The Daily Gamecock

Column: South Carolina deserves better than Lindsey Graham

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham is currently running as a 2020 candidate for the U.S. Senate, a position he has held in South Carolina since 2013.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham is currently running as a 2020 candidate for the U.S. Senate, a position he has held in South Carolina since 2013.

Lindsey Graham does not deserve to get re-elected due to his record of not representing the ideals and morals of either party. 

Liberals obviously shouldn't support him due to his conservative beliefs, but conservatives shouldn't support him due to his lack of honor, duty and morals. Graham's record in the Senate spits in the faces of the people he claims to represent.

During the negotiations for the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, Graham did something nonsensical. On March 25, Graham was one of four senators who objected to fast-tracking the desperately needed relief act.

“If you're a nurse — aide — making $15 or $16 an hour, you're on the front lines here. A lot of doctor's offices are going to have to roll back ... So, you're going to have all these well-trained nurses, they're going to make $24 an hour on unemployment. You're literally incentivizing taking people out of the workforce,” Graham said in a press conference. 

While the senator's belief that nurses would jump at the chance at unemployment during a pandemic is troubling enough, the fact that this stalling occurred in March is the major problem.

March was when everything had just closed. Thousands lost their jobs and desperately needed this kind of support. Graham’s attempted stalling and argument of giving too much money is at best misguided and at worst detrimental to the people that actually needed help.

Even other conservatives had problems with this: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he did not think the provision would act as a disincentive for people to work.

Graham also refused to take a COVID test before a Senate race debate on Oct. 9 after both the moderators and his challenger agreed they would as an unofficial precaution. This led to the debate being cancelled in favor of a different format.

Graham was ready to risk his own health and everyone else's at the potential debate by refusing something that takes around 10 seconds. Think about it: A United States senator refused to do something we as college students all had to do before moving in. What kind of example does that set?

Then there’s the Supreme Court debacle. For the purpose of this column, the argument of which party is right doesn't matter. This is purely an analysis of Senator Graham's actions alone.

"I want you to use my words against me. If there's a Republican president in 2016, and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say, 'Lindsey Graham said let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,' and you could use my words against me and you'd be absolutely right. We are setting a precedent here today, Republicans are," Graham said in 2016 following Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing.

And in 2018, he reaffirmed his stances.

"If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump's term, and the primary process has started, we'll wait until the next election,” Graham said. 

However, despite the circumstances of Justice Ginsburg’s death being the exact same as Scalia’s, Senator Graham immediately rescinded his comments the day after her passing, citing the elimination of the three-fifths majority rule for Circuit Court judge nominations by Democrats and the “liberal media [conspiracy] to destroy the life of Brett Kavanaugh.” 

Here's the thing though: The rule change occurred in 2013, long before any of Graham’s comments, and the Kavanaugh hearings occurred before Graham made his comment in 2018. The point here is Graham lied to justify partisan politics. And if Graham can betray his own word at the first opportunity on a group as important as the Supreme Court, he should not represent the honest and good people of South Carolina.

There are more problematic instances in Graham’s record, such as his beliefs on the 2003 Iraq War, which, according to Graham, caused the power vacuum that led to the rise of ISIS and was not a mistake. 

But the facts here speak for themselves. Lindsey Graham is someone who doesn't take the problems this pandemic created seriously and who would shamefully defy honesty and trust to get his party's agenda across. Both liberals and conservatives deserve better than a cutthroat such as him.


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