I think one of the take-aways from Lindsey’s announcement on Monday was the fact that he is the thinking person’s candidate. There was no pandering to the base, no hyperbole, nor hype. When one compares how he announced, and how the egos of Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz announced, his announcement was typical small-town South Carolina politics. It was corny, patriotic, full of faith, and sappy. There was no mountain of flags for posing. The band was from the local high-school. You didn’t see a musical super-star, or a high profile celebrity. The media covered it as a after-thought. After all, what he provided was a much-needed antidote to Rand Paul’s display of never-ending arrogance over the weekend.
Monday, June 1 was a day many of us, way back in 1994, knew was inevitable. Yes, I’m dreading it because I don’t want to see my friend treated like dirt. But – I am so proud of him, I’m almost in tears. When Lindsey decided to run for Congress, back in 1994, I was the second person he called with the news. Ed Mitchell, his political mentor was the first. Of course, by then, when he called, I’d finally regained my voice. His call wasn’t long after the announcement that the entrenched Democrat, Butler Derrick, was not running for re-election. When I heard the news about Derrick, I shouted and whooped so loud, I hurt my voice. Until that moment, I think maybe Ed Mitchell and I were two of the only people who thought the GOP had a chance of capturing the Third Congressional District for the GOP. We both knew, if we had the right person running for the office, we could take it. Lindsey was the right person. Right now, I’m so proud of him I can’t stand it. It isn’t everyone who can say that they were a POTUS candidate’s county chair when they first ran for national office. Yes, I’m proud of just that. If you only knew how hard we worked, you would understand the tearful pride I am feeling.
WE DID IT!
It doesn’t matter how far he gets in the process, it is the fact that, 21 years ago, those of us who were there, a handful of us, (many of them no longer with us), stood behind a man in whom we could believe. Amazingly, watching him over the years, he has never really changed. He is the same honest, honorable, and self-deprecating person he always was. He’s far too humble to reach for the stars. People with his humility just don’t even bother trying – but he is. I was there from the moment his first Congressional campaign was conceptualized. I will be there all the way, with my prayers and my never-ending support.
Somewhere I read that when a person was running for POTUS, it was harder on their family and friends than it was on them. I now understand. Sure, in 2008 it was brutal, the way Michelle Malkin was attacking Lindsey. She was vile and repulsive, to the point where that was the beginning of the end for me, in dealing with the right. Libertarians treat him like dirt, but then again they are libertarians and I think they are basically nothing but dirt. It’s a badge of honor to be hated by them. We know the right hates him. We know the left hates him. If you look at it like the tale of the three bears, the middle is just right. That’s Lindsey. The left hates him. The right hates him, I suspect that makes him just right!
The libertarians and the left all now have their proverbial undies in a wad because Lindsey dared to say that we need boots on the ground in Iraq. HOW DARE HE say what he thinks is right. Golly gee, can this nation handle a politician who has honor? And, he is right. The mess we are in, there in Iraq, is Barack Obama’s mess, not that of George W. Bush. Maybe people need to remember Bush has been out of office since January of 2009.
One of these days, the left needs to comprehend the fact that you can’t keep blaming everything on a man who is no longer POTUS. Obama’s inaction has literally condemned thousands of women to a life that is a living hell. Where are the feminists? What about the families of our service men and women who gave their all in Iraq? They’re basically being told their sacrifice is nothing.
Very rarely are we going to get an article which delves into Lindsey’s background. If people knew his story, they would realize he is the ultimate American success, up from the boot-straps, rebuilding his life and caring for a young sister. He paid off the medical debts, graduated law school, and ended up as a JAG officer in the Air Force. No one helped him. He did it all on his own. He is honest, honorable, and is owned by no one. If ever there was a Horatio Alger story, this is it. But, if you listen to Lindsey, he is not self-made, but the product of the love, kindness, and support of his family and friends. Always self-effacing, he won’t even accept the Horatio Alger accolades. He’s far too humble.
He also claims never to have sent an email. If you knew Lindsey, you would realize that is classic Lindsey. He can be sarcastic, funny, and does shake things up from time to time. He will not be your standard candidate. If he can ever get into the debates, he will shred his opponents.
He is hated by libertarians, and the far right. The real problem is that he had a tragic history of working with Democrats, compromising, and co-sponsoring bills with Democrats. Yikes! Imagine, a rational person who does not survive on rancid hate running for GOP POTUS! Liberals hate him, primarily because they don’t bother checking his biography. He is the kind of person they’ve been begging to run for office for years. He knows what it is like to be poor, to have nothing, to be disparate for help, and to do it the hard way – by himself. He knows what it is like to face a mountain of medical bills. He knows what it is like to grow up in a pool hall, not in a mansion.
Lindsey has a lot of Scottish blood flowing through his veins, enough to make him pig-headed to the point where it makes you crazy. He plays a heck of a lot of golf, and is almost a Luddite when it comes to technology. My favorite author, Tony Hillerman, once observed that single men were one of two things – either a neat freak or a total slop. Well…. it’s like this. Lindsey is a total slob. He is a Christian. He loves Christ. He believes in prayer, and a personal relationship with Christ. BUT – he is not a hard-core far right religious freak. He’s normal, just like the rest of us should be.
He is hated by Rush Limbaugh. I don’t know of a better recommendation other than the fact that he is not a Koch Machine Whore. Rand Paul detests him. So does Laura Ingraham. Yes, the dirty truth about Lindsey Graham is that he is a good, old-fashioned, normal, Republican, just like so many of us once were, but now have been made to feel like we no longer have a home in the GOP, because of people like Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, the Koch Brothers, and Laura Ingraham. Michelle Malkin was so nasty about him in 2008 that she was temporarily fired from FOX News.
There’s one other tawdry fact about Lindsey Graham. White Supremacists hate him. Jack Hunter, formerly known as the Southern Avenger, and co-author of a couple of Rand Paul’s books, has made it his life’s work to destroy Lindsey. I can’t think of a better recommendation than to be hated by a white supremacist, pro-confederate, libertarian who is still one of Rand Paul’s most trusted political advisers. This election season we have numerous Republicans who are running for POTUS who have very nasty hard right, libertarian, patriarchy, Christian Reconstruction, white supremacist, and just plain evil political, social, and religious connections. Lindsey has none of these.
It isn’t often a person is in my position, watching a friend prepare to achieve the most important and powerful job in the world. There is no one more qualified. He is the best person for the job.
Godspeed Lindsey Graham!