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GMoxley

South Carolina Politics

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It's great to see a third party candidate in the mix for Sup. of Ed. Any thoughts or past experiences on how SC will/has received third party candidates?

http://www.supered.org/

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I've never heard of a 3rd party candidate doing well.

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I'm not aware of any third party candidate in SC gaining more than a few percent of the vote in an election where the two major parties contested the seat.

For the most part, SC has been a one party state: either wholly Democratic or wholly Republican. Most elections historically in this state are decided during primary season and the general election tends to be just a victory lap.

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I am familiar with Tim Moultrie, and really like what he has to say. Improving education in South Carolina (or any state, for that matter) isn't as easy as throwing more money at it. The system needs a major overhaul. Our state doesn't have anymore "dumb" students or "incapable" teachers than anywhere else. What we do have is poverty, especially in the lower part of the state. While the State Superintendent of Education cannot fix the problem of poverty, he/she can try to involve families in the decision-making process. And the Superintendent can certainly make sure a lot of the pointless programs and bureaucratic red tape are eliminated. With our government in SC, I am confident there are many instances of both.

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I've never heard of a 3rd party candidate doing well.

Actually since WWII, SC is one of the very few states where a 3rd party candidate has been elected for President over the Democratic or Republican challengers.

1948 electoral map

e1948_ecmap.GIF

It almost happened again in 1968 where the 3rd party candidate, George Wallace, got more votes than the Democratic challenger, Hubert Humphry. See this link for details.

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Its interesting to see how heavily Republican the northeast used to be and how heavily democratic the south and west used to be; how things change.

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The South voted Democratic until the 1960s because they blamed the Republican Party for the Civil War, or rather what happened in the South after the Civil War. Carpet baggers and scallywags exploited the war torn South with the backing of federal power led by the Republican party including a lengthy military occupation. White Southerners resented this for a long time. Southerners flocked to the Democratic party and benefited greatly by FDR's anti-poverty programs. The South was a desperate place in those days and FDR put a lot of food on people's tables. My grandfather in SC worked for a WPA program as did many people in South Carolina.

WWII greatly changed American with one of the biggest changes was the beginning of equal rights for Blacks. Millions of Blacks had migrated to the North and were becoming a big component of the Democratic party. This caused concern with Southern White Democrats and as you can see in the map above, several regions of the South started to break away from the party. It would still take another 3 decades for Republicans to realize the importance of the Southern voter.

It was LBJ that destroyed the historic Democratic party. The Vietnam war tore the country apart, and FDR's support of Civil Rights permanently ended the Democratic party's affiliation with White Southern voters. George Wallace successfully won several states in the South in the 1968 election (see above) and probably would have carried the entire South in 1972 except for the fact that an assassin shot him during that presidential campaign. This attempt on his life ended his political career and put him in the wheel chair. The South then joined the rest of the USA in voting for Nixon who ran on a platform of ending the Vietnam war. (Never mind that it would take him 5 years and tens of thousands of more lives to do it.)

The 1976 election saw a complete reversal of the 1968 election where the South went solidly towards the Democratic party. One was because Ford pardoned Nixon of his crimes, and 2 was because Jimmy Carter was the first Southerner to run for President since reconstruction. This would be the last time the South would solidly vote for the Democrats.

In 1980, Reagan won the nomination and his conservative branch of the party took control from the moderate branch that Nixon/Ford had controlled. This bunch of conservatives figured out how to appeal to Southern conservatives and the rest is history. GW Bush is a continuation of this style of Republicanism though it is more refined and better packaged these days. Elections in the South are still decided in rural areas because in the urban areas, the parties cancel themselves out. Democrats no longer win in the South because as party, they have not figured out how to appeal to more urban voters. It's a party of 17 states, stilled controlled by the NE liberal wing that pay's little heed to its members in the South.

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It's interesting to see how parties change over time. I wonder what the next political trend will be on a national level.

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There are huge shifts when there are vast upheavals in society's status quo either socially or economically, or when there is a defining moment that unites the country towards one goal to the point of making everything else irrelevant. It goes through cycles of one party winning a landslide which generally erodes away over the years until one of these events causes another landslide.

