Democrats always present themselves as champions of the poor, the disadvantaged, minorities, the little guy. But they sure don’t like it when a poor, disadvantaged African-American guy with no political connections wins a Democratic election. This piece about Alvin Greene, who won the Democratic primary for the Senate race, just oozes condescension and classism:
Alvin M. Greene never gave a speech during his campaign to become this state’s Democratic nominee for Senate. He didn’t start a Web site or hire consultants or plant lawn signs. There’s only $114 in his campaign bank account, he says, and the only check he ever wrote from it was to cover his filing fee.
Indeed, in a three-hour interview, the unemployed military veteran could not name a single specific thing he’d done to campaign. Yet more than 100,000 South Carolinians voted for him on Tuesday, handing him nearly 60 percent of the vote and a resounding victory over Vic Rawl, a former judge who has served four terms in the state legislature.
“I’m the Democratic Party nominee,” Greene says in the interview at his father’s home on a lonely stretch of rural highway in central South Carolina. “The people have spoken. The people of South Carolina have spoken. The people of South Carolina have spoken. We have to be pro-South Carolina. The people of South Carolina have spoken. We have to be pro-South Carolina.”
Things have gotten even stranger since Greene’s win. First, the Associated Press reported that he faces felony obscenity charges for allegedly showing pornography to a University of South Carolina student last November. Greene says he’s not guilty. Then the state’s Democratic Party chairman called on him to withdraw from the general election. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) — who has questioned whether Republicans may have planted Greene in the race — is calling for federal and state investigations. A spokesman for Republican Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) called that notion “ridiculous,” and Greene dismisses suggestions that he is anyone’s pawn.
First, the South Carolina Republican primary was all taken up with the big, heated governor’s race with tea-party favorite Nikki Haley. Republicans were all trying to either defeat her or get her elected. They wouldn’t vote Democratic out of spite. Second, however this guy got into the race and paid his filing fee, enough people had to vote for him. Why shouldn’t he get that relatively low number of votes in a mostly Republican state?
Which raises a bigger issue. In this day of bipartisan revulsion against incumbents and professional politicians, why shouldn’t an average American without political experience serve as a representative of the people? In the ancient Athenian democracy, certain offices were filled by casting lots so as to ensure that an ordinary Athenian–not some aristocrat or demagogue–would hold the office. If we are going to have a democratic republic, why shouldn’t the Mr. Greenes of the world run for office and why shouldn’t the other Mr. Greenes of the world vote for him? Or is that kind of democracy not a good idea?
I agree that this particular citizen doesn’t strike me as making a good Senator, but do you think a person really needs to be a lawyer or rich guy to serve in elected office? Some, of course, such as mayor or governor or president require administrative ability, but senators and congressmen don’t have to run anything, just represent their constituents. Or is it good to have more creative lawmakers?