About a year and a half ago, I was asked on The Morning Show, which of the following would be the first to be legalized in South Carolina: gambling, recreational marijuana or same-sex marriage. Now, all 3 have staunch opposition in the state because they’re all viewed to be immoral or sinful, but I took a stab at it.
I said gambling would probably be first to be legalized since so many states already allow it…we already have a lottery (which is gambling)…we like bingo (which is gambling)….we allow raffles (which is gambling)….and who doesn’t put a few bucks on golf, football or the NCAA office pool.
Then I thought marijuana would be next. Polls show nationwide that recreational use is accepted by more than 50% of the population….it’s natural…and most of the people who are usually against such changes grew up in the 60s and 70s and probably smoked themselves, or knew dozens of people who did.
Then I thought the last thing of the 3 choices ever to be allowed in South Carolina would be same-sex marriage. Why? Because, South Carolina, that’s why. But even then, I knew that SC would allow it only under protest, kicking and screaming all the way.
Granted, when I made these predictions, I thought if any would become a reality, it would be in some distant future reality and I’d probably be long gone anyway. Also, I neglected to take into account a little thing called the Constitution. I was thinking purely along the lines of what the residents of the state would allow. So, now the Circuit Court of Appeals that controls SC has ruled that the state law that makes same-sex marriage against the law is unconstitutional...essentially making such unions legal in SC. Cue the kicking and screaming. The Attorney General and the Governor have both said that they don’t care what the ruling is, they will continue to fight until someone else tells them the same thing…which they’ll continue to fight some more. It kind of reminds me of an episode of Gilligan’s Island. A Japanese submarine wandered into the lagoon and the sailor inside started kidnapping the castaways, one by one, because even though it was the late 60s, he still thought WW2 was still going on. He never got word that it was over.
The war against same-sex marriage is essentially over, but some people still want to fight the fight against it. Is it for political reasons? Pretty much. They want to show their constituents that they fought against same-sex marriage to the bitter end and will only give up the fight when they’re forced to. Kinda like George Wallace on the college steps fighting segregation. The bottom line of all this is that it IS a constitutional question. So for everyone who likes to call me about rights being trampled and that the current president doesn’t respect the Constitution, keep in mind that the document is supposed to cover all Americans…not just the ones you agree with.
Oh, and in case you missed that episode, Gilligan rescued everyone and the Japanese sailor left the island, leaving the castaways stranded. Sorry for the spoiler…..
South Carolina is one of the reddest of the red states. It’s conservative Republican through and through. The general election is coming up shortly, Tuesday, November 4th. Most of the state-wide offices have at least 2 people running for them, Democrat and Republican. At least I think they do…you wouldn’t be able to tell unless you’ve searched for the candidates.
Coming from someone who votes Democrat more often than not, I don’t know why Democrats even try in South Carolina. Looking around at the political landscape it’s hard to find any real evidence that Democrats are actually running. Their names will be on the ballots, but I haven’t seen signs, heard ads or gotten any fliers from any of them. Is it that much of a lost cause? Just 2 years ago, in the 7th District congressional race, the Republican Tom Rice didn’t have an easy time beating Democrat Gloria Bromell Tinubu. This year it’s a re-match between the 2, yet I haven’t seen any mention anywhere that Ms Tinubu is even running, let alone trying to win.
Four years ago, Nikki Haley had a very narrow victory over Democrat Vincent Sheheen. They also have a re-match this year. Now, Sheheen IS spending money and running ads, but it’s all negative and doesn’t seem to be working. But he’s the only person spending money to get their message out.
The US Senate, Superintendant of Education, Lt. Governor…those are all races that are in play from both major parties, yet not a peep from the Democrats.
Granted, as a red-red state, it’s almost impossible to think that any of those races will go to a Democrat, but if you’re going to throw in the towel this early, why even waste your money on the filing fee?
If you get a chance to listen to the Hot Talk Morning Show with me and Liz, you know we do segments on technology quite a bit. There’s always new things to keep up with from computers, to websites, to apps, to phones, to drones….plus studies on how some of these new technologies are affecting the human race. I try to keep up with all the literature and articles about technology so I can pass along the latest. The problem is, I am so far behind the tech curve, that I don’t know if I’ll ever get out.
