Robert E Lee

The Truth about Robert E Lee

IN DEFENSE OF GENERAL LEE

By Edward C. Smith[Dr. Smith is co-director of the Civil War Institute at American University in Washington, D.C.]

Let me begin on a personal note. I am a 56-year-old, third-generation, African American Washingtonian who is a graduate of the D.C. public schools and who happens also to be a great admirer of Robert E. Lee’s.

Today, Lee, who surrendered his troops to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House 134 years ago, is under attack by people — black and white — who have incorrectly characterized him as a traitorous, slaveholding racist. He was recently besieged in Richmond by those opposed to having his portrait displayed prominently in a new park.

My first visit to Lee’s former home, now Arlington National Cemetery, came when I was 12 years old, and it had a profound and lasting effect on me. Since then I have visited the cemetery hundreds of times searching for grave sites and conducting study tours for the Smithsonian Institution and various other groups interested in learning more about Lee and his family as well as many others buried at Arlington.

Lee’s life story is in some ways the story of early America. He was born in 1807 to a loving mother, whom he adored. His relationship with his father, Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, (who was George Washington’s chief of staff during the Revolutionary War) was strained at best. Thus, as he matured in years, Lee adopted Washington (who had died in 1799) as a father figure and patterned his life after him. Two of Lee’s ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence, and his wife, Mary Custis, was George Washington’s foster great-granddaughter.

Lee was a top-of-the-class graduate of West Point, a Mexican War hero and superintendent of West Point. I can think of no family for which the Union meant as much as it did for his.

But it is important to remember that the 13 colonies that became 13 states reserved for themselves a tremendous amount of political autonomy. In pre-Civil War America, most citizens’ first loyalty went to their state and the local community in which they lived. Referring to the United States of America in the singular is a purely post-Civil War phenomenon.

All this should help explain why Lee declined command of the Union forces — by Abraham Lincoln — after the firing on Fort Sumter. After much agonizing, he resigned his commission in the Union army and became a Confederate commander, fighting in defense of Virginia, which at the outbreak of the war possessed the largest population of free blacks (more than 60,000) of any Southern state.

Lee never owned a single slave, because he felt that slavery was morally reprehensible. He even opposed secession. (His slaveholding was confined to the period when he managed the estate of his late father-in-law, who had willed eventual freedom for all of his slaves.)

Regarding the institution, it’s useful to remember that slavery was not abolished in the nation’s capital until April 1862, when the country was in the second year of the war. The final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation was not written until September 1862, to take effect the following Jan. 1, and it was intended to apply only to those slave states that had left the Union.

Lincoln’s preeminent ally, Frederick Douglass, was deeply disturbed by these limitations but determined that it was necessary to suppress his disappointment and “take what we can get now and go for the rest later.” The “rest” came after the war.

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the few civil rights leaders who clearly understood that the era of the 1960s was a distant echo of the 1860s, and thus he read deeply into Civil War literature. He came to admire and respect Lee, and to this day, no member of his family, former associate or fellow activist that I know of has protested the fact that in Virginia Dr. King’s birthday — a federal holiday — is officially celebrated as “Robert E. Lee-Stonewall Jackson-Martin Luther King Day.”

Lee is memorialized with a statue in the U.S. Capitol and in stained glass in the Washington Cathedral.

It is indeed ironic that he has long been embraced by the city he fought against and yet has now encountered some degree of rejection in the city he fought for.

In any event, his most fitting memorial is in Lexington, Va.: a living institution where he spent his final five years. There the much-esteemed general metamorphosed into a teacher, becoming the president of small, debt-ridden Washington College, which now stands as the well-endowed Washington and Lee University.

It was in Lexington that he made a most poignant remark a few months before his death. “Before and during the War Between the States I was a Virginian,” he said. “After the war I became an American.”

I have been teaching college students for 30 years, and learned early in my career that the twin maladies of ignorance and misinformation are not incurable diseases. The antidote for them is simply to make a lifelong commitment to reading widely and deeply. I recommend it for anyone who would make judgment on figures from the past, including Robert E. Lee.

aiken county center

Candidate Forum announced for County Council Chairman special election

The Aiken Republican Club will host a luncheon at Newberry Hall on Tuesday August 15, 2017 beginning with a social hour and meet and greet at 10:30 am. Lunch will be served at noon followed by a moderated forum for all 3 candidates for the County Council Chairman special election to be held August 22. Lunch is $17 for members and $22 for non-members, payable by cash or check at the door. Registration is required in advance and will open on July 25.

