Some 25 years ago, I changed my life. A visit inside a church opened my eyes to the destructive life I was living, financed by welfare checks generously provided by American taxpayers.
I got off welfare, went to work, got politically active and became a Republican. I didn't become a Republican because of what the party looked like. I became a Republican because of what the party stood for.
Individual freedom, traditional values, with a view that government's role is to protect our freedom at home and abroad.
For the next 25 years, I had to suffer indignities from liberals who could not fathom that a black woman could be a Republican because she actually embraced these values.
But now we have a strange turn of events. Liberals no longer feel on the run like they did in the 1980s and 1990s. They are running the show, and they know it. So I hear less from them.
Now the indignities come from inside the party that I embraced 25 years ago. It was always the Democrats that were about interest group politics.
Now Republicans have somehow concluded that their party's woes are because it once stood for something. So the game plan is to morph into the Democrats' stepsister.
Whereas once Republican buzzwords were family and freedom, now it is inclusion. The marching orders, according to the postelection RNC "autopsy" report, are outreach to blacks, Hispanics, gays, women and Asians. It's now about what the party looks like, not what it stands for.
Christian conservatives, once the answer, are now the problem. Which gets to Bishop E.W. Jackson, an outspoken black Christian conservative with a law degree from Harvard. He also was just selected as the nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia.
Although Republicans are talking about black outreach, it is not, unfortunately, blacks like Jackson that they have in mind.
He is outspoken about limited government and personal freedom, about the importance of family and traditional marriage and about doing something about the scourge of abortion.
In other words, E.W. Jackson stands for everything that the Republican Party once stood for. He's making the Republicans of inclusion squirm.
The current Republican lieutenant governor of Virginia, Bill Bolling, immediately criticized his party for nominating Jackson, saying it will feed the "image of extremism" in the party.
Ronald Reagan used to say that the 11th commandment was to not speak ill of a fellow Republican.
That commandment has now been modified to permit it if that fellow Republican is a Christian conservative.
Certainly Jackson does not pull punches. But his statements about the government "plantation" are 100 percent true. It's no accident that trillions of dollars in government programs have had zero impact on black poverty.
But black single-parent homes and out-of-wedlock births have tripled since the War on Poverty began in 1965.
A new Gallup poll shows a dramatic shift in American attitudes on traditional morality. Fifty-nine percent now say homosexual relations are acceptable, up 19 points from 2001; 60 percent say out-of-wedlock birth is OK, up 15 points from 2001; 68 percent say divorce is OK, up 9 points from 2001; and 14 percent are OK with polygamy, twice that of 2001.
The economy is sputtering at 2 percent growth, four points below the expected recovery growth rate from a deep recession, and our national debt is now greater than our GDP.
The country needs a bold alternative voice to wake it up. The conservative Ken Cuccinelli-E.W. Jackson ticket in Virginia is such a voice.
Will their party get behind them or pull the rug out like they've done to other conservatives in recent races? Will the Republican Party get back to what it once was about or will it become just another symptom of a nation in decline?
Washington Examiner columnist Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. She can be reached at urbancure.org.