Did you ever have friends who were fans of some TV show that had a running storyline or narrative, like a soap opera or 24 or the X-Files? Your friends would tell you how great the show was and how you’re missing out. You thought about starting to watch the show, but when you did, you realize that you don’t know any of the characters, storylines, relationships or why this person is doing something to that person. So what happened? You stopped watching, because trying to get up to speed in the middle of a series, a movie or any kind of fad or movement is hard to do. That’s how I feel with technology.
I know the names, the words, the principal players and what the tech is supposed to do….I just don’t know how to do it. And the more advance it gets, the further behind I get. Let’s start with phones. I have a flip phone (actually a slide) so it’s not a smart phone, but I’m thrilled that this latest phone has a full keyboard, as opposed to trying hunt and peck each text on a non-qwerty keypad. It also has a camera!!! Last one, not so much. My wife has a smart phone and tells me all the time that I should get one. That’s when I turn into my parents. I come up with all the excuses of why I don’t need one…but the real reason is that I’d be lost until someone sat down…for hours….to explain how everything works. I don’t have hours. And I keep falling further behind. The same story goes for I-pads and mp3 players. You name it, I don’t have it. I’d like to, but I always have a handy excuse for not getting something.
I remember everytime I’d go back home to visit with my parents, almost without fail, they’d ask me to go out to their huge gas-guzzling American car and help them program the buttons on their radio. They figured I was in radio, so I should know how, plus it was one of those technologies that they never kept up with, and thus kept falling further and further behind. That’s me now. But one of these days I’ll overcome the fear of looking like the feeble old man and take the plunge on some of the tech I’m missing out on. Hopefully there’s be some random middle-schooler in the neighborhood I can hire to be my IT guy.
I caught a couple seconds of the Rush Limbaugh program the other day. He was telling listeners how every story or issue is political and was encouraging his listeners to look at every issue through that spectrum. I think that’s the root of a lot of our problems in America today. No, not listening to Limbaugh although the case could be made…but trying to make something out of nothing. Trying to pick a fight with ‘the other side’ just for the sake of being contrary.
The latest examples both come from the world of the NFL: Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. You know the back-stories. The issues at hand are domestic violence and child abuse. You would think that both issues would be cut-and-dried enough that most reasonable people would be aghast at what both men did and would hope that each would receive reasonable punishment either from the league, the criminal justice system or both. But no…that’s not how it works in everything-is-political world. Instead, I hear people say it must have been the woman’s fault for provoking Rice. I read stories about how ‘my parents whipped me like Peterson when I was a kid and I turned out okay’. Just because something happened in the past, doesn’t make it right. Just because you got whipped by a spoon, ruler, belt, switch or hand, doesn’t mean that we can’t advance and find a different way to discipline our kids today. There were lots of things around in generations past that we thought were fine, but later found out, not so much…like asbestos, lead paint, smoking and drinking during pregnancy, blood-letting.
But people still try to play the political card. I heard a Fox News analyst talking about Ray Rice, saying “…the anti-testicular police are coming out and taking this guy’s (testes) and ripping them off…”. Really? I guess since we’re against Ray Rice knocking women out, we’re diminishing his manhood? Oh, and did I mention that analyst was a woman? Then on Fox and Friends, 2 of the hosts discussing Rice’s elevator incident said the message is, “take the stairs”. The other replied, “when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera.” Really? That’ll stop domestic violence in its tracks.
People have argued that the liberals are using these incidents to push their message. If the message is ‘don’t hit women’ and ‘don’t beat your children bloody” then I’ll accept that. If this is a political argument as you say, they you must have a contrary position on hitting women and beating children. Is that the position you want, just for the sake of argument?
In our history, beating one’s wife or girlfriend was ignored, if not expected. Beating your child to keep them in line was the norm. Our nation was built on people learning from the past…taking the good things and making sure they live on, while weeding out the bad, making sure they wither and die. This is just part of the on-going weeding out process…no politics necessary, just common sense.
