Our neighborhood and district are staunchly Republican. So much so that there often isn’t a Democrat opponent in the general election. Therefore, if we are to have any say in who represents us, we have to hold our noses and vote in the Republican primaries. This has had some interesting side effects. We get multiple phone calls and mailings from organizations that think we’re Republican.
In most years we try to vote for someone more moderate than the extreme right-wingers that usually run. This year, however, we have a real dilemma. This is manifesting itself in three distinct races as follows:
Bob Jones University tends to dominate our politics. Our current county councilman is Bob Taylor, a dean at the school. Our state representative is Gloria Haskins, who has also had a long association with BJU. Now it seems these two are at odds. Bob’s daughter, Wendy Nanney, is now running against Gloria Haskins. In retaliation, Gloria’s son, Bryan, is running against Bob Taylor. The Greenville News has described this as a “GOP Family Feud.”
That’s two races – the third is for our state senator. Senator Mike (un)Fair is an idiot, pure and simple. Fair has never been a friend of public education, and has pushed for vouchers at every turn. He has decried the teaching of “New Age Values,” and just last week introduced legislation that would require the teaching of Creationism along with evolution in science classes. Some years ago he attempted to ban Powder Puff football games because it promoted cross-dressing. That is, until someone found one of HIS old yearbooks with Fair dressed up as a female cheerleader for a Powder Puff game. As much as it makes me nauseous to do so, I’m voting for him this time around.
Many outside of Greenville may not know this, but there is another college in Greenville even more conservative and fundamentalist than BJU. Enter one Patrick Haddon, with a degree in theology from Tabernacle Baptist College on the west side of town. This guy makes Mike Fair look like a moderate, calling for the “self-deportation” of illegal aliens.
Our good friend Glen Halva-Neubauer is a professor of political science at Furman, and very much involved in local politics, and he explained it to us this way… Apparently Haskins and Fair fell out of favor with the BJU crowd because they came out in support of McCain before he had clenched the nomination. The president of BJU, Stephen Jones, threw his support to Mitt Romney, despite the fact that he’s Mormon. Others were more in favor of Huckabee. So, Haskins and Fair are now being accused of “supporting liberals.” A flyer we received from the Nanney campaign provided ample evidence for this. In addition to the McCain support, the flyer accuses Haskins of supporting “liberal activist judges” – a phrase to strike fear the heart of any loyal Greenville Republican.
And here I thought the Democrat primary was running too long and getting a bit heated. At least this GOP fiasco will be over, for better or worse, on June 10. I hate having to vote for the lessor evil, and would normally just abstain. However, this time the stakes are just too high.
[tags]politics, South Carolina, Greenville, Republican, primary[/tags]