Alvin Greene, left, and Vic Rawl. S.C. Democratic Party photos.
A military veteran and graduate of the University of South Carolina named Alvin M. Greene, 32, has come out of political nowhere to win the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in South Carolina.
Many in the political establishment and the cable news business have disgraced themselves by their prejudiced reactions. Just my opinion.
I had underestimated the arrogance and self-righteousness of our country’s ruling elites. How dare an ordinary American of humble means . . . How DARE he presume to run for high political office???!!!
They say Alvin Greene has no business running for office because he is poor and has no political experience. The U.S. Senate, after all, is a millionaires’ club. It is perfectly OK for a wealthy person to come out of nowhere and spend millions of their own money to win. Happens every election. But a person of humble means? Not allowed!
They ridicule him for living with and taking care of his ailing and elderly father in small-town Manning, S.C. (Seems commendable, to me.) Also, Alvin Greene is African-American. The outcry from the political and media elites falls just short of a lynch mob. (OK, I am exaggerating for effect. I want you to understand that I have not been this angry in a long time.)
The elites are proudly flaunting their ignorance of and disrespect for democracy.
While the MSM is busy trying to smear Alvin Greene, I am not the only blogger who believes that Mr. Greene is simply a rare long shot who won an obscure election against a weak opponent. For example, see this post from Salon. It is instructive that the little-known Vic Rawl, who was expected to win the Democratic primary, was thought to have absolutely no chance of defeating the Republican incumbent, Sen. Jim DeMint. Maybe that’s why Democrats voted for Mr. Greene instead. Even if your man is going to lose, you can at least send a message.
Alvin Greene, Scott Brown, Barack Obama
Do you mind if I suggest that Alvin Greene may be the new Scott Brown? Mr. Brown is now known as Senator Brown, the gentleman from Massachusetts. Mr. Greene and Mr. Brown both have something in common with President Barack Obama. None of them was the establishment candidate; the deck was stacked against them. The voters defied the orders of the elite and voted for Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton. Is democracy breaking out in America? Could the world be turning upside down?
I have listened to Alvin Greene calmly and patiently respond to unfair interviews on TV, and it is obvious to me that he is an intelligent, well-educated, and patriotic citizen. (As always, just my opinion.) He is a humble man, soft-spoken and not used to the glare of the spotlight. You can see that he is not a polished career politician. He is not an actor. He doesn’t have all the answers. But he is well-spoken and answers intrusive questions truthfully and without hesitation. He is refreshingly without guile. You can see it in his face and his body language.
In what way is Mr. Greene not qualified to run for political office? He is South Carolina through and through. He has a degree in political science from the state’s university. He served his country for 13 years in the Army and Air Force. These facts have been confirmed by the university and by the Pentagon. Mr. Greene is not boastful. He has not made any untrue claims about great accomplishments. He is only 32 and has spent his entire adult life going to college and serving in the military. Younger men from the “right” families have been elected with less experience than Mr. Greene. The Pentagon says he has received at least four service medals, including one for serving in Korea. Mr. Greene says it was while serving in Korea that he began thinking about running for office.
“I saw the country declining and I wanted to do something,” he said softly in response to one question on TV. When asked about his qualifications to run against the great incumbent, Sen. Jim DeMint, Mr. Greene cited his own military service. Sen. DeMint did not serve in the military, Mr. Greene noted.
Mr. Greene said he believes that incumbents need to be held accountable, and that incumbents are a major cause of America’s current predicament. (Now there’s a radical idea!)
Smear campaign without basis
The media and politicians are trying to smear Mr. Greene, plain and simple. Shame on them. Some say he is a Republican “plant.” Some question where he got the $10,400 filing fee. (A better question was raised by Slate. How come it costs so much to be a candidate in South Carolina?) He has not collected any campaign money nor run any slick TV ads. He is unemployed since leaving the military last fall, but what is more common in this sad economy than unemployment, especially among returning veterans?
The media is also sensationalizing a so-called “obscenity” accusation against Mr. Greene, who has no criminal record. I strongly suspect that the charge is trumped-up and unfounded. Mr. Greene says he is innocent.
Apparently, a young white woman was offended by a very brief conversation with Mr. Greene. She can’t really describe what he was trying to show her on a computer. She says she hardly looked at it. The entire encounter lasted perhaps two minutes. No evidence, no witness. No accusation of assault, only a very brief conversation. No harm, no foul.
A white woman and a black man. Hmm . . . This foolish story is as old as the South. No one who has read “To Kill A Mockingbird” will believe this accusation for a minute. The alleged incident is nearly a year old, and officials have made no move to prosecute it. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the “charge” is revived, now that Mr. Greene is a viable candidate.)
There is also some question about Mr. Green’s exit from the military last year, six months early, after 13 years of service. Mr. Greene says he received an honorable discharge, and the military does not dispute that fact.
All the phony talk against Mr. Greene smacks of racism. There, I’ve said it.
Why is it so hard to believe a black man won?
How do you dismiss a 59-41 percent victory? I believe the simple truth is that Alvin Greene won the S.C. Democratic primary. He says it was “simple, old-fashioned” campaigning, help from family and friends, and word-of-mouth support. Got a problem with that?
Remember, South Carolina is a small state. Mr. Greene is a lifelong Democrat, and his father is reputedly a longtime Democratic activist. Many Democratic voters in South Carolina are African-American. Do you think news of Mr. Greene’s run could have spread like wildfire through a community of faithful Democrats? Do you think the photos of Mr. Greene and his almost-equally-unknown white opponent, shown at the top of this post, were routinely printed in small-town newspapers, voter guides, and Democratic Party material?
Is there anything wrong with black Democrats choosing to vote for a man who looks like them? Could it be that many South Carolina Democrats believe Alvin Greene is well-qualified by his views and life experience to represent them in the U.S. Senate?
Do you believe in democracy?
— John Hayden
Note: In the long-distance video below, you can see that Mr. Greene is having trouble hearing the questions using that nasty TV sound monitor stuck in his ear. Many veteran newscasters have the same problem. Considering that he had never done such an interview before, and considering the confusion and delay of the sound coming to his ear, I thought Mr. Greene maintained his cool very well. His answers are somewhat slow, but that is the way people from the deep South talk. It’s called a Southern drawl. Everybody in S.C. talks like that.