Three Republicans will be seeking to fill the seat formerly held by S.C. Rep. Ronnie Young, R-North Augusta: Andrew Siders, Gary Bunker and Chuck Smith.

An Aiken resident who represents District 7, Siders is performing the duties of chairman for the County Council in the wake Young’s departure. He was elected to the position of vice chairman earlier this year.

Smith, who lives in North Augusta, is the County Councilman from District 4.

Bunker served on County Council for two terms from 2005 through 2012. His colleagues selected him to be the Council’s vice chairman three times, and he was the chairman of the Administrative Committee for four years.

If nobody receives the majority of the vote on August 22, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held Sept. 5. The general special election is scheduled for Oct. 24.

sc young republicans

South Carolina Young Republicans need your help

Fellow Republicans,

What a time it is to be a Republican in America! We have a Republican controlled State House, Governorship, Supreme Court, Congress, and White House! Our years of hard work have finally come to a head! We thank you for everything you have given to the party as a whole and for your extreme and concerted efforts!

However, the battle is not yet finished.

This past election cycle has shown us one big thing: there is a movement among the youth of America that is getting them more involved and interested in the political process. Both Republicans and Democrats have noticed this trend and have begun efforts to bring in new members. Across the nation, Young Republicans groups have begun in many states, and South Carolina is one of them! The South Carolina Young Republicans is here to be our vehicle to draw the conservative minded and undecided youth of this state into the Republican Party. We provide an open platform where they can freely express their conservative ideals and principles without ridicule and retribution. We also offer a forum to further their conservative ideas and education with their peers, without the ire of the left. But we cannot do it alone.

We need YOUR help!

To achieve our goal, we rely on your financial contributions and donations to plan and host events, speakers, and activities. From your contribution, we can bring in more and more members to not only the South Carolina Young Republicans, but into the county parties and the state party as a whole. Any contribution, large or small, is both graciously and humbly accepted.

We can, and we will, continue to keep South Carolina red to the roots together!

Thank you in advance,
South Carolina Young Republicans Executive Committee
Email myscyr@outlook.com

Please make checks payable to the South Carolina Young Republicans or SCYR.
Please mail contributions to:
P.O. Box 6733
Aiken, SC 29803

Governor McMaster landscape

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster scheduled to address June 23, 2017 Luncheon

The Aiken Republican Club is pleased to announce that South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is scheduled to be the Friday June 23, 2017 Luncheon Speaker. Details will be announced in early June.

Henry Dargan McMaster of Columbia ascended to become the 117th Governor of South Carolina on January 24, 2017.

The son of the late attorney and former State Representative John Gregg McMaster and the late Ida Dargan McMaster, Governor McMaster is married to Peggy McMaster, and they have two children, Henry D. McMaster, Jr. and Mary Rogers McMaster. The governor and Peggy are members of First Presbyterian Church of Columbia.

Prior to becoming governor, McMaster served two years as lieutenant governor of South Carolina, eight years as Attorney General of South Carolina and four years as U.S. Attorney for South Carolina.

McMaster was the last independently elected lieutenant governor of South Carolina, and served as President of the Senate for the duration of his term.

As attorney general, McMaster made prosecution of criminal domestic violence a priority and harnessed the resources of law enforcement and prosecutors to crack down on child Internet predators. He also extended the State Grand Jury’s jurisdiction to securities crimes after the collapse of Carolina Investors and Home Gold, convicting those responsible, and also extended jurisdiction to environmental crimes and gang crimes. He issued the landmark opinion to protect our marsh islands from encroachment and won in the State Supreme Court the Life Science Act case, which enhanced the state’s potential through its universities for research, development and investment in the knowledge-based economy. He organized and led the states in the constitutional challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The first U.S. Attorney appointed by President Ronald Reagan, McMaster was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. His “Operation Jackpot” investigation into international drug smuggling produced over 100 convictions.

