As The Largest County in SC, Greenville has become the most ineffective Republican Body due to infighting.
Remember walking down a sidewalk and coming across a marching line of ants? Out of curiosity, you follow this intriguing line into the neighboring field of grass and find them cohesively fighting a much bigger enemy whom they eventually overcome. As you watch this natural drama unfold, you are amazed at how naturally unified the ants are. And despite how small these tiny little creatures are, they win more than twice their size due to their unifying numbers. They get things done.
We humans also understand this principle, or at least some of us do.
As many of you already know, there has been a very sharp divide among Greenville County Republicans for the past two years. So much so, that the local Greenville County Republican Party (GCRP) has become ineffective in getting hardly any candidates elected. At a recent Pre-Convention Forum held on April 20, 2023, a question was asked, how many candidates supported by the current local party establishment got elected? The conclusion at the meeting between an audience member and Jeff Davis was only 2 out of 9.
Even though Greenville managed to win a complete Republican takeover of all elected offices in the county, only two were adequately supported by the current GCRP. The other candidates that won, whom GCRP would not properly support or even display their campaign signs at the local headquarter, won due to other Republican organizations who filled in the gap and aggressively supported these GCRP-disfranchised Republican candidates.
It was also brought out at this meeting that no Republican elected officials ever came to the local GCRP meetings due to being constantly and publicly flogged from the current local establishment’s bully pulpit. This includes very strong conservative elected officials. Have you heard of the recent actions of the SC Freedom Caucus which are mostly from the Upstate? Have you taken notice of their battles and wins over RINO legislators in Columbia, these RINO-fighting legislators of the SC Freedom Caucus don’t even attend the GCRP meetings for the same reasons. They also are being attacked by the same established GCRP officers such as Jeff Davis and Yvonne Julian.
There has been a lot of talk about unity by many GCRP members from both sides of this fracture. At what was called a Unity Meeting held not too long ago at Piedmont Baptist Church, current GCRP chairman Jeff Davis, who attended, said he was all for unity and that his plan was to reach out to both sides as he has done in the past two years. Davis expressed how available he is for anyone to come to one of his coffee meetings.
But at the GCRP Pre-Convention Forum where the currently established candidates (Chairman Jeff Davis, 1st Vice Chairman Yvonne Julian, and State Executive Committeeman Mike Voaden) were defending their slate against Sam Manley for Chairman, Joe Dill for 1st Vice Chairman, and Julie Hershey for State Executive Committeeman, Jeff Davis has sung another song - one of anti-unity.
At this meeting, before current chairman Jeff Davis chimed in with his anti-unity verbiage, his cohort, and current 1st Vice Chairman Yvonne Julian, being the only candidate who refused to say anything nice or in agreement with her opponent Sam Manley, was the first to express her anti-unity intent. When asked about her plans for unity, she said, “Yes, it is divided and that is okay.” She also says, “Some people act like division is a horrible thing, it is normal. It is going to happen.” Soon after, Jeff agreed and said, “Yvonne is right, it is okay to be divided.” “You cut off the dead wood and then you grow.” Most of the attending crowd was obviously supportive of the established slate with thunderous applause.
It became obvious that the opponents to the established slate had been ambushed by the GCRP established leadership at this forum. Sam Manley made it clear he knew what he was getting into and had no problem being there and answering any questions they had. He made it very clear he is no quitter. By the answers from Joe Dill and Julie Hershey, they expressed the same sediment. Again, it soon became obvious and commented on by the moderator Bill Frady from 98.8 WORD Talk Radio, that the opponents were getting most of all the questions. Even Jeff Davis’ wife Ogla, a major contributor to these meetings, got up and expressed concern that it may look biased.
The establishment also produced and showed a 3-minute video that supported the established candidates but did not afford the opponents any equal time of the same – obvious signs of establishment behavior.
It is sad to see a once thriving well-attended conservative body become so dysfunctional, unable to get anything done or even support their own for the past two years. Jesus said, “A house divided cannot stand.” What is amazing about this statement by Jesus is its reference to his enemies. It appears in our day too, that the Democrats and RINOs get along more than Conservative Republicans, and that is why they are winning in South Carolina, and we are not.
The ants apparently know something the current local establishment Republicans don’t. They cannot win over their true enemies if they do not unify and become one. Due to the quick and careless way the established GCRP candidate slate calls true conservatives RINOs, they have done a disservice to the Conservative cause because they have taken a once strong and clear expressive term “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) and diluted it and made it weak and meaningless. They have carelessly slung the word “RINO” around to anyone who disagrees with them over insignificant bickering, while the RINOs down in Columbia are the real enemies in South Carolina – the same RINOs whom the SC Freedom Caucus is fighting and trying to win not only without the support of their local party but being disparaged by the same.
Maybe it is high time for the established candidates, Jeff, Yvonne, and Mike, who often quote the Bible, to take not only Jesus’ advice to be wise like a serpent and “harmless” as doves, but also to take the ant into consideration where Proverbs 6:6 says, “Go to the ant … consider her ways, and be wise.”