Who is Tim Scott, the anti-Obama Republican who challenges Donald Trump

The candidacy of the Senator from South Carolina Tim Scott, if analyzed with the lens of political news, risks appearing very little. The only African-American Republican representative in the Senate, his low numbers in the polls, combined with low media coverage and even less vis and polemicist cultural, the fate of his race appears sealed. Probably, as also noted by the former president Donald Trumpwill cause a loss of support for Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida who in the Trumpian inner circle is seen as the main enemy to be overthrown. However, we cannot limit ourselves to cold data andeligibility in Scotts.

This candidacy is significant for several reasons: Because it reminds Republicans what a party they can still be. A political formation undoubtedly conservative who believes in the defense of life against abortion, in the freedom of enterprise and in the free choice of schools, readable as a support to families who choose to send their children to private institutes of religious origin. Not only that: even on rougher aspects such as the possession of weapons Scott’s opinion is that it should be as easy as possible, as the prevailing constitutional reading dictates. There is a though: the modern Republican Party draws much of its political strength from its gradual fusion with the conservative forces present in the Democratic Party and widespread in the Deep South, those former segregationists disappointed by the turn deemed excessively liberal in the national party, a union of forces that was the product of the so-called “Southern Strategy” launched by President Richard Nixon at the end 1960s to strengthen the Republican Party in those areas where it was seen as “Abraham Lincoln’s party”. So hardly digestible by the white electorate who cultivated an idealized memory of the events of the American Civil War, holding in high regard the memory of the Confederate experience. Scott’s candidacy overturns this assumption: on April 12 he launched his candidacy from Fort Sumterfacing Charleston Bay, the place where the Civil War began.

That fort, controlled by the US military, was attacked that day by Confederate artillery to forcibly take control of it. In his commercial shot at the location, Scott recalls that “America was tested” at the time, but “we prevailed,” Scott says. A reminiscence that, although difficult to grasp for those who are not well versed in nineteenth-century American history, reminds us that the Republican Party can still be a force of progress as it was then. The slogan at the time was “Free soil, free labor, free men”. Let’s analyze it point by point: if then the “free soil” represented the possibility of being able to expand freely towards the West by taking possession of unexplored lands belonging to the natives, today it represents the expansion of one’s knowledge and the possibility of leaving the context of social poverty from which one comes, as in the case of Scott, son of a divorced mother who had to work sixteen hours a day to support her son.

Free labor” instead is reflected in the freedom of enterprise, to be carried out under a light regulatory hand, without the federal government getting caught. Not even when, in the case of Ron DeSantis’s Florida, it prevents entrepreneurs from asking their employees for vaccination certificates or using a mask. In the case of free men, however, the reference is more subtle and it is the one that explains the presence at the launch of the candidacy of the senator John Thune, number two of the Republican group in the Senate and very loyal to the leader Mitch McConnell. The Little Elephant is the political home of those who do not believe in the men of Providence, who have been able to heavily criticize its first president Abraham Lincoln and who have always hosted a wide range of currents of thought, from conservatives to moderates passing through libertarians.

A political formation, therefore, that must free itself from the yoke of Donald Trump e watch beyond, to a future where principles will matter more than people. A powerful message which, although irrelevant from an immediate point of view, provides the basis on which to rebuild. A difficult path, such as the one that brought the confederate states into the union, but it can make the re-founded conservatism increasingly attractive even for a growing slice of the African-American electorate, heir to the teachings of Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee College in Alabama and a great personal friend of another Republican, President Theodore Roosevelt, who believed that the black community would defeat racism through the economic success of its members. Same goal as Scott and the new generation of black conservatives.

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2023-05-23 12:53:00

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