Some of you have seen in news reports that I have endorsed Jaime Harrison for the U.S. Senate seat in South Carolina against Lindsey Graham.
Reactions have varied from support (by far the most people) to threats to never buy Michelin tires. (I suppose this person did not know that I retired eight years ago, but seems to want to punish the outstanding working people at the company I love).
Most of you who know me realize that I hardly ever make political comments publicly, but with the broad communication of my endorsement, I feel like giving my community an explanation.
I supported Lindsey Graham until 2017. I saw him as a moderate Republican who could work across the aisle to get positive change made. But I started having real misgivings about him when he failed to mount any significant defense when Donald Trump attacked his best friend, the late Sen. John McCain.
I asked myself, “What is the character of a man who will not defend his best friend? If he won’t defend John McCain, why would I expect him to defend any of us in South Carolina?”
My conclusion was that he was more interested in currying favor than in honoring the memory of a true American hero whom he had described as his best friend. I was extremely disappointed.
Then, the willingness to work across the aisle seemed to vanish. I do not want to say that this was the exclusive fault of Republicans, but rather a reflection of both parties.
But Sen. Graham was a leader of this divisiveness. His criticism of the behavior of the president morphed into blind defense.
Finally, he supported tax change that disproportionately favored those who are financially well off while providing a comparatively small benefit to working people.
Recently, he has tried to block the PPP because he feels that it provides unemployment benefits that are too high for the working people who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis. Apparently, he feels that it is OK to share government dollars with those who don’t truly need the money, but deny any small windfall to working people who have lost their jobs. These two actions tell me who is important to him, and I do not agree with his direction.
Graham used to be criticized by more conservative people in the Republican Party for being a RINO (Republican in Name Only). They felt that his moderate stance on issues until 2017 was inappropriate. He is no longer that person, and that is why I decided two years ago to end my support. I wrote to him and let him know that I no longer recognized him as the man I once supported.
In 2019, I was excited when I learned that Jaime Harrison was going to run for the US Senate. I had known Jaime for years and had been impressed with his intelligence, his genuine warmth and concern for all people, and his moderate stance on the issues that confront us. I had seen him work effectively with people from both parties. I believe that we need people like Jaime who will get us to listen to each other and craft the best decisions for all of us and stop the bitter win/lose that is dividing us.
Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are all citizens of our great country. We are at our best when we respect each other, listen to each other, and work together to find solutions. Jaime can help us get there, and that is why I strongly endorse him.
Date Posted: Sunday, May 10th, 2020 , Total Page Views: 1953
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