Some examples in the last century:

  • Stock Market Crash 1929 - Spells the end of USA's first luxury economy built on unsustainable borrowing, speculation, corporate excesses, etc. Resulting depression of the 30's spells the end of Republican domination of the government and begins the rise of the modern Democratic party.
  • Pearl Harbor 1941 - War keeps FDR government and his VP Truman in office until the 1950s. Without this event, it's not clear that FDR could have held his coalition together.
  • Soviets explode the atomic bomb 1949 - Republicans use the event to drum up hysteria about the "Communist Threat" and blame the FDR/Truman administrations for letting atomic secrets fall into Soviet hands. Except for the South, the rest of the nation votes Republican in 1952 The first time it has happened in 20 years. Republicans would enjoy a substantial lead throughout the rest of the 50s.
  • Civil Rights 1968 LBJ's policies and the Supreme Ct's decisions which end Jim Crow in the South, end the post reconstruction alliance between Democrats and the South.
  • Vietnam War October Surprise 1972 - Kissinger disingeniously announces that "Peace is in Hand" in Vietnam 2 weeks before election. Nixon wins the only landslide in US history where the candidate wins 49 states. Never mind that it was made up.
  • Arab Oil Embargo 1974 - Throws economy into tailspin. Places Jimmy Carter into the postion to win the South for the last time.
  • Iranian Hostage Crisis 1980 - Unites country behind Reagan who was perceived to have the acorns to start a war with Iran over it. Remember war mongering wins elections. Nevermind the hostages were released before Reagan really even takes office.
  • Economy 1992 - Recession during this period ends the 12 year Reagan/Bush lock on politics. Bush Sr. is perceived as a rich elitist with little idea of the problems of the common person. One of the most famous examples is his surprise there was such a thing as a UPC scanner grocery stores now. Democrats elect Clinton with a decisive majority that crosses all parts of the USA.

Though 9-11 was a defining event in the USA it's only lasting political effect is to give a lot of ammunition to maintaining the hysteria over terrorism which has allowed the worst president in the last 100 years to remain in office. Despite the general hysteria over terrorism however the nation is a pretty divided place. It remains to be seen what event will unite the USA again from a political perspective and hand either party a decisive landslide. My guess it is either going to be a natural event that will force people to deal with the spectre of global warming, or either China or Russia is going to flex its economic and possibly military might against the USA.

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While Bush has been pretty bad, saying he is the worst President in the last 100 years is quite the statement. I would definitely put FDR at #1, with Jimmy Carter at #2. Bush probably makes a strong push for #3.

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While Bush has been pretty bad, saying he is the worst President in the last 100 years is quite the statement. I would definitely put FDR at #1, with Jimmy Carter at #2. Bush probably makes a strong push for #3.

FDR saved the world from facism and economic ruin and Carter was probably the last honest president to hold that office. Both did their best to make lives better for the common person. To suggest they are on the level of Bush Jr, is amazing. Bush should be impeached for his offenses against this country and the world. The supreme court just this past week has found him guilty of a war crime.

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Some examples in the last century:
  • ...
  • Economy 1992 - Recession during this period ends the 12 year Reagan/Bush lock on politics. Bush Sr. is perceived as a rich elitist with little idea of the problems of the common person. One of the most famous examples is his surprise there was such a thing as a UPC scanner grocery stores now. Democrats elect Clinton with a decisive majority that crosses all parts of the USA.

I would add Clinton's bj scandal to the list of party-shaping events. The Monica Lewinski/Paula Jones/etc. scandals played an enormous part in rallying the religious right to the side of the republicans, setting the stage for many of today's major political battles. The Republicans shrewdly jumped on these events to attempt to demonstrate that theirs was the party of morality and family values, and unfortunately, America took the bait. Today the party continues to use devisive religious wedge issues to maintain power and mask the failures of the current administration.

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For both of the major parties, it is always about positioning and devising ways to get votes. Republicans definitely jumped on the Clinton fiasco and claimed that their party was more moral, while Democrats jump on every tax cut by Bush to claim that they are more compassionate when it comes to the poor. The reality is that both parties have many more similarities than differences. They might present their goals in a different fashion from time to time, but the outcome is usually the same. That should be what we all judge political parties on. Not what they say they will do, but what they actually do in practice.

