Vote experience and poise, not what you can get


Some guy named Mark Burns, pastor of some church in Easley who also is something called a “Trump surrogate,” has committed slander against former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by being the agent of transmittal of a hateful cartoon.

It’s too disgraceful to show in this family newspaper. He was criticized, so he issued one of those “I’m sorry you got mad” apologies, and took it off his Tweeter, or whatever that thing’s called. Then, for good measure, he posted another cartoon saying his previous cartoon wasn’t that bad.

It has become OK in America to commit slander against Mrs. Clinton and against the President of the United States Barack Obama, his graceful wife and their children, because they are people in the public eye.

It says more about the character of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama that they have not slandered others in retaliation, than it does about the character of the slanderers. The people committing slander are devoid of character.

Our character politicians and those who comment on them are fast leaving us. Greenwood Sen. John Drummond died this month, and there have never been a better example of character and bravery than this man from our neighboring county.

The retirement of Senator Drummond from public life can be seen as the day character died in the public discourse of South Carolina. We feel justified in saying anything, doing anything to get our man or woman elected. Sometimes it’s spontaneous expression, like Twitter and Instagram. Sometimes, though not often enough, it’s more thought-out commentary. We can say what we want under our nation’s First Amendment. That does not mean that we should say what we want.

Pastor Mark Burns is the poster man for this idea. He wants Donald Trump to be the next President of the United States. To that end, it’s not the virtues of Mr. Trump and his long history of public service to the nation that “Pastor” Burns touts. Instead, he feels justified in demeaning Mr. Trump’s main roadblock to the highest office in the land, former Secretary of State Clinton.

That last phrase tells you why on Nov. 8 of this year, I am voting for Mrs. Clinton for President of the United States. She is the only candidate running, major party or third party, who can place “former Secretary of State” with her name. Her use of e-mail while in that office has been investigated - thoroughly - and her decisions related to the security of our outposts abroad have been investigated - thoroughly. 

Through all these millions of dollars worth of investigations, she is not currently under indictment. That could be because she has great lawyers. Could be because in this nation at least she is innocent until proven guilty by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt - as a judge will tell you if you serve on a jury that is a doubt “for which you can give a reason.”

Pastor Burns does not believe the Democrats have worked hard enough to earn the votes of black Americans - they haven’t given over enough money, or influence, or social welfare, or voting rights to justify receiving the votes of black Americans.

To that, I say, “Good.”

These things are not the politicians’ to give. 

All the politicians have to give us voters is their service, drive, commitment, stick-to-it-tiveness, listening ear, and vote of conscience. They owe us respect, not “goodies.” Experience matters. Being at the table when decisions are made matters. Fighting the good fight - and being willing to stand in and fight some more for America - for all Americans - matters.

It has always mattered. It matters now, it matters in November.


(Vic MacDonald is Editor of The Clinton Chronicle. Contact him at 833-1900 or e-mail:  His commentaries appear on

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