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Candidly Speaking, Vote in the Primary
2/24/2016 5:58:41 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 

In every election you can rest assured that two things will happen. Someone will lose and someone will win. The best candidate doesn’t always win and the worst candidate doesn’t always lose. To ensure that you vote for the candidate that is best suited for the job, study the candidates.

Familiarize yourself with the issues. Don’t throw your vote to the wind! You can do more harm than good by voting for a candidate that will not work in your best interest.

There are three types of candidates. First, there is the candidate who serves in the best interest of the people he/she represents. Second, there is the self-serving candidate who puts his/her interest above that of the people he/she represents. Third, there is the candidate who represents special interest groups.

One measure of a man’s integrity is not what he says but what he does. Although, I always expect the best from candidates vying for the highest office in the land, I can’t say that I am not disappointed when I receive less.

If I learned one thing from the Republican debates, it is that money talks. Last Saturday before the Republican Primary, Trump signs littered the landscape almost 5 to 1. Streets that lacked Trump’s signs the day before were suddenly cluttered with his signs. Rubio and Cruz came in second and third respectively in the Republican Primary as close contenders.

What ever happened to candidates’ qualifications and integrity? If I don’t live to see another war, I have lived through enough. And, if we don’t send the right candidate to the White House, we can expect war to top the national agenda. The Republican’s frontrunner in the South Carolina primary is Donald Trump. If I were to take a quiz today on the candidates’ platform, I would fail miserably.

There was a lot of squawking on the campaign trail but very little talking about the issues.

Although there have not been a whole lot of name calling and mudslinging among the Democratic candidates, Clinton and Sanders are courting minority votes on their background in Civil Rights. Both candidates are not leaving any stones unturned as they battle to win the Democratic Primary in South Carolina on Saturday. Then there is Willie Wilson.

Most folks don’t know a whole lot about candidate Willie Wilson who entered the race late and neither did I. So, I decided to do a little research on my own. Mr. Wilson is an African American who worked himself up the ladder from a $2 an hour custodian job at McDonald’s to the owner of several McDonald’s franchises, a television production company and a medical and food service supply company. While Mr. Wilson has done well in business, he lacks political experience.

It’s important that you vote in the Primary. Don’t stay at home; get out the vote!! Without leaning too far to the left or the right, let me tell you what happens when you fail to vote or when you think your vote doesn’t count.

Had Blacks not voted in the last Presidential Election, there would not have been a President Barak Obama, first Black President.

Section 4 of the 1964 Voting Rights Act is not without its challenges and another reason why Black voters cannot get comfortable. And, let’s not forget the Republican driven Voter ID Law.

There will always be stumbling blocks to limit the African American vote.

And, if you still don’t have a reason to vote, think about your children who are depending on your vote to keep them safe, to provide equal job opportunities, education and health care. Think about those persons who gave their lives so you can vote. Take a step backwards into history and take a look at Big John Chisolm and Esau Jenkins, two local African Americans who dedicated their lives to “getting out the Black vote”. Charleston County's Voter Registration Headquarters is named after the late "Big John" Chisolm for his work as a member of the Election Commission.

The deadline to vote Absentee is Friday, February 26 and in person voting is Saturday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Be sure to take your Voter ID or approved form of identification with you.

Every vote counts! Get the word out, VOTE!!


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