Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The South Carolina bashing is getting old


Perhaps we have to blame Governor Sanford. After all, it was Governor Sanford and his pack of out of state carpetbaggers that started bashing South Carolina about eight years ago. They told us that our state legislature was filled with crooks and clowns. They told us our state government was racist and our schools were a dismal failure. They told us that opportunities were limited for people in South Carolina. Never before in the history of the state has a Governor and his backers seemingly thought so little of South Carolina and got elected and re-elected.

Part of it has to do with the clich├ęd pseudo intellectualism of the “in” class in both parties. Being proud of South Carolina’s natural beauty, its people, its accomplishments and its rich culture and history is frowned upon by the chattering classes. If a politician wants big money from out of state and wants to lock up the transplant vote, he has to talk about how bad South Carolina is and how things are done better elsewhere. On the Democratic side, self loathing seems necessary for South Carolina Democrats who want to appease the Obama Administration’s early strikes against Sanford.

There are problems to be dealt with in South Carolina. However, the success of South Carolina is ignored by the Governor and his opponents. There are several things to be proud of that get ignored.

South Carolina has an outstanding State Park’s system that showcases South Carolina’s beauty and rich history. I have seen other places. But, the view of Jones Gap from atop Ceaser’s Head and the view of a sunrise on Hunting Island are among the most beautiful natural scenes that there are. There are the Carolina Bays, the Congraree Swamp, along with the waterfalls of the upstate. There is the Harbison State Forest in the Midlands. There is the history at Rose Hill Plantation and Charlestowne Landing.

South Carolina has remarkable people as well. While there are writers, singers, artists, comedians, commentators, politicians and astronauts that call South Carolina home, it is the average South Carolinian that ought to be spoken up for. Over the years, I have been thousands of living rooms from Sunset in Oconee County to Bluffton on the coast and all points in between. Most of us are more alike than different. Rich, poor, black, white, Hispanic, it does not matter. By and large, South Carolinians are courteous, work to find a way to better their lives, and have the things that they are proud of on display in their homes. They are not stupid. They are not backwards and waiting for some politician to save them or their children. With the exception of some pockets of failure, most South Carolinians have their kids in public schools, and are proud of their kids and their school. They attend plays, recitals, ball games, and help with homework. They volunteer at ball games selling concessions, join the booster clubs and the PTO. Other South Carolinians give generously, even with meager means to their church and to charities. The people of South Carolina are generally a good people and they do not deserve the snake oil being sold to them by those who keep telling them how bad their lives are.

There are so many other good things to address about South Carolina, like the high tech jobs at BMW and other places in the upstate, the research done at Clemson and the University of South Carolina, and how a network of small colleges and technical colleges around the state make higher education a realistic goal for people of any age.

Over the past eight years perhaps no one in South Carolina has taken a harder hit than those in public education. We are told constantly that our schools are failing and are backwards. Reform in administration and curriculum is needed, but again, by and large, most teachers are hard working and dedicated to their jobs and get the job done. Frankly, most of South Carolina’s public schools do work. They turn out future doctors, lawyers, businessmen, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, soldiers, writers, artists and teachers. It is simple minded and ignorant of political activists to label public schools as a failure just because they choose to not let their children attend them or are paid by someone to attack public schools. The people who work hard to make their public schools work do not deserve that.

But, it is not about deserve. It is about big money from outside the state and national politics. I wish I could say that South Carolina will not get bashed anymore in the next few years, but chances are it is going to get worse. As it gets worse, chances are economic opportunities will decline. Part of the reason that Mark Sanford has not had a “BMW” type deal is because he runs down the state. It is hard to sell South Carolina as a place to come build a plant and live when the Governor himself calls education a failure and government broken and has his own paid for Greek chorus backing him up. (I wonder how many of the private school advocates will get that reference from a public school education.  )

Past Governors, Republicans and Democrats, and Republican leaders like Strom Thurmond and Floyd Spence always spoke well of the state, even if they wanted to change things. Not so in the Sanford era. Here is hoping that candidates for Governor in both parties dwell more on what is right about South Carolina and less about what is wrong. The South Carolina bashing is getting old.

11 comments:

  1. New Yorker trapped in SCMay 13, 2009

    I hate living here with you rednecks. If my job was not here, I would leave in a heartbeat. You can take your rebel flags and your bigotry and your ignorance all you want. I pray to God every day I find a way to get back to New York.

