Can We Teach Legislators to Grow a Spine?
19 Jul 2015
South Carolina State Representative Jenny Horne made a tearful plea from the floor of the House and begged her colleagues to “do something meaningful” and take down the Confederate flag. My co-host, media strategist Shawna Vercher pointed out that “Ms. Horne, as a Republican descendant of Jefferson Davis, has shifted the tone of a national conversation and obliterated the idea that this controversial issue was limited to one race or political party.” In our latest edition of Dare We Say examines what it will take to encourage more legislators to be bold when the country needs them to do so.
Ms. Horne did the right thing and she should be rewarded for doing so. We are looking for our representatives to take a stand. Ms. Horne is getting hate mail for her trouble. While most legislators do anything to avoid taking on an issue head-on, we have to go out of our way to show them that this is the type of behavior that we want to see.
Shawna went further, stating that it’s up to voters to train elected officials to take risks. “If you want to see more legislators stand up and do what they feel is right – even when it might be unpopular or costly – then we’ve got to show support. We’ve got to go beyond giving them a shout out to them on Twitter, especially when they are in danger to losing their jobs. Fundraising and openly supporting their next campaign is the biggest way to stand behind them.”
To learn more about why this moment was pivotal – and also get an inside look at some of the “double-speak” that tends to happen when states face national controversy – watch this latest episode of Dare We Say.