On the South Carolina Primary

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I lived in South Carolina for two years. The Democratic party there is small but important. It was nearly non-existent in the city I lived in, but going to other places really surprised me with the amount of Democrats. Some were Yellow Dog Democrats, tried and true, and some were wildly progressive. South Carolina is a very religious, very conservative place, along with me very racist and quite misogynist. I drove daily on a road named for a Civil War general, and drove past Confederate memorials on that same road. It wore at me. I don’t miss the experience.

Hillary Clinton winning here is not much of a surprise. Democrats there are “conservative” in that they are not always progressive nor are they crazy liberal. So Clinton as a pragmatic Democrat was going to be popular in South Carolina. Most all Democrats would be considered Moderate or even right-wing outside of this weird fishbowl called America, and Clinton would be well at home among the blue Tories in the UK or even the Républicans in France. She is without a doubt the status quo. I wouldn’t call Bernie Sanders the equivalent to Jeremy Corbyn or Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, though. The United States has always been a fairly conservative place, even during the age of FDR, our most “liberal” president.

Clinton may well be on her way to becoming the Democratic nominee for the 2016 election. What this will mean for the Senate and House elections, that is a question. I have voted in advance of Super Tuesday, so I get to sit by the side and just watch.

The South may be Republican for the foreseeable future, but what might happen when we have whittled down our nominations to two? – SDM

Photo by Leslie Andrachuk

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On Nevada and South Carolina

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I am not sure what I was expecting, honestly. Clinton, though she won and has a load of super delegates (people who are worth more than other delegates I suppose), she still isn’t smashing her direct competition into the ground. I am still undecided, though I did vote in advance. I feel that unless Clinton takes over half of the states on Super Tuesday, she will still have to fight.

Nevada is one of those ‘diverse’ states the news has been talking about; Clinton is supposed to be strong with minorities. Once more, the voting bloc of which I am a part is being told twice over that we must vote for Clinton: as a woman, I’m told I’m ‘going to hell’if I don’t support her, and as a black person I am told that she will be ‘best’ for us. I am tired of being told what to do, as a woman and a person of colour. It feels as if I am being treated as a toddler, and it is a bit patronising.

And in South Carolina, Donald Trump takes the lead over Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio by a full ten points. Having lived in South Carolina for two years, I am actually not surprised by this turn of events. South Carolina is a Conservative, fairly xenophobic state (with one exception, James Clyburn) and Trump is talking directly to those people who would rather have stayed pre-Civil Rights Act. But I am heartened by the fact that there is a strong progressive presence. It will take a very long time to destroy the shackles of Jim Crow, antebellum thinking, but perhaps we can get there.

I say this from Georgia, where I currently live. We have similar issues of xenophobia, of strong religious thinking, but where South Carolina has one Black Congressperson, Georgia has four, and our state has large centres of Democratic voting blocs: Atlanta, the capital; Augusta (Richmond County), the second largest city; Athens-Clarke County, the home of the University of Georgia; Macon, a largely Black city and, newly, Savannah. All of these places have enormous populations, but just not enough people vote to make a switch.

People are still guffawing, still disbelieving that a person like Trump could go on and win the nomination. The win in South Carolina is the first one that worries me, because it is the first indication of how the South may go for the Republicans.

The game continues on apace. – SDM

Photo by skeeze