Boyd Brown: “Talkin Bout My Generation”
DEPARTING LAWMAKER SENDS MESSAGE FROM “MILLENIALS”
As we reported exclusively several months ago, S.C. Rep. Boyd Brown (D-Winnsboro) is stepping down from the South Carolina House of Representatives this year after just two terms. The 25-year-old Democrat – a vocal critic of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – has earned a distinctly positive reputation over that brief period as a substantive, reform-minded lawmaker (a rarity at the S.C. State House).
Do we agree with Brown on every issue? Or even most issues?
Of course not … but he did offer a lot of thoughtful reform legislation that our “Republican-controlled” legislature would have been wise to adopt.
Anyway, Brown had a few choice words for Haley as he departed the House chamber this week.
“I have long said that to be a member of the General Assembly, you’ve got to be unemployed, self-employed, or retired,” Brown remarked. “In light of recent events, including one particular investigation, I’ve decided to amend that thought. In order to make a living and serve in this body, one must be unemployed, self-employed, retired, or be a future governor of this state who knows how to land some pretty good ‘consulting’ contracts.”
Of course it wasn’t Brown’s diss of Haley that received the most attention, it was some compelling commentary regarding his generation (a.k.a. Generation Y, the “Millenials”).
Here’s what Brown had to say …
My generation acknowledges science and we want to protect our planet. We understand the importance of our natural heritage in this state, and what responsibilities come with that heritage. Visit the ACE Basin, and then try to convince me we don’t have an obligation to protect our natural resources.
My generation doesn’t think you improve the lives of the working South Carolinian by lowering the taxes of the corporations that fund your political endeavors; you do so by finding ways to lower the personal income tax and improve their lot in life. My generation finds it disgraceful to confine a child born to a broken home in Winnsboro or Kingstree, Allendale or Dillon, to a life without opportunity. Instead, we want the classroom to be a place where that child can escape from the shadows of despair and find refuge in an entirely new world, rich with opportunity.
My generation understands you don’t fix roads by naming them after Andre Bauer and other politicians, and you don’t fund infrastructure by changing the composition of the DOT Board.
President Clinton reminded us, “There is no evidence that we can succeed in this century with an antigovernment strategy, with a philosophy grounded in ‘You’re on your own’ rather than ‘We’re all in this together.” We must invest in better roads, stronger bridges and updated water and sewer lines.
My generation does not hate gay people. We don’t hate any people, we simply believe all Americans, here in this state and across our country, should be able to live their lives as they see fit. My generation is not caught up in black versus white. We must break out of this out-dated prism of looking at one another through the spectacles of the past. We want to celebrate equality and opportunity in South Carolina, not the bigotry that has defined our state for too long.
This is my generation… My generation does not fear the future. My generation is not afraid of progress; we’re not afraid of globalism and an interdependent world. My generation, we welcome change. And, ladies and gentlemen, as a word of caution to you, my generation is sprinting this way.
Naturally we don’t subscribe to everything Brown said. He’s a liberal, but then again so are most Republicans at the S.C. State House – they just play conservatives on the campaign trail. At least South Carolina Democrats are honest about their desire to grow government, right?
And the last time we checked Brown’s call to “lower the personal income tax” was something Republicans were supposed to support.
Anyway, Brown’s speech got some high profile love from Jonathan Capeheart of The Washington Post, who noted that the arrival of Brown’s generation “can’t come soon enough.”
That’s true … although it’s quite possible that the current generation of “leaders” in Washington, D.C. and Columbia, S.C. has fucked up this nation and state so colossally and irredeemably that it really doesn’t matter anymore.
Oh well … we wish Brown nothing but the best as he pursues this next chapter in his life. This one’s for you, kid …