Larry Elder

Laurence Allen Elder / b. 1952 / Los Angeles, California, USA / Political Commentator, Radio Host, Podcaster, Gubernatorial Candidate

Note: The specific sources of the following quotations are unknown.


America traditionally represents the greatest possibility of someone’s going from nothing to something. Why? In theory, if not practice, the government stays out of the way and lets individuals take risks and reap rewards or accept the consequences of failure. We call this capitalism—or, at least, we used to.

But did the Founding Fathers ever intend for the federal government to involve itself in education, health care or retirement benefits? The answer, quite clearly, is no. The Constitution, in Article I, Section 8—which contains the general welfare clause—seeks to restrain federal government, not expand it.


To bring a child into the world that you cannot feed, clothe, house, and educate is the moral equivalent, in my opinion, of a drive-by shooting.

Raising a child is an on-the-job kind of thing. There aren’t a whole lot of manuals for that.


Studies show that children of divorced parents can have outcomes as positive as those coming from intact homes, provided the father remains financially supportive and active in his children’s lives.


The war on drugs is wrong, both tactically and morally. It assumes that people are too stupid, too reckless, and too irresponsible to decide whether and under what conditions to consume drugs. The war on drugs is morally bankrupt.

Once brave politicians and others explain the war on drugs’ true cost, the American people will scream for a cease-fire. Bring the troops home, people will urge. Treat drugs as a health problem, not as a matter for the criminal justice system.


Government cannot control the economy without controlling people.

Outsourcing and globalization of manufacturing allows companies to reduce costs, benefits consumers with lower cost goods and services, causes economic expansion that reduces unemployment, and increases productivity and job creation.

Lower taxes, less government spending on domestic programs, and fewer regulations mean a better economy for everybody.

According to the Social Security Administration, in 1945, 41.9 workers supported each individual retiree, while today only 3.3 workers support each retiree. This system cannot continue.

Most people work for the private sector, which cannot exist without profit.

Elder on Elder

Raised by an irresponsible mother during the Great Depression in the Jim Crow south, my father was on his own from the age of 13.

My dad was a Marine. He was one of the Montford Point Marines. Those are the equivalent of the Tuskegee Airmen for Marines. He’s a tough, tough guy. When I was 15 we had a fight, and I didn’t speak to him for 10 years.

My mom and my dad were married 56 years, and the fact that I reconciled with my dad I think made their marriage a little bit better as well.

If anybody had a reason to become a delinquent, to become a criminal, to be angry at the man, to be angry at the white man, to be angry at America, it’s my dad, but he did not feel that way at all.

Nobody ever worked as hard as my father. My father averaged maybe four hours of sleep at night, and when you’re a kid, you don’t realize that. The man was tired. He was tired.


The welfare state is an assault on families.

Racism is not a major problem in America today. The number one problem facing black Americans today is the lack of fathers in the home.

The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, what Jim Crow couldn’t do, what the harshest racism couldn’t do. And that is to destroy the black family.


Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment is what the Serbs have in Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It’s not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights—the “right” to education, the “right” to health care, the “right” to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery—hay and a barn for human cattle.

I’d rather be free than equal.


I believe in limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, a strong national defense, and free market capitalism.

The government is not your mommy or your daddy. It’s not supposed to take care of you.

Individuals can spend their money more wisely, efficiently, and more humanely than can government.

Only in Washington does a decrease in the proposed increase equal a spending cut.

Gun Control

This battle for “common-sense” gun control laws pits emotion and passion against logic and reason. All too often in such a contest, logic loses. So, expect more meaningless, if not harmful, “gun control” legislation. Good news—if you’re a crook.

A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders.

Human Nature

Doing what you want to do is easy. Doing what you have to do is hard.

You are not what you think you are. You are not what they think you are. You are what you think they think you are.

Victimhood is not a strategy for success.

People value and spend their money more wisely when they acquire it by their own efforts—also known as work.

The Media

Because Fox News is allegedly biased in favor of conservatives, critics whine like children whose lunch money got snatched. Conservatives have been pummeled for decades. Now that Fox News and conservative talk radio give people alternatives, critics squeal as if being sodomized.


The No. 1 cause of preventable death for young black men is not auto accidents or accidental drowning, but homicide.

Bad schools, crime, drugs, high taxes, the social security mess, racism, the health care ? crisis? unemployment, welfare state dependency, illegitimacy, the gap between rich and poor. What do these issues have in common? Politicians, the media, and our so-called leaders lie to us about them. They lie about the cause. They lie about the effect. They lie about the solutions.

Conservatives consider liberals well-intentioned but misguided. Liberals consider conservatives not only wrong, but really, really bad people.

Rent Control

Rent-control laws disproportionately benefit the non-poor because the elite pull strings, work the system, and are better connected than the non-poor.


A free market punishes irresponsibility. Government rewards it.


The formula for achieving middle-class success is simple: Finish high school; don’t have a child before the age of 20; and get married before having the child.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Optimism. It’s not just a mind-set, it is behavior.


Just because something is a tradition doesn’t make it right.


Welfare distorts behavior, makes one less personally responsible, and reduces the role of private charity. This principle applies to corporate welfare.

White Liberals

Good motives aside, white condescension does more damage than good. White condescension says to a black child, “The rules used by other ethnic groups don’t apply to you. Forget about work hard, get an education, possess good values. No, for you, we’ll alter the rules by lowering the standards and expecting less.” Expect less, get less.