I guess I’ll go on and vote today. But I won’t enjoy it…

You know how I used to refuse to vote early — because of my love of Election Day and the communitarian experience of getting out there and standing in line with my neighbors, yadda-yadda?

Well, I broke with that in 2020, and it’s a good thing I did. I did it, as much as anything, because of COVID. I was concerned that things were going to be unmanageable on the actual day — huge turnout was expected, and I was picturing all those masked people trying to stay six feet from each other. Also, I was worried that I might get it myself (this was before the vaccines), and be too sick on the day of.

And I had never felt it more important to vote than in that election. I knew I alone couldn’t tip South Carolina to Joe, but I had to make the effort. Every single person who cared about saving our country had to make every effort possible.

And if I hadn’t gone early, I would have — for the first time in my life — missed my chance. My brother-in-law died suddenly at the end of October, and his funeral was on Election Day — in Memphis.

So this year, I’m going to do it again. But not because I see the outcome as vital. In fact, I’ve never in my life seen a general election in which I was so uninterested in voting — or in which my vote would matter so little.

Have you looked at a sample ballot? It’s pretty depressing.

First, we don’t have a candidate for governor for whom I could vote. I don’t want Henry to be governor, and I don’t want Joe Cunningham to be governor (have you looked at his issues page? I have.). And no, I’m not going to vote for the Libertarian. Because, you know, he’s a Libertarian — which is the one and only thing I know about him.

So the one challenge for me is whom to write in. Still pondering that.

Let’s stumble our way through the rest of the ballot

  • Secretary of State. I wouldn’t care about this even if I were excited — positively or negatively — about either of the candidates. This should not be an elective position. It’s not a position that sets policy. The secretary is a clerk.
  • State Treasurer. Same as secretary of state. A little more significant, but not much.
  • Attorney General. No choice is offered. Alan Wilson is unopposed.

You know what? This is ridiculous. Let’s skip to the ones I’m bothering to vote on:

  • State Superintendent of Education. This is about voting against someone — Ellen Weaver, who of course is almost certainly going to win, but it is my duty to stand up and say “nay.” She is not only completely unqualified to run the largest part of our state government, but she will go out of her way to harm our public schools. I’ll vote for Lisa Ellis, since Kathy Maness was done in by the extremists.
  • Commissioner of Agriculture. Yeah, it’s another position that should be appointed rather than elected, but I think Hugh Weathers does a good job, so I’ll vote for him. Of course, he would win whether I did or not. But it’s kind of nice to occasionally get a chance to vote for someone you like, and see him win. It doesn’t salvage the rest of this experience, though.
  • U.S. House District 2. As I’ve said before, I’m happy to vote for Judd Larkins. He won’t win, but I’m happy to say he should. Is he a perfect candidate? No. A candidate for congress should have a lot experience in public life, and Judd has none. But he’s a better candidate than the one who’s going to win.
  • The three referendums on my ballot. I will vote “yes” on all of them — not enthusiastically, but as long as I’m forced to engage in government by plebiscite, here are reasons to support the statewide proposals on reserve funds. And my rule is, if Lexington County actually, miraculously dares to try to raise a tax, I’m going to say yes, because it must really, truly be desperately needed…

That’s about it. If I had to pick one reason why I’m going to vote, it would be to stand up for Judd in the congressional race.

But there should be a lot of reasons for me to embrace. And there aren’t. Which is a very sorry situation. Our democracy is in serious trouble. We’ve discussed the reasons before, and we can get into them again at another time. I need to go on and vote. It’s my duty…

I was so happy to vote in 2020. Perhaps I will experience that again. But not today.

11 thoughts on “I guess I’ll go on and vote today. But I won’t enjoy it…

  1. Doug Ross

    I’m voting for Joe Cunningham because he’s for legal sports gambling (which should be a no brainer since the state already runs an even more rigged game of chance called the lottery) and because he’s for legal pot — the government should have no interest in what an individual puts into his/her body. Nevermind that a state like Colorado which is similar in population to SC brings in $200M in taxes from sports gaming and another $400M from pot. 600M of voluntary taxes would allow the state to eliminate the lottery that brings in $300M so they can get out of the gambling business. The other $300M could cut the general sales tax by 1% or raise the lowest income tax bracket to put more money in poor people’s pockets.

  2. bud

    I did the only rational thing. Pulled the straight Democratic Party ticket, ignored the ballot initiatives, and left.

  3. Rose

    Better take a look at the latest unhinged rant against public colleges by Loftis. He wants to shut them down. He even said he looks up information on the children of Republicans.

