I have been getting emails from the South Carolina Democratic Party asking for my input via questionnaire, sending me the message that they want to change. We can do it!
Well, I know they are sincere, and yes the words sound right, but I am skeptical. Looking back on this last embarrassment of an election season, I would like to put forth a few ideas of my own.
First of all, we need to do something about the rotten primary system in this state. The rot gets worse every election season. The worms are in the voting system, and we can argue from here to tomorrow whether or not Alvin Greene really was nominated legitimately or not. Fact is, we repeatedly allow people to get nominated who do not at all represent the ideals of the democratic party.
I believe that the easiest way to avoid the process called raiding is to have closed primaries. Yes, democrats choose democratic nominees and republicans choose republican nominees. Is that really a bad thing? It is, after all a primary election, which purpose is to choose the best party affiliated nominees. No, it does not give a person the freedom to go into a voting booth and choose the candidate most likely to be a laughingstock of the opposing party, which I have actually heard people admit to doing. If you want the most honest primary possible, this is the way to do it.
Next most important move is going to be for the South Carolina Democratic Party to post, publish, advertise, disseminate, information regarding all democratic primary candidates. It would not have taken volumes of information on candidates Vic Rawl and Alvin Greene to change the results of that primary, that is, if the primary itself was not corrupted. If, as some say, the voters just gave it their best shot, which apparently was ABC order, we need to make their best shot a lot more informed.
Finally, after the primary is all said and done, the South Carolina Democratic Party needs to espouse democratic ideals. We need to stop putting forth candidates that are afraid to say that businesses and the wealthy need to pay a reasonable share of taxes, and to have the data that proves that massive tax cuts for businesses neither considerably increase the number of jobs nor the quality of employment opportunities. We need to be willing to prove that taxes do good stuff, that government jobs improve the standard of living of South Carolinians. That good schools and libraries are a better idea than more jails. That privatizing has cost the taxpayer more for less service. That businesses need to act with responsibility, and their primary responsibility is to be a member of the community, and not merely to their bottom line.
And our good candidates need to unite; they need to pool resources and get in front of the people of South Carolina, with a united message, and they need to support each other.
In this last shameful election, we had good people who ran because the primary system didn't work, and they were good democrats who were abandoned by the South Carolina Democratic Party. This is why we lost. Because we were unable to think our way around this problem. We could not come forward and support someone like, say, Tom Clements because he was running as a Green Party candidate. And we couldn't have, say, Vincent Sheheen, another good candidate, form an alliance with this other good candidate.
So here we are, with Nikki Haley and Jim Demint. Who are not afraid to do whatever it takes to convince voters that they are where the power lies.