by Bob Gatty.
Nearly 150 enthusiastic and determined Democrats packed the 6th Annual SHORE Dinner Saturday evening, Sept. 23, rallied by county and state party leaders and the only announced candidate for President, U.S. Rep. John K. Delaney (D-MD), to do the work necessary to help local, county and state Democratic candidates win election and “turn Horry County blue.”
John K. Delaney, Bennie Swans, Trav Robertson, and Barbara Hake.
“We’re fired up here,” declared Horry County Democratic Chair Bennie Swans. “We’ve got to tell our story over and over again.”
South Carolina Democratic Chair Trav Robertson predicted Horry County Democrats would surprise in upcoming elections. While Republicans have dominated in recent elections, only 43.5 percent of the vote is needed for the party to win statewide.
Introducing Delaney, Swans noted that he had flown to South Carolina Saturday following the funeral of his brother-in-law and best friend, who was killed in an accident last week. “He could have blown us off,” said Swans. “But this wonderful man didn’t blow us off. He’s here for you and for me.”
In his remarks, Delaney said President Donald Trump is a “punctuation of everything that’s bad and the hyper partisan politics that are tearing us apart.”
“Our party needs to lead on bringing our country together,” declared Delaney. “The person in the White House has given us an opportunity. We must bring our country together on the things on which we can agree. If we don’t do this, the U.S. will be a country of birthright, not opportunity.”
Delaney added, “At the end of the day, most Americans care about their jobs, their pay and opportunities for their kids. We need a president who cares about these issues, and I think I’m the person to do that.”
The congressman cautioned that technology will “disrupt the lives of so many of our citizens, and we’re not doing anything about it. What’s at risk,” he said, “is the American dream. We need a president who recognizes people left behind and invests in these people.”
An investment of $1 trillion in U.S. communities, including infrastructure, is needed, said Delaney, declaring, “We need to get capital flowing. The next president needs to think about the future.”
Delaney called for a “social contract” that includes a focus on education, providing free pre-school and community college for all Americans. Health care coverage should not be linked to employment, but provided to every American, he said, adding, “I believe that is a basic right.” Retirement benefits, Delaney said, should be portable and follow individuals as they change jobs.
“We are the wealthiest country in the world, surely we can afford health care,” he said, noting that Democrats are working to defeat legislation sponsored by Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and others “that would take health care away from 20 million people.”
But to accomplish these things, Delaney stressed, “we have to return respect to the privilege of public service and return civility to public discourse.”
President Trump, said Delaney, was elected because many Democrats did not vote and because many Democrats and independents believed “he cared about what they cared about.” The Democratic party can win by bringing people together, he asserted.
“We have to restore people’s faith in their government and if we do that, they will have faith in themselves,” Delaney said. “And as we all know, faith is all we have.”
Before Delaney spoke, Horry County’s Democratic candidates were introduced by Barbara Hake, First Vice Chair, Horry County Democratic Party and SHORE Dinner Chair. Dr. Bruce Fisher and Mal Hyman are both vying for the nomination for South Carolina’s 7th Congressional district.
“We rise up,” Hake declared. “We rise up.”
Bob Gatty, a Carolina Forest resident, is Communications Coordinator for the Horry County Democratic Party. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.