Sen. Tim Scott left the door open for a future presidential run with his announcement that he is withdrawing from this one.
I hope that's the case. Although Scott's presidential campaign never ignited, his presence and campaign contributed immeasurably to our national politics, and perhaps this first experience of his in the national spotlight will make him that much more effective the next time around.
I would summarize Scott's unique and critically important message as follows: Race matters. But not for the reasons that those on the left say.
For Scott, race matters to the extent his personal life story matters. Born in poverty, raised by a single mother, Scott's turning point came when the light of faith ignited in his soul at age 18.
Beginning at that point, his life was defined by faith, meaning, work and personal responsibility. These are the values that led him from poverty to the U.S. Senate and to a presidential campaign. And these are the values, per Scott, that define what America and freedom are about.
During the last Republican debate, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker questioned the most basic premise of Scott's campaign in her online debate commentary: "Sen. Tim Scott must recognize that America is not exclusively a Christian nation. How can he sell himself to a diverse country if he's only willing to address Christians?"
The answer to Parker is that Tim Scott is not trying to make every American a Christian, any more than Ronald Reagan was, whose message Scott used as the model for his message that America is a land of hope and opportunity.
Freedom, per Scott and Reagan, is about every citizen taking personal responsibility for the outcome of their life. This, Scott would say, is impossible without faith to get you through the hard times, to give you assurance that your struggles have meaning, and eternal values that respect life and property.
The center of responsibility in a free country lies with each individual citizen. This is why Scott's place in national politics is so important. Our political future increasingly depends on Americans of color.
When Reagan first ran for president in 1980, 88 percent of voters were white. In the last presidential election in 2020, 67 percent of voters were white.
Disproportionately, non-white voters have placed more faith in government than in themselves. It is killing these communities and the country.
It is of critical importance that a successful Black man like Scott stand before the nation and argue against big government and for the eternal values that sustain individual freedom, a free society and that he showcases his own life as proof that these values work.
Recently the Census Bureau, for the first time, projected that the American population will shrink. As we approach mid-century, deaths will exceed births as the population ages and we produce fewer children.
Kathleen Parker may question Tim Scott's message of Christian values. But it is those values that enable America as a free country and lead us into the future.
Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education.