By Robert Scott
Are you satisfied with the elected leaders we have today? Do you consider that the Congress we have now, the Statehouse leadership we have now, the county and city governments we have now, are doing the job we want them to do, in a manner we can and should be proud of?
If you are like most people in Edgefield County, you don’t have just one answer to all those questions. From our vantage point, we can see county and city governments who are working under a lot of constraints, with individuals serving whose views don’t always coincide with yours or mine on every issue, but who appear to be working hard and doing a creditable job. I will probably vote to keep them in, those running for re-election, and vote for the most qualified candidate for those positions (such as Probate Court Judge) when the incumbent is not running for re-election.
On the other hand, I am not satisfied with our state government. There has been massive mismanagement in the oversight of our electric utilities, and for that our state government is responsible. Our public schools K-12 are mired at or near the bottom of our 50 states, and our current state government does not seem to have the will or the know-how to fix that. Our public colleges and universities are great at football, but they have the lowest state support relative to tuition of any state in our region, and that is happening in good financial times. What can we expect in those areas when the pendulum swings back to austere times? Those currently in charge of our state government have shown us what they will do, and it is not working. It is past time to give others a chance to run the state government.
Our federal government is led by a President who is not running for re-election but acts as if he is, and our hyper-partisan Congress does his bidding even when that bidding is entirely based on whim and anger. The federal government over the past two years has been morally degraded to a huge degree. Our free press who report on that lack of morality, compassion, and self-respect are described as “fake news” – a characterization rejected not just by the national media but also by local news outlets including this very newspaper. It isn’t the reporting that is biased, intentionally misleading, and ethically challenged; it’s the government. Our Congressman Jeff Duncan ran five terms ago on the idea that those who serve in Congress year after year lose sight of what public service is all about. He supported term limits then, throwing out Congressmen who have served longer than two or three terms. We should take him at his word – or at least at the word he ran on the first time – and vote for his opponent Mary Geren, a new face with new energy and new ideas, to represent you and me in Congress.
We are not going in a good direction at the state or at the national level. Tuesday, November 6, is our opportunity to let our elected officials know that. Most of us in Edgefield County can agree on this, at least: we must change our course. The time is now. Vote for Change.