The new year marks the beginning of the campaign season for the state of South Carolina. We have all our statewide seats up, house districts for both the state and the U.S. Congress and a U.S. Senate seat up for grabs. Needless to say, there should be some excitement in the air.
However, it seems the excitement is shared by Republicans rather than Democrats. How demented it may be, it still works and it brainwashes the electorate into voting for the continued flaws and dismal policies that have hampered this state for decades and decades.
I have written plenty of times of the need to get more involved, stand up stronger and to not be afraid of being a Democrat in a red state. It is our responsibility to change this Red State Doctrine if we want to provide a better economy for the people of South Carolina. It's our duty to fight for our state's public education system and protect it from the constant bombardment it goes through by bull-headed Republicans, funded by out-of-state donors to dismantle the system with private-school vouchers on the backs of all the taxpayers in the state. It's up to us as Democrats to realize that the tax levels in this state are too low to support the budget needs for our agencies.
And, instead of telling people we aren't going to raise taxes, we need to be realistic and look at what taxes need to be restructured, what needs to be shifted and yes, what can be raised down the road in order to avoid huge deficits and the Republican's want to starve government until it no longer exists.
In order to work on what needs to be done for the state, we need to get out as activists and encourage our neighbors and friends to vote for their interests, not against them. We have sat back way too long and let Republicans in this state control the political message: Vote Democrat and you'll see taxes through the roof. Vote Democrat and you'll have gays sitting next time at all times of the day. Vote Democrat and abortion will be the order of the day, everyday.
It's time to tell these Republicans in this state to stuff it. Enough of the fear tactics. Enough of keeping South Carolina dumb and illiterate just so they can hold on to power. And yes, enough of the constant usage of national-level social issues over the essential state issues that Republicans need to be held accountable on.
Let's be honest. This state has been dominated and demoralized by Republicans for... Forever, it seems. But, we do not do a good job at holding their feet to the fire. I suppose we are too afraid of them finding out who we are, who we vote for, what we stand for, etc.
Well, that's why they win. They count on us to be afraid. And, unfortunately we deliver.
Do Democrats in this state realize they have a message that resonates with all the people of South Carolina? Look, we are for business as much as anyone. The Democrats in the state house have a good record on voting for business and tax breaks. Does that need to change? A little. But, it's our message to sell.
We have always stood up for public education. This year will be no different. We need to act like we own a set and stand up, attack and deliver when Republicans throw teachers, administrators and public schools under the bus.
It's time to stand up for labor in this state. The working men and women in the industrial sector have taken serious blows. It's time to stand up for real jobs with livable wages and great benefits.
Stand up to Republicans who feel seasonal, tourist jobs are the way to go. It's not.
There's plenty more we own as far as what benefits the people of South Carolina. It's time for the people hear the message. It's time for the message to become loud and clear - with passion and excitement. It's time to get the voters excited.
In return, voters will be enthusiastic enough to contribute. To volunteer. To spread the message that won them over.
The state of South Carolina - its people - have Republicans to blame, from the top to the bottom, for the dismal state we are in.
Be brave. Be bold. Be aggressive. I can promise you that the people of the state are watching. They want someone who'll fight. Not a frequent traveler. Not a high speeder. Not a status quo member.
They need to be able to believe. Show the excitement. It will be reciprocated.
I ask that Democratic candidates and supporters alike get involved now. Find a candidate, learn about them, contact them, volunteer for them, donate, etc.
Let's do our part and raise the excitement level. We have nothing to be ashamed of or to be down about.
Here's to a potentially great election year.