By Michael Thompson
“Dear Father, Dear Son” is marching its way up the Amazon.com best-sellers list, is currently the No. 603 best-selling book on the site and is the No. 3 best-selling book in the category of “Fatherhood.”
Written by New York Times best selling author Larry Elder, he has called his latest book “a 247-page apology to his Marine father that he didn’t understand until he was 25 years old.”
Elder sat down with Larry Kudlow of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” earlier this week to discuss “Dear Father, Dear Son,” and the lessons his Republican father imparted to him.
“My dad would say, ‘no poor person ever gave me a job, Larry,’ and he understood that hardworking, saving your money, and lower taxes would be the best way to prosperity in America,” Elder told Kudlow.
Asked by Kudlow if America is becoming a “Food Stamp Nation,” Elder said, “We are at a point where almost 50 percent of voters can pull the lever in the voting booth, and vote themselves a raise on someone else’s dime.
“With the Welfare Reform act of 1996, the most successful social legislation passed in my lifetime, welfare rolls fell by 50 percent,” he said. “President Obama is loosening those requirements, which helped contribute to his re-election.”
The conversation on The Kudlow Report shifted to the monolithic black vote for Obama and why Republicans have such a hard time connecting with minority voters.
Elder said, “The black unemployment rate in October reached 14.3 percent. Emmanuel Cleaver, the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, admitted: ‘If (former President) Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House.’”
Racism is no longer a major problem in America, Elder told Kudlow, pointing out that Obama just won re-election with a healthy percentage of the white vote.
Also addressed was how does the GOP reconstitute a free market vs. government welfarism debate in the black community, and Elder said Republicans would have to learn to start speaking to black people as adults.
“Speak to people like they are adults, Republicans – speaking to black audience – GOP members always talk about Martin Luther King and marching for civil rights instead of discussing job creation,” he said.
Kudlow then asked, “Why can’t the GOP go into the projects and talk about economic growth, make the case for ownership, economic empowerment and how low taxes will help minorities prospers.”
Elder answered, “A Republican mayor asked me to have a private meeting once and asked the same question. I replied, ‘Look black people in [the] eye and tell them that racism is over – this was a guy who had given computers to inner city schools and really cared about the black community – tell them racism is no longer a problem and that you are tired of being called a racist. You’re not oppressed, you’re not a victim. Say that.”
“He told me he couldn’t say that, he’d be called a ‘racist,’ and I said meeting’s over.”
“I mean, how can you do worse than [the opposition] getting 95 percent of the black vote?” Elder asked Kudlow incredulously.
Elder also appeared on the Wall Street Journal Report “The Daily Wrap with Michael Castner” to discuss “Dear Father, Dear Son.”
“Stunning … a wonderful read … a page-turner … a handbook for life.” Those words of advance praise from another celebrated author scarcely convey just how powerfully mesmerizing is the latest book by Elder, the New York Times best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host.
Released by WND Books Nov. 13, 2012, “Dear Father, Dear Son” is a personal memoir of Elder’s troubled – one might even say tortured – relationship with his father, and the astonishing outcome that develops when Elder, at long last, confronts him.
Says Elder: “A man’s relationship with his father – every boy, every man lucky enough to have a father in his life has to figure that out. My own father? I thought I knew him – even though he seldom talked about himself. And what I knew I hated – really, really hated. Cold, ill-tempered, thin-skinned, my father always seemed on the brink of erupting. Scared to death of him, I kept telling myself to find the courage to ‘stand up to him.’ When I was fifteen, I did.” After that, said Elder, “We did not speak to each other for 10 years.”
“And then we did – for eight hours.”
The result can’ be described. It has to be experienced.
As reflected in the book’s subtitle – “Two Lives … Eight Hours” – one extraordinary, all-day conversation between Elder and his long-estranged father utterly transformed their relationship. It is no exaggeration to say the book will likewise transform readers.
Indeed, calling it “stunning,” Burt Boyar, co-author of the bestselling autobiography on Sammy Davis, Jr., says of “Dear Father, Dear Son”: “Above all it is a wonderful read. I am tempted to call it a page-turner but in my case I hated to turn every page because that meant I was getting closer to the end and I did not want it to end. … The book is filled with emotion. It is, of course, a handbook for life. I guess it is that above all things. Any kid who reads it and follows the advice of how to live his life just has to come out well.”
“Dear Father, Dear Son” is the story of one man discovering a son he never really knew. And of the son finding a man, a friend, a father who had really been there all along.
Elder, a “firebrand libertarian” according to “Daily Variety,” has been the subject of profiles by both CBS’ “60 Minutes” and ABC’s “20/20.” His previous best-selling books – “The 10 Things You Can’t Say in America,” “Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America” and “What’s Race Got to Do with It? Why it’s Time to Stop the Stupidest Argument in America” – all have met with critical acclaim.
See the Kudlow interview