There was yet another debate for Governor of South Carolina on Tuesday night. The debate was held on the campus of Winthrop University. Absent Republican Gresham Barrett, the six other candidates for Governor in both major parties were present.
It was a typical affair. The answers could be predicted by each candidate easily before hand, with the exception of Democrat Robert Ford. That guy speaks is mind. The rest are "handled."
Not that there is especially anything wrong with a candidate being "handled." It just shows there is no true "great" politician on the stage for Governor.
That is a product of this political time in South Carolina. As filing for office is at the halfway point, enthusiasm for campaigning, supporting a candidate and for running for office are at a low. Candidates in both parties are having a hard time raising money and getting grassroots support. Of course there are exceptions like the tea party folks, but their power dissipates when it comes to actual campaigns.
Some blame the economy on the lack of money and enthusiasm. The economy certainly has its role. However, over the past eight years in South Carolina, especially in the Republican party, politics has been hijacked.
From the local to the statewide level, a group of well funded, unethical loudmouths have taken over the conversation. Checks from outside South Carolina flow in to fund special interest groups created just to viscerally attack any candidate who does not support their pet issue exactly as they are told to. Bloggers are paid to attack personally and pettily any candidate or commentator who fails to walk lock step with the money. Others sue people involved in politics for their stands and otherwise harass them. Even when people leave politics, they are kicked on the way out the door, usually in a sophomoric fashioned.
Take the retirement of Annette Young, for example. Rep. Young was the first Republican Majority Leader since Reconstruction. How did South Carolina's supposedly leading "conservative" blogger treat the retirement? By taking a cheap shot at Young about her love of scotch whiskey.
Now, Folks and the people around him probably thought their post was brilliant. But, what it truly is is an example of how our political discourse has slipped. Both parties seem to have slipped into an idiocracy instead of a democracy. In that idiocracy, a cute comment, true or not, is more respected than a well thought idea. Party and coalition building is second to making sure the purity tests set by big donors are passed. The smart and experienced are ridiculed for thinking. The ignorant and inexperienced are praised for embracing the guru's ideas.
That said, is there any doubt why South Carolina is in the trouble it is in? Is their any doubt why talented and decent people decline to donate to campaigns, work on campaigns, or run for office? Indeed, South Carolina is a far cry from where it was in January of 1995, when Carroll Campbell left office. Fifteen years later, Governor Campbell is dead, I don't feel so good myself and some billionaire from New York and his puppets have joined the far left liberals in making politics in South Carolina seem slimy.