After serving over 30 years of elected positions in our state, it is my fervent desire for South Carolina to continue her acts of collaboration and cooperation as displayed following the tragedy committed at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
Our challenge to fulfill this obligation rests in our ability to maintain the civility demonstrated throughout our state during the past several weeks. As major future challenges are considered such as roads, health care, the economy, social services and others.
It is imperative that our three state government branches, especially the legislative and executive, continue to work with a cooperative understanding even though adversarial positions are taken. An approach of disagreeing without being disagreeable must be The Order of The Day,realized when opposite positions respect one another.
It certainly is more obvious than ever before that we cannot depend on a horrific tragedy to serve as the catalyst for bringing our elected leaders to work together. In the final analysis the only voices available for citizens to utilize are those through our elected officials. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can best be won by free people through a free enterprise system, achieved when our legislators, governor and other leaders collaborate unselfishly, as was so vividly exemplified weeks following June 17th.
At the end of the day it comes down to our elected representatives working in a cooperative spirit bringing about the greatest good for the greatest number, also respecting one another regardless of their majority or minority passionate positions. Should we genuinely strive toward this goal, then the Emanuel 9 will not have died in vain and their families might capture a meaningful closure.
The Emanuel 9 and survivors have blessed our state with an amazing opportunity to place behind once and for all a prejudice which has plagued our citizens in so many ways. We cannot afford to resist and lose this very precious moment for healing and forgiveness.
The writer served as a South Carolina representative, senator and was the 85th Lt. Governor of the state from 1987 to 1995.