggressive pro-abortion politics. Ellison gets a perfect 100 percent voting record score from NARAL, the nation’s largest pro-choice organization. He wants to continue pumping taxpayer money into the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

This not only raises questions about Keith Ellison’s religious convictions, but his credibility as a black leader.

Abortion is destroying black America. The last thing we need is a black head of the Democratic National Committee advocating this horrible behavior.

For sure, this is no path for rebuilding the Democratic Party. This is bad for Democrats and bad for America.

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Star Parker is the founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a public policy think tank that addresses issues of culture, race and poverty from a Judeo-Christian conservative perspective. She regularly consults with both federal and state legislators on market-based strategies to fight poverty; she has spoken on more than 190 colleges and universities about anti-poverty initiatives; has authored several books; and is a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. For more information please go to
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