Time to Kill the Ivy

April 3, 2014

Inside Insight

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ariail time to kill the ivy

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO END LEGAL CORRUPTION

The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. Two years ago I stood with several activist leaders from both sides of the aisle to name the disease that plagues our state:  legal corruption.  We finally understood the obvious – concentration of power and secrecy always leads to corruption, and South Carolina is no exception to that rule.  We’ve allowed a system of government to flourish in which a handful of politicians runs the state with no accountability, and as a result citizens can no longer control their government.

We’ve drilled down to the eight reforms that have to come first, before any others. If you review those reforms – from taking control of judicial appointments away from the legislature to politicians disclosing their private sources of income – you’ll see that without these changes, no other changes are possible.

To believe we can lower taxes or cut spending without changing the system that allows powerful legislators to directly benefit from office is as naive as believing King George would’ve eventually allowed the colonies representation if the colonists had just been patient.

South Carolinians have played an active role in our nation’s freedom since its beginning. We’ve defended freedom all over the world, but we’ve failed to defend it here. South Carolinians must decide what our state will become. We can change course toward becoming the freest state in America, with the most opportunity to prosper for all citizens and the greatest protection of American Constitutional rights. South Carolina can be the state with the most choices for all services, from health care to education to energy, limited only by what we are able to envision and make happen both individually and together, in the freest market in America.

That’s all possible, but only with a fight.  The alternative is to accept that a handful of politicians will rule over a serving class of the nation’s poorest citizens.  Those “rulers” will decide what children are taught in school, what jobs they’ll be forced to take and which goods and services will they be allowed to purchase.  Our labor will belong more and more to not only those few state politicians but to those in Washington and even beyond to those governments from whom today’s politicians are borrowing for today’s waste and fraud.  And our “leaders” will keep on telling us how much better everything is – and will continue to be – because of them.

That grim second scenario can still be avoided.  We’re doing everything we can to make sure it is.  Politicians are fighting hard to keep their power, but a group of concerned citizen advocates is working harder to take it away from them.  The real story in South Carolina is less about the corruption that has kept our state poor and more about the remarkably diverse group of citizen activists that has come together to fight for real change.  The diverse group includes liberals and conservatives, Tea Party activists and civil rights leaders, environmentalists and taxpayer groups – all standing together with one voice demanding that our elected leaders give us back control of our government. We may disagree on the ultimate role of our government, but we all agree that it is must be controlled by citizens and not the other way around.

This is the kind of powerful movement that delivers real reform – the only kind of movement that has ever radically changed government and the kind of movement that birthed our nation.  We have that in South Carolina, and because of it we are finally fighting for the kind of systemic change that has never been pushed from the ground up.

We truly are at a tipping point in our history.  This is our state and our home, and if we want to save it then we’ll need the help of everyone to do it.  This window of change didn’t open on its own – we had to force it open through a lot of hard work.  It will shut eventually if we don’t push through it.  A movement like this one cannot be sustained without new resources of time, money and energy.

We at SCPC cannot do our work without you: we are your voice and we are only as loud as you want us to be.  We’ve been pretty effective so far – just imagine what we can do if everyone pitches in!