The Elder Statesman? Conservative Icon Mulling 2024 Presidential Run
Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder speaks to supporters during an Asian Rally for Yes Recall at the Asian Garden Mall in Little Saigon, Westminster, California, on September 4, 2021.
RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images

When Larry Elder talks, people listen. The man became a conservative radio icon and the “Sage of South Central” by speaking his mind about the issues that he thought were most important — and steering the national conversation toward those matters.

Now, the former California GOP gubernatorial candidate is mulling a 2024 presidential run precisely because he believes the Republican Party is not accurately talking about topics that truly affect Americans across the board: the breakdown of the family, education, and the myth that the United States is a systemically racist society.

Elder broke down why he is seriously considering a run for office in an interview with The Daily Wire.

California Governor’s Race

Prior to entering the race, “a number of people approached me as you know, to encourage me to run for governor of California. And little by little I felt that I had a moral and spiritual and a patriotic obligation to do it,” he explained in an interview with The Daily Wire.

“I didn’t think I would like politics,” he added. “I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I was surprised at how good I was at it. And in about seven and a half weeks which is when I got into the race, with only that much time left. I raised around $22 million —  more than all of the major rivals combined.”

Elder — who has only sought two elected positions in his entire career: California’s governor’s office and third-grade class president — explained that after his 2021 defeat, he formed a political action committee to support campaigns and causes around the country focusing on issues he cares about.

Post-2021 Recall Failure

Following the failed recall attempt to oust California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, he took a trip to the Florida Keys and was approached by fans from around the country.

“I was shocked how many people knew about the race or recognized me. I gained about 10 pounds because it’s hard for me to resist when somebody picks up a check,” Elder said with a chuckle.

“And I was urged by a number of people whether from Texas, or Florida, or Maine, or any of the other states to consider running for higher office,” he said. “So I began to think about it. And the more I think about it, the more I think I might very well do that.”

Elder took his leftover campaign money and jump-started the Elder for America PAC.

Elder Visits Iowa

Most recently, Elder visited the Hawkeye State and met with some serious people in politics.

“If you’re going to run for president … the Iowa State Fair is kind of a rite of passage,” Elder noted. “So I went and I was kind of overwhelmingly surprised by the gracious reception. I met with the governor of Iowa. I met with Lieutenant Governor. I met with a number of local politicians and I met with some pretty deep-pocketed donors. Nobody felt that it was an outlandish kind of thing to consider.”

Indeed, nothing in the Elder’s 25-minute conversation with The Daily Wire seemed to indicate his potential bid was “outlandish” either.

Not once did Elder use the words freedom, equality, or liberty. Many Republicans can’t explain their stances without using those vague descriptors — high on rhetoric, short on specifics.

Yet, for Elder, he discussed the issues replete with facts, common sense, and passion. He showed how politicians’ failure to solve the various problems are limiting those American principles and making life worse for us all.

The Welfare State And The Family

For example, the breakdown of the nuclear family can be traced back specifically to the invention of the welfare state, he explained. Yet, the solution isn’t simply talking about it, but encouraging fatherhood responsibility.

“The welfare state has incentivized women to marry the government and is incentivizing men to abandon their financial and more responsibility,” he remarked. “And we don’t talk about that enough and talk about some of the symptoms, whether it’s crime, whether it’s support outcomes in school, we don’t talk about the genesis, and the genesis is that in 1955, 25% of black kids entered the world without a father married to the mother,” he added. “Now 70% do,” he claimed.

“And forget about Elder,” he said, referring to himself. “Barack Obama once said, ‘A kid raising a father is five times more likely to be poor and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and 20 times more likely to end up in jail,'” he said, paraphrasing him.

“Now the question is how have we gone from 25% of black kids entering the world without a father married to the mother to fast forward almost 70%? Now, the answer again, the welfare state,” he added, noting that the problem goes beyond racial lines. “Forty percent of all American kids now enter the world without a father married to the mother.”

“It is a neutron bomb that has been dropped on this country,” he said with disdain. “And we do not talk about it enough.”

America’s Failing Education System: The Problem Is With Inputs, Not Outcomes

The other pressing issue is the “abysmal education system” in this country — which is in large part the fault of parental neglect and not rewarding the best teachers. The emphasis should be on input — not outcomes.

“Eighty-five percent of black eighth graders, according to national tests, are neither math nor reading grade proficient. That means you have a large number of 13-year-old black boys and girls who are functionally illiterate and … and we yell and scream about outcomes and equal outcomes,” Elder said. “We don’t talk enough about unequal inputs.”

Conservatives tend to have a reputation for wanting to dismantle the public education system, but in speaking with Elder, it is clear that he advocates an “all-of-the-above” approach; homeschooling, school choice, private education, online education, and more.

Yet, teachers who go above and beyond must be compensated appropriately and generously in that system.

