Two South Carolina Senate legends have announced they are stepping down and not seeking re-election. The men are politically polar opposites. State Senators Greg Ryberg of Aiken and John Land of Clarendon are wrapping their careers up.
Frankly the South Carolina State Senate will be less without them. Ryberg was a conservative to the core, always arguing the conservative cause, right or wrong. Land had the role of the liberal, always arguing the liberal cause, right or wrong.
What made VUI respect them both? They did their own homework. Neither were ran by handlers. Both frustrated the powers that be in their respective parties. We believe both were intellectually honest. One might think this or that idea of either man was a bit crazy, but they offered real ideas, thought out, and they fought for them. Having the two of them duke it out in the South Carolina State Senate was the very embodiment of the deliberative body in action.
Both had that detractors. They both had personal attacks. Some said Land was this and that, Ryberg was this and that. That is politics. Indeed, that is life in any great endeavor. There are always those who try to tear down people greater than them. That is human nature.
But, let's pause that stuff for a moment to think about the contributions of the two great champions of their own causes who now are calling it a day. The state of South Carolina will be lesser without them, not because one of them was right or wrong, but because they both were men who did what they thought was right and through that fight, made the Senate and the rest of us think on things.
As such VUI offers the same compliment to both Land and Ryberg. They thought for themselves, and they fought for what they believed. Good wishes and a thank you to both of them.