Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers:
The Times and Democrat on honoring Veteran’s Day:
Armistice Day, or Veterans Day as it is known today, was set up to celebrate the end of the fighting in World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. On that day, German representatives signed a truce between the Allies and Germany.
The signing took place in a railroad car in the forest of Compiegne, France. On each Nov 11, most of the Allied countries commemorate the event.
The celebration in the United States is centered at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. In many places throughout the world, a period of silence is observed at 11 a.m. in the morning, the hour in which the fighting in World War I stopped.
The Congress of the United States made Armistice Day a legal holiday for the District of Columbia in 1938. All the states of the Union also have made it a holiday. In 1954, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day.
As so many remember in the 11th month, on the 11th day and at the 11th hour, the fighting officially stopped. There was joy, there was happiness and there was celebration. This was a special day, and still is.
To give the many government workers a long weekend, Veterans Day was changed to a Monday. But through the efforts of the American Legion and many others, that decision was rescinded. Veterans Day will remain on Nov. 11, as it should.
It has been told that when the trains came through on that day, people were lined up all along the main street and along the railroad track waving and cheering. The train’s whistle was blowing and people on the rear of the red caboose were waiving and cheering.
So many people were so happy when they learned that Armistice Day had been returned to the 11th.
To celebrate this memorable occasion, many American Legion posts and other organizations annually have encouraged participation by others through the simultaneous ringing of church bells. They’re asking that the bells ring out again this year from 11 to 11:05 a.m. Wednesday.
American forces remain in harm’s way in many places during 2020 even as the world focuses on the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has only added to the dangers they face. To those having served and serving still, we salute you. So much is owed by so many to so few.
The Index-Journal on healing divisions in the U.S. after the election:
We did not need schooling on the fact that the media does not get to pick the president, as some readers were compelled to tell us Saturday. It is, however, historically based and quite normal for media outlets to call an election in favor of one candidate over another. The Associated Press has done so since 1848. And yes, those calling elections have on occasion been wrong.
But calling an election is generally steeped in evidence of how votes are being tallied and an ability now to zero in on specific pockets of voters that typically lean red or blue. Certainly that is true with respect to national elections, and statewide and local elections have become far easier to monitor and call not long after polls have closed, largely in part thanks to electronic balloting.
It presents a bit of a dichotomy, doesn’t it? We all want to know who won, and so we find ourselves on election night watch. Precinct by precinct. Percentage by percentage. And yet, we often fuss at the source of those numbers, saying it’s not over till it’s over. Generally, that is the mantra when one’s candidate is losing.
So no, the presidential election isn’t officially over. Yet. While we do not anticipate a “Dewey defeats Truman” egg-on-the-face moment, especially in light of every viable and credible - yes, credible - news outlet reporting that Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States, we will wait for the voice of the fat lady singing to signal it is over.
In the aftermath, we simply hope and pray that this nation can and will work toward healing itself. Twenty years ago, and weeks past the general election, Al Gore had to concede that George W. Bush had won the White House. The time appears near that Donald Trump will also need to concede that the people have voted and chosen Biden over him.
It was a tight race. A contentious race.
But now, in the days and weeks ahead, we must seek a violet America. That’s what you get when you blend equal parts of red and blue.
The Post and Courier on why the South Carolina government should “stop encouraging one-size-fits-all voting”:
That didn’t happen, and unfortunately, the trend may be growing; Charleston County cast more straight-ticket ballots this year (115,692, or about 53% of all votes cast) than in 2016 (87,133, or 49% of all votes).
Making it easy to cast a straight ticket is unwise for many reasons. First, neither party has a lock on attracting candidates with impressive backgrounds and good ideas on the federal, state and local levels, which was reflected in our recent endorsements of both Republicans and Democrats.
Second, it results in voters making a choice in elections where they know nothing about the candidates. If they had to make individual choices, they might abstain in such cases, which would mean more choices were informed choices.
It’s certainly easier for people to vote a straight ticket instead of scrolling through pages of individual races, but those who do often fail to have their voice fully heard, because they forget they need to vote in nonpartisan races, such as the school board, and on ballot questions. For instance, Charleston County voters cast about 20,000 fewer votes in an important affordable-housing referendum than in the presidential race. The housing question lost by fewer than 3,500 votes.
Unfortunately, there will always be partisan figures on both sides reluctant to end straight-ticket voting simply because they believe it gives them an edge. Shouldn’t we have a majority of lawmakers willing to put the voters’ interests before their own?
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