    I hate the Braves, I hate Clemson and South Carolina. I hate the Panthers. God, I hate this place.

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  2. Yankee FanMay 13, 2009

    New Yorker, I understand. The first few years I lived down here, I thought I was in Hell. Then, I decided to help these people learn how backwards that they are and how them how things ought to be done.

    I got my ass kicked a couple of times by a couple of rednecks, but when I look around see that most of the people around here wear shoes now, I feel pretty damn proud of myself.

    And, since we have the first real Republican Governor since Reconstruction, I feel better about this place. We are getting this southerners in line. Just be patient.

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  3. AnonymousMay 13, 2009

    Well said. If we'd turn the AC off, those New Yorker's would have to go home.

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  4. Might I suggest that you gas-up?

    I-85 goes East *AND* West, and I-26 goes to Asheville and beyond. Either way, pick an out-bound lane and git!

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  5. AnonymousMay 13, 2009

    New Yorker,

    Load up your car, take I-85 north to I-95, and then take I-95 north until you hear "you'se guys" instead of "y'all". Don't turn around and don't let the state line hit you in the butt on the way out.

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  6. Obama ManMay 15, 2009

    What are you so proud of? That damn evil rag flying at the monument of Confederate shame? This is a backwards cracker ass state, filled with cracker ass cops who like nothing more than to harass a hard working brotha or sista.

    You are such a cracker ass cracker.

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  7. AnonymousMay 16, 2009

    Thank you.

    Missing from current blog discussion is civil discourse, which begins with larger, horizon scanning viewpoints. We need reasons to believe, to suffer through the fools whose highest ambition is to demean those who have a larger view.

    I am increasingly appalled by comments on blogs that indicate that some people have too much time on their hands and too little appreciation for constitutional guarantees they would readily deny anyone who sees beyond their narrow concepts.

    This state's largest problem is that people who should be contributing to overcoming its problems are tools of self-serving interest groups. History will judge Mark Sandford harshly, and speak of a lost decade of lost opportunity.

    Thank you for helping us appreciate that this state has thousands of living rooms where people see a larger future.

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  8. If the government officials from South Carolina are this stupid, what are the citizen's like?

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  9. Terrence the Rock and Roll MachineDecember 11, 2009

    To the New Yorker, I agree with you! I'm Boston born and Boston bred (lived in Massachusetts for 27 years of my life) and hope to go back one day to reside (I miss my friends). As for South Crapolina, I'm glad I'm out of that inbred hick Hell hole (I lived there from September, 2003 to June, 2004 then from September, 2004 to April, 2005 and a family crisis forced me back to that shithole from May to December 2008 and nothing changed in that inbred hick Hell and I was depressed everyday to point where I couldn't eat nor sleep). There are confederate flags, chain smokers, boozers, horse riding, truck driving redneck jackasses all over the place. Backwood yokels who think horses and 4x4 trucks are what one should drive. Country music all over the place (they can tell you who Gretchen Wilson and Garth Brooks is but look at you like a martian if you mention Genesis, Rush and Pink Floyd). I moved to Port St Lucie, Florida in January, 2006 and resided until April, 2008 and called it Massachusetts away from Mass. Then a year ago Sunday, I returned to Florida to live in Lake Worth which is in the West Palm Beach conglomerate. The Panthers, the Hurricanes and the Braves all CHOKE! The Red Sox won TWO WORLD CHAMPIONS THIS DECADE! THE PATS WON THREE! THE CELTICS WON ONE! NOW THE BRUINS WILL TAKE IT ALL IN 2010!

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  10. All the bashing is true. You're nothing but a bunch of squint-eyed, brain-deformed throwbacks who not only caused the civil war but have also been nothing but traitors ever since. Robert E. Lee should have been hung and your great granddaddies gelded.

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  11. It never gets old - not until the day that the radical subconsciously racist redneck bible thumping cross-eyed idiots decide to succeed again. Once that happens I will recline and watch my 40 inch plasma screen show repeat coverage of them getting carpet bombed whilst holding their rebel flags and whistling Dixie.

    I am a webmaster here - my customers always tell me about the latest conspiracy and how Obama does not have a birth certificate. I don't care- don't they understand I just want to build websites? They are almost ALL crazy and they watch fox news more than a junkie looks for a fix. If I don't pretend to be like them they seek to eat my flesh like zombies in the "Walking Dead".

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