The above cartoon by Ed Wilson depicts the now famous incident that resulted in Horry County Council chairman Mark Lazarus calling police and fire fighters in the county “thugs.”
Lazarus called them thugs because several first responders asked him tough questions at the Burgess Community Forum last week, then, heckled Lazarus as he walked out of the meeting.
The use of the word “thug” by Lazarus was ridiculous because its normal definition refers to violent, criminal type behavior none of which was in evidence at the forum.
The term “thugs” was also given to anti-war protesters during the 1960’s and anti-nuclear protesters throughout the western democracies in the 1970’s.
I would submit the term “thug” can also be applied to those in government who use their position and power to bully people or ignore the law to achieve desired results.
For example, after Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones request for an additional person in her office was denied by a combination of council members and the county administrator, Jones filed suit to gain the position.
The county’s response to the lawsuit was to attack Jones’ credibility and performance personally, a typical bully (thug) type of response.
Early this year, several council members said Lazarus was not going to intervene to attempt to help settle the case amicably, but was willing to let it go to court for resolution.
When Jones walked out of a council meeting after the discussion ventured into the area of her lawsuit, Lazarus was quite critical with several derogatory comments aimed at Jones. However, when discussion at a political forum entered into an area that made Lazarus uncomfortable, he had no problem walking out.
Does anyone else find that hypocritical?
However, that attitude appeared to change after Johnny Gardner filed to challenge Lazarus for the Republican nomination for county council chairman and it was apparent Jones had significant support from the public for her lawsuit.