Losing The Republican Brand 
By Alex Saitta 
July 5, 2017 
I was surprised how close the US House was in District 5 of South Carolina. Republican Ralph Norman won by 4%, but Trump won those counties by a wide margin. For instance Trump got 69% in Cherokee and Norman only 62%. Kershaw Trump got 60% and Norman only 53%. Union Trump got 58% and Norman only 50%. It provides evidence to what I have been saying about the Republican Party in our state the past six months.  
The Problem: 
The "Republican" party just passed two huge tax increases this past year. One was a 12 cents gasoline tax, with little to no reform of the SCDOT (much needed). They also approved a doubling of the employer (taxpayer) contribution for the state pension plan, with little reform to the plan.  
I think conservatives like myself are starting to see what's up with the GOP in our state. Too many would-be politicians in South Carolina recognize ours is a very red state. If they want to get elected, they choose to run as Republicans to get there. If it was a blue state, I think many Republicans would run as Democrats. This is why so few follow the Republican platform and are not glued to its conservative principles.  
I see too many using the Republican brand to get elected, and once elected they do what they want -- vote left, right and center, and that hurts the Republican brand.  
It would be like me signing on to open a McDonald's and selling any old burgers or hot dogs or spaghetti. The corporate management (keepers of the brand) would shut me down for mis-representing the brand. There is no such enforcement with the Republican Party. And it is hurting the brand in the eyes of conservatives.  
I won't be surprised if many conservatives lose enthusiasm or simply just stay home and the next decade purple counties in the state legislature, start flipping over to Democrat. 
The solution is simple. Term limit state Senators and House members at both the federal and state level. This way the leaders wonít be dominated by insulated elected officials and new blood will have a better chance to make it into leadership roles.  
Also registering by party in the state would help. If you register as a Democrat or Independent, you canít vote in the Republican primary and vice-versa.     
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