I saw an article the other day where Clemson University researchers are asking for the help of families in the Upstate to count how many fireflies they see on a nightly basis so they can determine whether or not their numbers are dwindling. They are. Reading that article made me realize that I hadn't seen a firefly (I used to call them lightning bugs) in at least a couple of decades. I don't know if it's because of the region I live in or because they ARE dying out. Either way, it's sad. The thought of catching lightning bugs with my bare hands and watching them glow inside my hands cupped together or just letting them crawl on my arms until they decided to fly away brings back such fond memories of a much simpler time. The act of trying to track a bug that's only visible for a half-second before they go stealth for a few more seconds. Telling my mom and dad, "there's one...there's another one...." all night long. The fact they they might be going away disturbs me...not only because it kills a cherished memory, but because too much of our youth has disappeared over the decades...and not just because I'm getting wrinkles and losing hair.
A woman in North Augusta was arrested last week because she left her 9 year old girl at a nearby park for the day while she went to work at her fast-food job. She faces a maximum of 10 years for child neglect. 2 things....here we have a woman trying to make an honest living by working a minimum wage job, rather than sitting at home collecting a government check, and she faces a felony charge for her desires to advance herself. But (more germane to this discussion) when I was 9, I was staying out until well after dark with my friends, riding across town on my bike, going to and from school by myself. My parents would have been locked up for years for things they allowed me to do then. But then again, if you google the words "9 year old" and "playground" the first artlce you come to is about the boy in Michigan who was stabbed by the 12-year old. Not something I worried about growing up in Wood River, Illinois. I read another article that asked if the reason so many parents are getting in trouble these days is simply because they're doing the things are parents did when we were kids, but didn't have to worry about DSS looking over their shoulder for child neglect charges.
Was it better living in a simpler time when were were able to fend for ourselves...or is it better than we have stronger laws looking out for kids these days? Stronger laws are nice, but they were only made necessary because our society isn't as safe it used to be. It's ironic...crime stats show that violent crimes have declined steadily since the late 1800s...but for some reason our neighborhoods seem much less safe than they were even a few years ago. We're living longer than ever before, but in this world, do you want to?
I've been a part of this morning show in one way or another since 1997. My role has changed from time to time, but one thing that's remained consistant is my views on issues. Of course, views change and evolve as more information comes in...and you CAN change your mind on something without being a flip-flopper. Strom Thurmond used to be a rapid segragationalist before he changed his mind. Of course, he had a child with a black woman at the time...talk about separate but equal. President Obama told everyone for years that he was for 'traditional' marriage and against same-sex marriage. A few years later, when the polls said it was okay, he's now firmly behind it.
I've always been very socially liberal and not ashamed of it. Through the years, listeners would call in and chide me by saying, '...just wait, as you grow older, you'll come around." Well, I've lived way more than half of my life and I haven't come around yet. I'm still waiting. I still believe in the same things I did as a 20 or 30 year old. As a matter of fact, I think I'm even more staunch in my beliefs. When you work at a station all day that leans so heavily in the opposite direction that I lean, you can't help but push back...it's human nature. I don't mind listening to logical arguements about anything, but I don't hear logic. All I normally hear is fear-mongering. Fear is a great motivator. It keeps people in line. It gets people to think like you. It gets people to hate the other side becaue they're trying to destroy your way of life. Or so you're told. Fear also keeps you from hearing the arguement from the other side. I'm afraid. I'm afraid that the divide between the right and left is continuing to get larger and larger and more divisive every day...with every issue. I'm afraid that politicians will continue to fight for whatever will keep them in office, rather than what's good for the country as a whole. I'm afraid that the US won't be a better place for our grand-children, but not because of political actions, but rather because of polticial IN-action. Nothing gets done. Neither side budges.
Polls say less than 10 percent of us think that Congress if doing a good job. Yet a large portion of the country says they want the government to stay out of their lives and not govern so much. If you're one of those, you must be thrilled with the job they've been doing lately.