Certain events in the local political arena over the last year have made me understand much more completely why Southerners say, ‘We don’t care how you do it up north.’
Tip O’Neill told us all politics are local. What he didn’t tell us is it takes a transplant a long time to truly understand all the intricacies of ‘local.’
As a transplant from the north myself 32 years ago, I know there is a certain amount of resentment someone from the north can expect to experience after relocating permanently to the south.
I always attributed it to that ‘Civil War thing.’ After all, if your ancestors were on the receiving end of one of the biggest ass kickings in military history from my ancestors, you have a right to be a bit resentful.
There is also a significant difference in the general way the two regions view the political spectrum of ideologies, which I felt was a major reason Southerners didn’t want Northerners messing about too much in their politics.
Can’t blame anyone for that attitude.
Some transplants from the north have operated effectively in the local political arena. Loftus comes immediately to mind in local politics and Mark Kelly on the state level in earlier times.
However, it’s certainly a fact that the most effective politicians during my three plus decades of direct observation in Horry County have been those home grown natives with deep roots in the local area.
Most transplants who have tried their luck at running for local political office have been unsuccessful, except when one transplant was running against another transplant, which has happened, if rarely.
Much of that limited success can be attributed to ‘We don’t care how you do it up north.’
Recently, however, several transplants from the north have truly demonstrated how not to do it in local politics.
Yesterday, one local transplant, Dick Withington, was arrested for trying to get another transplant, incumbent Horry County Council District 4 member Gary Loftus, to pay Withington not to oppose Loftus in the upcoming election for Loftus’ seat.