How the GOP have helped Jaime Harrison’s political fight against Lindsey Graham

The Lincoln Project, with its venerable list of conservatives and former republicans, has had an influential impact against Donald Trump and Lindsey Graham’s campaign. Who has not enjoyed the hilarious ad here depicting Graham encouraging voters to ease his suffering by voting him out? Even some of his supporters must get a kick out of that one: "help me, help me!" 

The slams by The Lincoln Project have not been veiled, however, there is a less obvious way the GOP has unwittingly assisted Jaime Harrison, that is, to some degree, by neutralizing race in South Carolina. Consider that South Carolina was the first slave state to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860. So how did the State go from uncompromisingly pro-slavery and support for US Senator Strom Thurmond, a pro-segregationist, to potentially having two African Americans representing South Carolina in the highest chambers of Congress? There have only been 10 African American US Senators and if Jaime Harrison wins it would be the first time both Senators, from any state, are descendants of slaves. 

To some degree, the GOP has neutralized race in South Carolina. In part because white residents of South Carolina are getting more and more accustomed to seeing diversity at the highest levels of state government and recognize that their interests will not be neglected or become secondary. Tim Scott, an African American, has been a US Senator since 2013, after being appointed by Republican Governor Nikki Haley, she herself is of Indian Punjabi Sikh ancestry. Since that time, Tim Scott has since won two elections: a special election in 2014 and a full-term Senate seat in 2016. The voters of South Carolina are increasingly judging their politicians by the “content of their character” and less by the color of their skin. This spells trouble for Lindsey Graham.

Lindsey Graham no longer represents the whole of South Carolina. Instead, he represents what used to be. South Carolinians, and to a certain extent, conservatives and the GOP, with the help of The Lincoln Project, are bringing a new way to an otherwise tired representation of the South. It is a welcomed and well-overdue new way.

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