Metro.m, I should not have addressed your comment about Bush being the worst President in the last 100 years to remain in office. Such a discussion is going to turn this thread into a political battle, and get us way off topic. So forget I ever said that (I still maintain my ranking of the 3 worst presidents over the last 100 years, though...and FDR is clearly #1 for baiting Japan into bombing us so we would have an excuse to enter WWII).

Edited by Greenville

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Indeed. This is SC politics, not national politics.

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State Senator Verne Smith of Greer announced today that he is retiring, citing health problems. Hopefully he will be replaced by someone else from the Greenville/Upstate area, especially since the balance of power in our state is already skewed toward the Lowcountry.

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Yeah I was sorry to hear that he has been ill. I don't think that power will shift at all until Glenn McConnell quits/retires/is voted out. We have some Upstate representatives in important places, but just not in the key power spots. That said, the Upstate is doing very well considering the power balance is shifter towards Charleston.

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What always impresses me is how JOhn Spratt has been able to mantain his house seat for so many years - being a democrat in a heavily republican district. Of course, Spratt is a conservative democrat, but was definitely the last local democrat my dad supported (in the 1980's).

Unfortunately of course, regarding the third party - it is unfortunate that it was Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat party that has been the only 3rd party to carry SC in recent memory. But I do recall Ross Perot doing very well in SC in '92 I believe.

Regarding powerful representatives - I know at least Spratt is an influential senior committe member. He's an example of a politician that despite being politically polar to some people's beliefs - it's more prudent to keep him in office. Certainly Spratt's influences has helped Rock Hill out for the past couple of decades...

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I've never really had an issue with Spratt. It tends to be the Charleston area representatives that irk me. Well, them and Sen. Leatherman from Florence. He has a tendancy to stick his nose where it doesnt belong.

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I tend to like Spratt myself. I've done some work out of his office around presidential election time twice in the past.

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I tend to like Spratt myself. I've done some work out of his office around presidential election time twice in the past.

I myself am a big supporter of moderate democrats, such as the past GA senator Sam Nunn or even moderate republicans such as John McCain. John Spratt has always appeared to be a respectable & thoughtful man - hope he manages to squeek out another win in what shouldn't be a tough race.

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This is enough to make me vote for Spratt--from the latest Spratt/Norman debate:

While immigration was the most personal issue, Spratt and Norman also differed sharply over global warming, a topic that has not been a major focus of the race.

"You've got a lot of pointy-headed bureaucrats who just want a grant," said Norman, who believes the threat is overstated. "It's not a priority when we've got security issues and financial issues."

Responded Spratt: "This country is big enough and smart enough to do more than one thing at the same time. The evidence is graphic; it's abundant all around us."

Norman doesn't have a clue, and when he loses this race, I'll make sure I'll vote against him when he runs to retain his seat in Columbia (if I'm still in the area).

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Norman is right about the threat being overstated. When I was a kid back in the 70s, the Ice Age was coming. In the 80s and early 90s, the Ozone Hole was going to do us in. Now it is Global Warming.

As Dogbert says, "Bah!"

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This is enough to make me vote for Spratt--from the latest Spratt/Norman debate:

Norman doesn't have a clue, and when he loses this race, I'll make sure I'll vote against him when he runs to retain his seat in Columbia (if I'm still in the area).

Norman has been burnt pretty badly when one of the Charlotte TV stations that he advertises on, found that he employed illegals on his job site, after he ran a political advert against Spratt accusing him of being soft on illegals. The only thing he could do when confronted by the reporter was to get in his SUV and have his handlers rush him out of there.

Anyone concerned about global warming including myself should be very concerned about a party that is in bed with big oil.

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Anyone concerned about global warming including myself should be very concerned about a party that is in bed with big oil.

Which party would that be? Oil and gas companies give millions every year to both parties, as a way of playing both sides, which is fairly typical. In recent years, the GOP has gotten more than the Democrats, but if the Dem's take control of Congress, their share of "Big Oil" contributions will skyrocket, just as it was before '94.

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