    Quote from The State column:
    ““You go to the Medical University of South Carolina’s website and you take this class where you go and you tell that you’re, you know, I’m sorry for being a white person, that white people have been bad and we deserve to be punished,” Loftis said.

    Loftis compares the “class” to “struggle sessions” in China under Mao Zedong in which “so many people never came out alive.”

    In these struggle sessions in China, people were publicly humiliated, accused of wrongdoing, beaten and tortured, according to sources on the history of China. Amazing that something like that is going on at MUSC and the cops aren’t looking into it.

    Loftis also admits to looking up information about the children of elected Republicans.

    “When I meet prominent South Carolinians, generally speaking they can be Republicans, especially if they’re in office, business people. I look up their kids. If their kids went to college, their kids are Democrats. We have elected officials in South Carolina, they’re Republicans, and every single one of their children are voting Democrat in both the primary and the general elections because they went to Carolina and to Clemson and to Wofford and to Furman.””

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I think Loftis has had a few screws loose for awhile. But he keeps getting elected, and you’ll notice that the Democrats didn’t even put up a candidate against him. If they had, and it was someone I had reason to trust, I’d have bothered to vote on that one.

      But I didn’t, because I didn’t see a viable option. And, as I said, this should not be an elective office to begin with.

      It’s not a position to which I am strongly wedded, however. I can easily see agreeing to the argument that one should step up and say “no,” whether it does any good or not. In fact, that would usually be my position, I suppose…

    2. Barry

      1 of Mitch McConnell’s daughters is a Democratic activist. Another is a prominent Democrat.

      in 2020, one of the most right wing House members from Virginia had his own son campaigning against him.

      It takes about 1 ounce of brain power to realize that children grow up to have their own thoughts, ideas, opinions.

      Paul Gosar, the nut job right winger in Arizona who posted the meme expressing desire to kill Biden and AOC has had his entire family disown him. I saw a video of him earlier this week. The man clearly has serious health problems, most likely fairly advanced Parkinson’s Disease. Yet, Fetterman is incapable of being a Senator to Republicans.

    3. Barry

      “I look up their kids. If their kids went to college, their kids are Democrats. We have elected officials in South Carolina, they’re Republicans, and every single one of their children are voting Democrat in both the primary and the general elections because they went to Carolina and to Clemson and to Wofford and to Furman.”

      Or – they watched their politician parent and didn’t like what they saw or agree with them and as an adult they developed different beliefs based on their experience growing up.

      Is his nutty position one where kids always grow up and adopt their opinions of their parents?

      what a nut job.

  4. Barry

    As I have stated, I won’t be voting. IN fact, this year no one in my immediate family that can vote (wife, 2 children of 3) will be voting.

    It’s totally irrelevant in South Carolina.

    Even my state senator- who is a right wing Democrat who is absolutely useless. The only time he ever visits our area is near election time. He’s based in another county and couldn’t possibly care less. His social media world is posting posts about getting some awards.

  5. Barry

    Regarding Secretary of State

    so called “Constitutional Conservatives” (the irony of that name is incredible) are silent on this and don’t have a problem with it.

    Nevada candidate Jim Marchant has said he will do “whatever it takes” to make sure Trump wins if he’s Secretary of State including refusing to certify an election if a Democrat wins.

    He’s one of the group of “America First” Secretary of State candidates running to oversee elections for Trump backed candidates. Most are on record saying they would not certify an election if a Democrat won the vote.

    Leading election denier is on the verge of leading Nevada’s election system
    A victory by Republican Jim Marchant would have major ramifications for the 2024 election.


    1. Barry

      Nevada is where the Nevada Republican Party censured the current Republican Secretary of State who stated that the Nevada election was fair and wasn’t fraudulent.

      The current Secretary of State there is term limited and can not run for re-election.

      Jim Marchant, the Trump aligned Republican Secretary of State candidate, who is against using voting machines to count ballots as well as all early voting, convinced one rural red county to experiment with hand counting ballots for this year’s November election.

      When early voting started last week in Nevada, the hand count experiment started and immediately ran into numerous problems. The Associated Press reported that “groups” counting the ballots in the county kept mismatching their vote tallies causing problems which eventually took them more than 3 hours to count approximately 50 ballots.

      This is the guy that Republicans want to run elections in Nevada. They are extremist nuts.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Did you mean to post about this Jim Marchant again, or did you do it because I hadn’t approved the previous attempt? If so, sorry about that…

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      “Jim Marchant?”

      Any relation to our own Eston Marchant?

      I think I’m related to Eston. Also to Bristow Marchant at the paper — and the others of his name.

      I have a number of Marchants on my tree, but haven’t quite made the connection to these. Maybe I should try again.

      As you see, with me it always comes down to family tree stuff…

Comments are closed.