I will admit that I voted today more out of obligation than anything else. The Democratic Party, which actually has a record of significant accomplishments, refused to run on what it got done. The Republicans offered nothing but opposition and investigations into phony scandal and ISIS and Ebola-inspired fear-mongering.
I get why many people plan to stay home today instead of making it to the polls.
But there is still a way to make a statement with your vote even when you are turned off, which many people seemed to be doing at my polling place, where the turnout was already high, according to the poll workers.
For S.C. Governor I voted for my daughter, Lyric Grace Bailey. She’s already on her elementary school’s student council, but I think she should stride for higher office.
For S.C. Lt. Governor, I voted for Bakari Sellers because he has been an impressive in the General Assembly.
For S.C. Secretary of State I voted for my son, Kyle Joshua Bailey because of his integrity, which is much needed in Columbia politics.
For S.C. Treasurer and Superintendent of Education, I voted for my wife, Tracy Swinton Bailey because she should lead the state’s educational efforts and would keep the books straight.
For one U.S. Senate seat, I voted for Sunny Fry’s son, typing in “Sunny Fry’s son” because I forgot his first name, because I promised Sunny Fry I would and believe her son has integrity, like mine.
For the other Senate seat, I voted for one of my daughter’s best friends, Addie Woodberry because I’d love to see a woman take a S.C. Senate seat one day, and Addie is well on her way to excellence.
For the Seventh Congressional District, I voted for Gloria Bromell-Tinubu because I think she would represent the district well and because I sooo want Tom Rice to lose. Let Rice go push for and file empty lawsuits against the president during his free time and let someone who cares about what’s going on in the district take over that seat.
For S.C. Agriculture Secretary, I voted for my mom, Elizabeth Bailey McDaniel, because she is one of the best leaders in South Carolina I know.
I forget the rest but know I voted to allow charities to hold raffles to raise funds.
Now that we’ve reached the day the Republican Party is expected to begin retaking the U.S. Senate, the point Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly raised recently becomes more pertinent.
With a GOP victory in this election cycle, which seems like a foregone conclusion, will that convince the party that it needs to increase its outreach to minority voters or that Republicans don’t need to change, despite the country’s changing demographics?
Enter the intrepid talk show host O’Reilly. He believes the GOP, or the “white power structure” of the party (whatever that means given that 90 percent of Republican voters are white) is afraid of black voters and doesn’t want to expend any effort for what he says would be a marginal number of new votes. Do you agree?
His assessment is short-sighted and superficial and potentially damaging to the party, long term.
I’ve repeatedly made the case that there is a significant minority of black voters willing to vote for the GOP if the party got serious about pursuing us. Rand Paul is doing that, but these Jim Crow-era like voting rules, and other such things, makes it hard for many black voters to believe the GOP seriously wants us.
For the record, I’ve voted for more Republicans than Democrats but have been turned off by the GOP over the past several years.
It would be unwise for the party to take a victory in the midterms as a sign the country now wants them to lead. It is not.
This type of flipping has been happening for decades during every second presidential term. It happened to George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and even the “great” Ronald Reagan. The country seems to get tired of a re-elected president. Maybe we should just allow one six-year term?
For the Republican Party, though, a happy midterm election cycle will lead to more political misery in 2016 if it takes O’Reilly’s advice and continues to ignore voters it will need to regain the White House. The GOP won’t be able to count on Democratic apathy for victory in two years.