By Paul Gable
Last week, Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune missed two opportunities to answer questions from voters about why she should be reelected.
Instead, the Bethune campaign put out two emails extolling the virtues of spending local tax dollars on the construction of Interstate 73 and what she had done to address crime issues in the city.
Had Bethune taken the time to actually talk to voters, she may have learned that crime is still the number one issue concerning residents of Myrtle Beach and constructing I-73 ranks very far down on the list.
And Bethune’s message was countered by a story about Myrtle Beach being the third most dangerous city, per capita, in the nation. The story could be found on the website of Coastal Law, the firm with which Congressional candidate Russell Fry is associated.
Interestingly, Fry and Bethune both support the construction of I-73 in Horry County with local tax dollars.
Talking to and listening to voters is not high up on the list of things to do for most politicians today. They certainly want to be elected and reelected but they prefer to do it with slick mailers and emails as well as orchestrated messages in television and radio ads. These messages hit what politicians consider to be a few hot button issues for voters.
Then, if they fool enough voters to be elected or reelected, many of the politicians will go on to serve their own self-interests or those of the big donors to their campaigns. In some cases, such as Interstate 73, these politicians try to make it a hot button for voters with outlandish promises of what it will do for voters while it is really meant to serve the interest of their donors.
I-73 will permeate many election races through the Republican primaries in June 2022 and those politicians promoting it as a good idea are not working in the best interest of voters.
Fry joined Bethune and incumbent Congressman Tom Rice at Gov. Henry McMaster’s press conference about funding I-73 in Myrtle Beach last week.
Fry is running a rather schizophrenic campaign attempting to be a clone of Rice sometimes, then running away from Rice at other times when he (Fry) tries to wrap himself in the Donald Trump cloak.
Last week had Fry sidling up to Rice to promote I-73 construction on the backs of local voters. This week, Fry is trying to attract Trump voters with a message about the need to secure the America’s southern border in order to prevent illegal immigration.
At the end of the message about immigration is a request for donations to Fry’s campaign. The box Fry finds himself in is he must attract donations from donors who have supported Rice in the past while hoping for an endorsement from Trump and gaining donations who support the former president if his campaign is to have any longevity.
It would probably be easier for Fry to just try and go out and meet voters and find out what they want from their 7th District Congressman.
Likewise, it would be easier for Bethune to talk to voters to find out what they want from their mayor.
Unfortunately, that’s not the way it’s done by most politicians today.
The buyer, or in this case the voter, should beware of the messages from these politicians..