By Bob Gatty
Democrats from across Horry County and beyond jammed the Bay Watch Resort and Conference Center ballroom Saturday night, Sept. 28, to help raise money for the upcoming 2020 election campaign, an election that HCDP Chair Don Kohn has described as “the most consequential in the history of our country.”
Rallied by Kohn, State Party Chair Trav Robertson and Vice Chair Barbara Hake, the crowd cheered as the two Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senatorial nomination lambasted incumbent U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham whom they hope to replace.
‘Imagine a Future…’
Kohn forcefully urged voters to fight for a brighter future for America and “Take a Stand for Democracy,” which was the theme for the event.
“I want you to imagine a future that is far better than the nightmare we have witnessed since January 2017,” said Kohn as he welcomed attendees to the dinner. “It’s November 4, 2020, the day after the general election and Democrats have won big up and down the ticket.
“The President along with the newly elected Democratic majority in the Senate and the continued Democratic House majority start to communicate details about their plans to bring the United States back to a place of dignity and envy. Yes, we win in South Carolina, too.”
Those plans, he said, would include:
- Restoration of science and fact in the battle against climate change.
- Restoration and expansion of the voting Rights Act, with African Americans treated fairly at the polls.
- Equal rights legislation is proposed, affording all people equal treatment. Diversity reigns!
- Legislators determine the outline for an immigration plan and immediately reunite children at the border with their parents.
- Legislation is prepared in support of Roe v. Wade for the right of women to control their own bodies.
- The NRA is bypassed and commonsense gun safety legislation is enacted.
- Universal medical coverage and affordable prescription drugs are made available to everyone.
- Democratic values are restored to our government and our leadership role in the world.
- Respect is restored to the press.
To achieve all of that, “We need to register voters by going to places that we have not visited in the past,” Kohn declared. We need to get our friends, family and neighbors involved. Voters need to be educated about their voting rights, the candidates and the issues. We need people to step up to run for office, then we need to actively support our candidates.”
“Every one of us has to take an active role,” he said. “It’s time to turn our anger into action and “Take a Stand for Democracy.”
State Democratic Party Chair Trav Robertson said Democrats could carry the state in 2020 if women and people of color come out to vote.
He pointed out that Sen. Lindsey Graham wanted to impeach President Clinton over sex, but now is defending President Trump against impeachment, even though he’s accused of trying to get the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Joe Biden, which Robertson described as “treason.”
“Sex – Treason,” he said, inviting the comparison.
Robertson also said Horry County is the key to the election for Graham as Republicans are losing votes up-state. “The fight is going to come to Horry County and we have to be prepared,” he said.
Senate Candidate Tinubu
“If you don’t use your power, someone else will,” declared U.S. Senate candidate Gloria Bromell-Tinubu. Tinubu said her campaign “is about creating a future that we want our children and grandchildren to inherit.”
“We know we have to beat Lindsey Graham,” she declared to loud applause. “We know we have to beat Donald Trump.”
“The Democratic Party, she said, needs to support small farmers, help make sure that manufacturing workers can collectively bargain, work for improving our education system and fight for equal pay for equal work for women.
“We have to be the big citizens that we are and take our rightful place in our democracy,” she said. Tinubu urged more women to run for office and challenged the state Democratic Party to support them. “Step up. run. You don’t have to ask for permission,” she declared.
Senate Candidate Harrison
Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jaime Harrison said he intends to defeat Graham, “the world’s most powerful golf caddy,” in the 2020 election. He must, of course, first win the Democratic nomination in his race with economist Tinubu.
Graham, he said, “epitomizes what people hate about politics,” because “at the end of the day, it’s about his own political power,” not working for the people of South Carolina.
He pointed out that Graham once was a vocal critic of President Trump, excoriating him for being unfit for office. “Then, he golfed with Donald Trump once…I guess he showed him some pictures…and then it was, ‘Donald Trump is the neatest thing, he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize!'”
Noting that he grew up in poverty as the son of parents who were barely able to help him graduate from high school and ended up going to Yale University and Georgetown Law school before working on Capitol Hill for Rep. Jim Clyburn, Harrison said, “I was the least of these.”
A key to the election, Harrison stressed, will be building trust among “so many people in rural counties” who have lost faith in politicians from either party to help solve their needs.
Speaking to the women attending the dinner, HCDP Vice Chair Barbara Hake declared that “we women are the ones who can make a difference in this next election.”
Noting that we all have friends and neighbors, she said, “You have the power to drive them to vote. You have the power to first register them to vote. You have the power to encourage them to vote. And you might lean on them a little bit in the direction how they should vote.”
Her comments came after Tinubu urged women to run for office and get active in party politics and after state party chair Robertson stressed that Democrats can win in South Carolina in 2020 if more women, including women of color, turn out to vote.
Overall, the evening was a great success, said Kohn, expressing thanks to the many sponsors, program advertisers and the contributors to the ever-popular silent auction. Funds raised, he said, will help support HCDP’s marketing and advertising initiatives as we head into the 2020 election campaign.