As new residents of the 1st Congressional District, we attended a forum in Beaufort organized by state Rep. Shannon Erickson to introduce voters to the candidates in the upcoming primary.
The forum, which featured Republican candidates Chip Limestone and Elizabeth Moffly, succeeded in giving voters a good understanding of the candidates' backgrounds, the issues they care most about and their ideas about solutions.
Surprisingly, their statements focused on negatives about our federal government. We then asked what they considered the positive things the government is doing nationally and in South Carolina.
We were astonished that neither candidate could easily name any positive activities. Eventually, both cited defense of the country as the best thing.
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The paradox for us was why these two candidates, who could hardly think of anything positive about the federal government, would want to run for office to serve in that same government.
Interestingly, both candidates presented themselves either as a problem-solver or good at collaboration. Democrats across the aisle in Washington generally hold a more positive view of government. Failure of the candidates to see the good things, as well as the things which need improvement in government, is not a formula for solving problems in a democracy. It erodes critical public trust.
We hope all the candidates will recognize the public good created by the federal government. The candidates who do and want to further improve federal governance are the candidates we need and should support.
Roger and Linda Bernier