“We need to make sure that we have teacher pay that’s commensurate with performance,” Elder remarked. “Everybody remembers that two or three or four wonderful teachers they have. Why should those wonderful teachers make the same amount of money as a teacher in the classroom right next door who’s not a wonderful teacher? Some of these teachers should be making a quarter million dollars, they’re that good.”

“People that can inspire you, that can bring kids to life, can bring them half alive — there’s always a handful of teachers like that, and they should be treated like rockstars. They should be treated like athletes,” Elder proclaimed. “We should have a system like that, but we don’t. So there’s something that we need to do.”

When asked why schools are failing, Elder was blunt again.

“Again, it’s because of the breakdown of the family,” he answered quickly. “The family’s job is to deliver on the doorstep of the schools at eight o’clock in the morning, a kid who’s been fed, clothed, housed, and is ready to learn and sufficiently disciplined to do that. After that, then the school takes over. And unfortunately, we have a lot of bad teachers that end up in the inner city.”

“Therefore we ought to have school choice,” he said again, offering a solution to the problem. “So that there are certain schools that have much more exacting standards and expect much more of parents and those kinds of kids and those kinds of parents should be able to put their kids in a school like that.”

The Myth Of Systemic Racism

“I’m going to talk about crime,” Elder said. “When you push this myth, this lie that police are engaging in systemic racism. What happens is what they call ‘The Ferguson Effect‘ or more recently The George Floyd Effect. The police pull back, they don’t engage in proactive policing. They don’t engage in stopping, questioning, and frisking, And as a result, a bunch of bad guys are out who shouldn’t be out and the people who are hurt and murdered are primarily the very black and brown people that people on the Left claim that they care about.”

“I just don’t believe we talk about these issues strongly enough and forcefully enough,” he added.

Elder understands firsthand what it’s like growing up in poverty, amidst a family wrecked by fatherlessness.

“I’m from the hood,” he explained. “My father never grew up with a father, never knew his father….so I know that growing up without a father is like, it’s not a death sentence,” he said. “But you have to pick up the cards and play them to the best of your ability. And I think I can tell their story and I have an obligation to do so.”

Elder also pointed out the problems with the idea that former President Donald Trump’s election was somehow due to racism, noting that, “There were 700 counties that Obama carried both in 2008  and 2012. Two hundred of them switched to Donald Trump in 2016.”

“Were they bitten by a radioactive spider from 2012 to 2016?” he said of voters, mocking Leftists who can’t explain that switch.

Elder noted that even former Left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews admitted that most white people would not vote for somebody if they thought they were racist.

“So here’s a guy on MSNBC  – which is the hate Trump, hate Republicans channel — admitting that most white people would not vote for somebody if they thought they were racist. Why therefore would it be in Donald Trump’s best interest to send a racist dog whistle to racist whites or to win an election?” he said, pointing out the lunacy behind that idea.

“It’s offensive,” he declared. “And I don’t think enough people talk about that in that way.”

Elder also blamed white guilt for allowing the myth of systemic racism to continue.

“I’ve often said that whoever said that compound interest was the greatest force in the universe … has never encountered white guilt,” he said. “And that’s why you get this nonsense of Critical Race Theory. And white people believing in reparations is ridiculous. We need to go forward and we need to pick up our cards and play them to the best of our ability. You’ve got Haitians standing in line, just to get a chance to come here. Are they coming here because they believe America is systemically racist?”

Elder also pointed out that Nigerian Americans are by and large more successful than the average European-American.

“Please, please, please explain that,” if America is systemically racist, he said.

“These things are things the Left don’t have any good answers for and I think we ought to press them on it more than we do,” Elder said of the Republican Party.

Elder’s Faith Guides Him, Not Doing It For Fan Fare

“I’m not doing it to displace anybody,” he emphasized.

“I’m not doing it because I think that Donald Trump might not run. I think that he will run and I think he can make a very strong case for why he should win the nomination. I think Ron DeSantis might get in,” he said. “I want to talk about what I believe our party is failing to talk about enough.”

When asked if he would take a position in a Republican administration — perhaps secretary of education or vice president — Elder was open to it but maintained his faith would guide him.

“I will do what my faith calls me to do,” the radio host said. “I’ve been asked that question before, would I accept, for example, a vice president position? And the answer is I would give a strong consideration I would do whatever I help my country. I still have an obligation to do that.”

Uncle Tom II

Elder has also been busy, working as the executive producer on Uncle Tom II. The documentary is a follow-up to his first successful film, Uncle Tom.

The newest film focuses on the Marxist infiltration of American institutions and the Left’s destruction of black culture.  As noted by its promotion, it “will take the audience deeper into black America’s often eradicated history of honorable men, entrepreneurship, prosperity, faith, and patriotism, to its current perceived state of anger, discontent and victimhood.”

Elder has not officially declared he is running, but even if he doesn’t, perhaps his potential presence will get other 2024 hopefuls to discuss the issues discussed on our call.

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