It is difficult to tell what is more embarrassing, the conduct of State Senator Jakie Knotts or the conduct of people like SC GOP First Vice Chairman Patrick Haddon of Greenville, who dwell on Knotts, and even try to hurt lifelong Republicans like Congressman Joe Wilson in an election year.
First, VUI is no fan of Knotts. In fact, if you read our archives, you see we have made some pretty good humor at his expense. His "raghead" remarks about Nikki Haley and the President were unacceptable. But, so is dwelling on him and making the unprecedented move of banning him from running as a Republican.
In South Carolina, we have a tradition of letting people vote in primaries. In South Carolina, we believe in the crazy idea of freedom. People are free to declare their party on primary day and vote in the primary of their choice. If Jakie Knotts runs as Republican and gets people to vote for him in his District, that is freedom. We should not fear it as liberals do. We should embrace it.
For, if Senator Knotts, with all his faults, is denied access to the Republican Primary ballot, who will be next? Will it be some legislator who does not walk lock step with a Governor Haley? Will it be someone who has some sort of personal conflict with members of the state party? Where will banning people from running as Republicans end?
For most of my life, I have believed that the Republican Party was the party of better ideas on most matters. Therefore, I think it should never be afraid to allow any man or woman to stand for its party's nomination in a race. That is what liberals do. They fear the people and ballot box. They use committees and twisting of the law to silence those who disagree. We Republicans do not. We Republicans believe in the free market, and that includes the free marketplace of ideas within our own party's primaries.
If the SC GOP follows Haddon's lead and takes the liberal way that is filled with fear and anger, the SC GOP will lose its soul. Let Jakie Knotts face the voters in a GOP primary and beat him there, not in some liberal like committee meeting. Have faith, Mr. Haddon and others, in the people and ideals of the the free market who you claim to represent in your party offices.