To the regular readers of this blog, it’s not news that I support State Representative Nikki Haley to be South Carolina’s next governor. This preference isn’t the product of some family or personal loyalty nor is it because of an individual distaste for any of the other candidates. As much as any reason, I like Rep. Haley for what she isn’t.
I’ll offer a metaphorical explanation.
South Carolinians are very familiar with the voracious kudzu vine.
The flowers which bloom in late summer have a very pleasant fragrance and the shapes and forms created by kudzu vines growing over trees and bushes can be pleasing to the eye during the summer months.
Though a beautiful green with attractive flowers, kudzu spreads and climbs and consumes pretty much anything in its path. Power lines, fences, abandoned cars and even buildings get swallowed up by the greenery. Ultimately, what’s underneath is destroyed by decay, though for a time, a phantom form of the victim is created by the interloping plant.
Nikki Haley’s Republican competitors for the office of governor seem – to me – much like those cars and cabins on the side of the road; lost under the stifling growth of kudzu and irreparably damaged by a lack of sunlight. But, it isn’t plant life that has reduced these people to shells, it’s the political status quo fed by high-dollar consultancies and greedy special interests. What initially may be attractive, is, ultimately, not just a pest or inconvenience, but a damaging parasite.
The associations and records of Henry McMaster, Andre Bauer and Gresham Barrett provide plenty of evidence to the type of governor each would be, and there is little for which voters can be excited. Yes, each has laudable accomplishments, but those are, for the most part, small glimmers through the thickening foliage.
Nikki Haley is not encumbered by the choking vines of cronyism, loyalty to the established apparat and constitutional convenience. When the creeping destruction moves across the landscape, she steps aside, becoming neither victim of its work nor feed for its appetite.
Even if elected, Haley won’t be able to completely stop the spread of South Carolina’s political kudzu onto and into the State House, but it’s a good bet she’s got a weed-killer that’ll keep it out of the Governor’s Office.
Coming soon: The One