In deep Red South Carolina the exhausted troops of the Progressive movement have lifted their swords from the dust and headed into battle again. This is a contest waged by the enduring champions of middle age and early retirement. Only a handful of the young are present. Meetings are weighed down by the memory of defeats, but they're maintaining a local resistance and contributing to the national effort by phone banking and making contributions. Many will spend weekends and vacation days in nearby battleground states.
There is a determined fight against voter suppression here in SC, where it is recognized as an attempt to exterminate the hope of recovering a functional democracy. We're going door to door with voting rights information, meeting a lot of confused voters. 250 candidates were removed from primary ballots here due to legal errors. We're barely having state elections. There will be three contested races on my ballot: US President, Congress and County Auditor. There will be a handful of non partisan school board races as well. No one got on the ballot to challenge the Republican candidates for Sheriff, State Senate, State House or Representatives, County Treasurer, County Assessor, County Council or Clerk of Court. About 115 Republicans were prevented from running. About 100 Democrats. The rest were non partisan County Council races. Nearly the entire legislature got a free ride back into office when incumbents were grandfathered out of a garbled new ethics reporting plan.
So here in South Carolina, we watch and work away.
Apparently the right wing noise machine decided to fire a full spread of its worn out attack torpedoes today. Morning TV was saturated with attacks about Fast and Furious, which left out the fact that we don't have effective laws preventing gun sales to Mexican drug cartel operatives in Arizona because the gun industry funded NRA doesn't want any. SC loves guns and hates Mexican Drug Cartels, but their understanding of how the two are related by our gun purchasing laws, which make buying a gun in Arizona and smuggling it over the border cheaper and easier than buying an AK47 from Eastern Europe or China is no more complex than a Charles Bronson movie. Computerized applications and a waiting period would solve this problem, but that is unAmerican.
We got a round of President Obama has let the Middle East get out of control we should be telling those people how to behave and what to do, without any specifics on how beyond saber rattling and bombing them we're supposed to accomplish that. Should we stay in Afghanistan forever? 80% of Americans say no. Should we leave and watch it cave in? We don't want that either. Should we coin the gold in Ft. Knox and put every warlord there on the dole until Jesus comes back? Well what there is worth spending that much to buy? South Carolina, still wounded by defeat in 1865 is always ready for another war.
More garbage about voter fraud without any explanation of why it's OK to strip millions of American Citizens of their right to vote to prevent a handful of fraudulent votes to be cast. It's tired and it's old and we've heard it before. However, in SC democracy has never had a strong hold. Even the degraded and oppressed underclass would greatly prefer a gracious oppression to the tiresome demands of political participation. When we try to register these people, often struggling to part time minimum wage jobs over a sadly inadequate public transit system, they tell us, "they're good" and "I dont' vote." as if one were true and the other were some defensible philosophical principal.
More loose BS about dividing the nation from the people whose candidate just dismissed 47% of the country as irrelevant and thinks middle income is 200k a year. SC continues to have one of the lowest standards of living in the US. Most people here don't know that. They think a landscape of single wade trailers covered with mildew is normal.
The world is big and complex and solutions require change. We don't have the money and men to bully the entire planet into submission. We can't run an economy based on unsustainable consumption and waste, driven by debt. We'll go broke trying. SC is already broke.
The media, desperate to fill time, indulges the right wing shills. This is their last big broadcast advertising election and they're going to wring every penny out of it. After this election, the political money music stops for the networks and broadcast TV aside from Fox's aging viewership. This is what the end of an old system looks like. How we make politics work in the future after the death of broadcast television and the land line
telephone isn't yet clear. I'm doing door to door work in my precinct now and while it works, we're nowhere near driving the Republicans out of control of this state. Standing at a perpetual 43%, the firewall or racial and social prejudice blinds the electorate to their own self interest.
The system, however, going to have to work better than this. A national debate this conflicted and irrational can't sustain a nation like the United States for long. We've made all the rally big mistakes we can afford. We have to use less, make more of it and build a prosperity which is sustainable and will last.
If you want to see a Republican future for America, we have it here in South Carolina now. The smart quit or leave. The stubborn and stuck remain.