Culture wars are front and center again in S.C. politics – Statehouse Report

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By Andy Brack | Climb in, ladies and gentlemen, to the Culture Wars 2022, aka the nationwide election, coming up on November 9th, just over six weeks away.

Instead of popcorn, fried Oreos, and cotton candy, you’re served a healthy dose of unhealthy hot buttons on topics like abortion, gender identity, inflation, spending, guns, and a whole host of topics designed to scare you either way vote.

You’re sure to get your corn donkeys, corn dogs, and elephant ears as Democrats and Republicans use political pressure to dumb down decisions in what should be a process to be taken far more seriously.

If anything, perhaps due to the political polarization sweeping the United States this year, this season’s elections seem sillier and less serious than they have been in a long time – which is scary considering how many people are trying to sow the seeds, that elections don’t matter (they do) and are unfair (they don’t, aside from the poisonous role of big money and gerrymandering.)

Just look at the governor’s race as incumbent GOP Governor Henry McMaster is itching to fuel the culture war. It is almost certain that his fall campaign plan instructed aid workers to look for ways to divide people across gender in order to gain evangelical and right-wing support. (In boring elections, unmotivated people tend to vote less—unless you give them reasons to vote.)

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So this week it was not surprising when McMaster fired a letter to the Charleston County School District, which complained that schools should not teach gender identity without parental consent. While the school district took a quick mea culpa, it’s pretty sad that McMaster’s priorities are heating up his base over something like this, rather than getting serious about the ongoing poverty or why too many students in South Carolina are majoring in algebra, history, and fail English.

On the Democrat side, it’s not surprising that Dr. Annie Andrews is trying to scare the hell out of Lowcountry voters Display showing your opponent, GOP Rep. Nancy Mace, holds a black machine gun. It’s an image from an ad Mace ran earlier this spring to make her look strong in a grueling Republican primary.

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For her part, Mace continues a handy promotional blitz to make herself appear like someone she isn’t. in one new ad Mace tries to nationalize the First Circuit race by jumping on the ills of inflation, and talks about the cost of breakfast, milk, and eggs. She tries to appear like everyone else, which has recently become interesting crashed $3.9 million with her future husband in a house on the Isle of Palms. Do you have any spare change?

Across South Carolina, your airwaves, inboxes, and e-mail inboxes will be stuffed with a lot of political junk in the coming weeks. It may have some repercussions, but there’s a strong possibility that something bigger is going on that will, um, become Trump shenanigans. This year’s seemingly boring election may actually serve as a turning point. Across the country there are huge swathes of adults who are angered by politics and who we think will go to the polls to make their voices heard.

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For MAGA Republicans, who support former President Donald Trump, the election will be a referendum on President Joe Biden and the Democrat-controlled Congress. At this point, it looks like the Senate will remain Democratic, largely due to poor GOP nominees in several Senate seats, but the US House of Representatives may turn to the GOP.

For more moderate “country club” Republicans embarrassed by Trump’s continued ability to suck the air out of the political universe with mad schemes, the election could be a way to bring some sanity to the process.

And Democrats are likely to benefit from millions of women who support abortion rights, which the Republican majority on the US Supreme Court overturned in June.

Use your clicker to knock out the nonsense. Use your brain to choose the best candidates for leadership of the state and country.

Andy Brack is editor and editor of the Statehouse Report and the Charleston City Paper. Do you have a comment? Send to: [email protected].

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