Twenty years passes so fast. Twenty years ago, as a young college student at Lander, I was a political animal. What I am going to share is not bragging, but it is an attempt to give you and idea of where I come from. I was an officer for the College Republicans and I worked with, of all things, the Ray Haskett for Congress campaign, among others. I served as Chairman of the Lander College Republicans in the Fall of 1992 and worked as a volunteer for Bush-Quayle. I will be always grateful to President Bush for giving my then 8 year old brother a Presidential pen when President Bush came to Spartanburg.
In 1994, as a law student at South Carolina, I got a full baptism in statewide politics working for Bob Peeler for Lt. Governor. I am proud that I worked for Bob Peeler. He was a good man to work for, and his brother Harvey and the rest of the Peeler family were great people for me and my family to be around. I would not trade that experience for any amount of money.
In 1996, I busted my behind putting up signs and working for Senator Strom Thurmond’s last campaign. I am proud of that. When Senator Thurmond marked being then the longest serving Senator in Johnston, it made my day that he knew my name and greeted me accordingly in front of my dad. I also volunteered for a Republican state senate campaign in the upstate.
In 1998, I had a real job with a law firm. But, I volunteered as a consultant for then State Representative Ronny Townsend, and in the fall, I used all my vacation time to help Bob Peeler’s re-election campaign. In 2000, I had the honor of working for Joe Wilson’s law firm and volunteering on Floyd Spence’s last campaign.
I will spare you anymore. Most readers are smart enough to get the point. I worked my behind off for Republicans before many of the self professed “real Republicans” could find South Carolina on a map of the United States. But, now I am a RINO.
Yep, the guy who has spent every day of his adult life being a Republican is not a Republican anymore according to the “real Republicans.” Howard Rich paid consultants and tea partiers and folks in it for the money have made it clear that RINOs like me are no longer welcomed in “their” party. The truth be told if Carroll Campbell was still alive, they would call him a RINO.
The ignorance is frustrating for anyone with a working brain. People tout the constitution, but have never read it. People believe the bull manure that President Obama, whose policies I disagree with, was born in Africa. People who are so hardcore for Christian values love the fact that a defacto Sikh with a checkered personal life and a flimsy work history was elected Governor. Twenty years ago, working against the one party state that was Democrat was honorable. Today, we have the same one party state, with people blindly supporting whatever has the Republican label.
But, the Republican Party of South Carolina today is not the party of Thurmond, Campbell, Reagan or Goldwater. Is the party of Rich. Howard Rich will enter his ninth year in the Governor’s office in January. For the past eight years, he had the rather pathetic Mark Sanford as his stooge, now he has an equally weak Nikki Haley. Despite Haley tapping former House Speaker David Wilkins to head the transition, the minions around her have already started alienating her from the members of the General Assembly Bless their hearts, they are full of themselves and they want to purge the GOP of old guys like me. The message is clear. If you don’t walk goose step with them, you are not worthy.
Well, perhaps I will give them what they want. I wash my hands of the Republican Party. I will still be conservative, but from now on I will be Independent. Anyone with a working brain and any sense of self respect could not do otherwise. I know too many people who work hard for their livings and who live real lives to be a part of the bull manure any longer. Some friends said that will end any political aspirations I might have. Whatever. Believe it or not, I can live without such things. But, I can not live with looking family members who serve this state and nation in the eye while being a part of the bull manure that is Haley land. I will have no part of that. I, and the VUI blog are now independent. There will be no holds barred.