Let's imagine for a moment that Ben Frasier, perennial South Carolina candidate who is now running for the US House seat vacated by Tim Scott, is not a Republican plant. Suppose that he really is a hard-working man, born and raised here, who really just wants to make his family proud by serving his government.
If that were true, he would still be in way over his head.
Frasier tends to throw out short, simple bits of his political philosophy, sometimes contradicting himself in a single statement. Like his Republican counterparts, his mantra is smaller government, less regulations, and "lower taxes for everything." His lower taxes stance is immediately followed by an absolute "no" to any defense cuts and a pronouncement that his "small social security check is not enough."
In a question-and-answer session on James Island last night with his primary opponent, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, Frasier at times appeared to be at a loss for an answer to complex questions, more than once taking his turn to respond by basically saying, "What she just said."
He does have some unusual and concerning points of view:
To the question of how to increase jobs for the poor in South Carolina, he replied "keep looking." He indicated that the path to reducing home foreclosures was by taking more jobs, and that may mean "maybe two to three jobs to survive." He added that "illegals underbid (jobs) in business."
On the subject of defense spending, Frasier said at one point that we need to "quit turning our backs on our friends abroad, because soon we'll have none." Later in the evening, he reasserted his opposition to military cuts because the enemy "could be the person sitting next to you."
Which, although a strange idea, at least concurred with his opinion on gun control (I think). Frasier is 100% right-wing on the issue of gun control. He believes "you should be able to buy any weapon and use your common sense."
While Ben Frasier's comments during the course of the evening were often confusing, contradictory and lacked substance, his roots are in the Lowcountry (although most of his time is spent in Maryland). He is pleasant and sounds sincere.
But the fact is, the issues out there today are far too important, and complicated, to entrust to someone whose heart is in the right place. His logic is very often flawed, his positions inexplicable.
In contrast to Frasier, Colbert-Busch has a depth of knowledge and understanding of the issues. She is also a Lowcountry native, and has worked her way up to a career that combines educational research with business partnerships in the field of renewable energy. This, she says, is where lies the future of jobs in South Carolina.
She is well aware of the need for better quality education for all, and points to the importance not only of improving education for Pre-K through Grade 5, but of not abandoning our children through their middle and high school years.
So in this Democratic primary on March 19, it is critical that we get out the vote, vote smart, and all those neat buzzwords. We have the opportunity to vote for a candidate who can truly move South Carolina, and the country, forward.
And the choice we need to make on March 19, and then on May 7, is really not complicated at all.