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Recent polling by the Pew Research Center shows a notable change in black sentiment for the presidential candidates. Black support for Sen. John Kerry is now 73 percent, down from 83 percent in August, and black support for President Bush has doubled from 6 percent to12 percent. The Democrats clearly are nervous and are taking the gloves off in ads aimed at black voters.

The current ad campaign, financed by the pro-Kerry Media Fund, uses hip ghetto slang to attack Republicans, “wealthy white boys” (as if this doesn’t describe Kerry and John Edwards), for causing every imaginable ill and misfortune in black America. The ads are essentially the voice of a field boss trying to scare folks from believing that life might actually be better off the plantation.

Blacks need to listen to these ads carefully. What is Kerry for? No one will ever find out listening to this ad campaign. There is not a single idea, a single proposal or single thought about what might be ailing blacks other than the fact that a Republican is in the White House. The Democrats are running a pure campaign of fear and smear in their message to a community desperately in need of real ideas.

Kerry has attacked Bush foreign policy by calling it “more of the same.” This is, in fact, what Kerry offers black voters. More of the same government answers for everything, more of the same blame on everyone else for black problems.

It is time for black children to stop hearing that they can’t make it, and this is exactly what they are hearing from Democrats.

I recently came across an article reporting a correlation between income and height. It is a fact of life that tall people earn more, on average, than short people. Researchers have even got the disparity down to inches. On average, income increases by $1,500 per year for every additional inch in height. Don’t ask me why people pay for this kind of research, but it’s out there. Additional work has been done trying to account for the disparity, but no definitive answer has emerged. We just have the fact. Tall people earn more.

What is the mother of a short child to do? Should she tell the child he or she is doomed? Should we form the National Association for the Advancement of Short People? Affirmative-action programs to address the inherent unfairness of this biologically dictated disparity? This is, of course, ridiculous. But, this is what racial politics have become.

A wonderful book was published several years ago called “Getting Rich in America.” Written by Dwight R. Lee, a professor from the College of Business at the University of Georgia, and Richard B. McKenzie, a professor at the Graduate School of Business at the University of California, this is no “how to get rich quick” manual. The book discusses the results of research of the behavior of successful Americans. According to the authors, anyone following their rules for success is virtually certain to get wealthy in our country.

What are the rules? Think of America as the Land of Choices. Be optimistic about the possibilities Take the power of compound interest seriously – then save. Resist temptation. Take control of your life. Get a good education. Get married and stay married. Take care of yourself. Take responsibility for your mind and body. Take prudent risks. Strive for balance. Recognize traditional virtues like honesty and commitment.

According to the authors, every American who follows these rules will become wealthy over the course of their life, regardless of the circumstances of their birth.

Blacks should take note of this on Election Day because these rules read like the Republican Party platform. Personal responsibility, private Social Security accounts, health-care savings accounts, school choice, traditional values and marriage.

It’s time for blacks to be more concerned with what is going on in their own house than having a Democrat in the White House.

By the way, the richest American, multibillionaire Bill Gates of Microsoft, at 5-feet-10 inches, is an inch taller than the national average for males.

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