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Tom Ervin: Let The Debates Begin




We’re still not sure what’s going to come of the “independent Republican” gubernatorial campaign of Tom Ervin. We like what we’ve seen so far, but we’ve learned not to get our hopes up when it comes to individuals seeking elected office.

There’s a Gin Blossoms song that comes to mind …

Anyway, we do know it’s nearly impossible for Ervin to be any worse than hypocritical incumbent “Republican” Nikki Haley or her Democratic rival, Vincent Sheheen – two status quo choices epitomizing the chronic failure of the Palmetto State’s “two-party” establishment.

Seriously … Haley and Sheheen give new meaning to the term “lesser of two evils.”

So we’re glad Ervin is in the race … just as we’re glad the Libertarian Party has nominated a credible, substantive candidate in Lowcountry businessman Steve French.

We expect Ervin and French to provide a much-needed dose of issues-based common sense and ideological accountability in what was shaping up as a race of meaningless rhetoric between two cliche-spouting politicians.

Or at least that’s what we hope happens …

In South Carolina the legacy media loves to shut third-party alternatives out of debates, hoping to drive the discussion back to prefabricated, marginal distinctions between “red” and “blue” candidates.

Ervin wants none of that … in fact his campaign this week proposed a series of monthly gubernatorial debates beginning in July.  Each debate would focus on a specific issue (education, ethics, infrastructure, etc.) and would represent a departure from prior formats.

“So that we can avoid lengthy debate negotiations by their consultants, let’s keep it simple: no fancy rules, no need for a moderator,” Ervin said. “Just arrive at an agreed upon date and location and the three of us can debate a single topic for sixty minutes.”

Well … “four of us,” we’re sure he meant to say (surely he’s not suggesting French be left out in the cold).

We like this concept …

Political debates routinely descend into pointless pablum – stilted exchanges between the same old tired perspectives. Props to Ervin for proposing a shakeup of that format.