In 2012 and upon Governor Nikki Haley’s appointment, McMaster and former Attorney General Travis Medlock led a bi-partisan commission to reform ethics laws and restore the public’s trust in state government.

McMaster was elected chairman of the S.C. Republican Party in 1993 and was re-elected three times, also serving on the Republican National Committee until 2002. As chairman, he ushered in Republican majorities in the state’s House, Senate and constitutional offices.

A former member of the S.C. Ports Authority board, the state Commission on Higher Education, Palmetto Health Foundation Board, South Carolina Policy Council – Chairman, and recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, McMaster is admitted to practice in all courts, state and federal, in South Carolina, the U.S. District Court (1974), the U.S. Court of Claims (1974), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1975) and the Supreme Court of the United States (1978).

McMaster received his AB degree in history in 1969 from the University of South Carolina and his Juris Doctor degree in 1973 from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he served on the Law Review. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves in the JAG Corps from 1969 to 1975.

fbi square

May Luncheon welcomes FBI Special Agents

The May 23rd Aiken Republican Club luncheon will feature two female FBI Special Agents, who will tell the story of how they became agents. They will address the FBI’s role in the Identity Theft Crisis as well as the role of women in law enforcement

A brief History of the FBI from FBI.gov:

The United States was, well, united, with its borders stretching from coast to coast and only two landlocked states left to officially join the union. Inventions like the telephone, the telegraph, and the railroad had seemed to shrink its vast distances even as the country had spread west. After years of industrializing, America was wealthier than ever, too, and a new world power on the block, thanks to its naval victory over Spain.

But there were dark clouds on the horizon.

The country’s cities had grown enormously by 1908—there were more than 100 with populations over 50,000—and understandably, crime had grown right along with them. In these big cities, with their many overcrowded tenements filled with the poor and disillusioned and with all the ethnic tensions of an increasingly immigrant nation stirred in for good measure, tempers often flared. Clashes between striking workers and their factory bosses were turning increasingly violent.

And though no one knew it at the time, America’s cities and towns were also fast becoming breeding grounds for a future generation of professional lawbreakers. In Brooklyn, a nine-year-old Al Capone would soon start his life of crime. In Indianapolis, a five-year-old John Dillinger was growing up on his family farm. And in Chicago, a young child christened Lester Joseph Gillis—later to morph into the vicious killer “Baby Face” Nelson—would greet the world by year’s end.

But violence was just the tip of the criminal iceberg. Corruption was rampant nationwide—especially in local politics, with crooked political machines like Tammany Hall in full flower. Big business had its share of sleaze, too, from the shoddy, even criminal, conditions in meat packaging plants and factories (as muckrakers like Upton Sinclair had so artfully exposed) to the illegal monopolies threatening to control entire industries.

The technological revolution was contributing to crime as well. 1908 was the year that Henry Ford’s Model T first began rolling off assembly lines in Motor City, making automobiles affordable to the masses and attractive commodities for thugs and hoodlums, who would soon begin buying or stealing them to elude authorities and move about the country on violent crime sprees. Twenty-two years later, on a dusty Texas back road, Bonnie and Clyde—“Romeo and Juliet in a Getaway Car,” as one journalist put it—would meet their end in a bullet-ridden Ford.

Just around the corner, too, was the world’s first major global war—compelling America to protect its homeland from both domestic subversion and international espionage and sabotage. America’s approach to national security, once the province of cannons and warships, would never be the same again.

Despite it all, in the year 1908 there was hardly any systematic way of enforcing the law across this now broad landscape of America. Local communities and even some states had their own police forces, but at that time they were typically poorly trained, politically appointed, and underpaid. And nationally, there were few federal criminal laws and likewise only a few thinly staffed federal agencies like the Secret Service in place to tackle national crime and security issues.

One of these issues was anarchism—an often violent offshoot of Marxism, with its revolutionary call to overthrow capitalism and bring power to the common man. Anarchists took it a step further—they wanted to do away with government entirely. The prevailing anarchistic creed that government was oppressive and repressive, that it should be overthrown by random attacks on the ruling class (including everyone from police to priests to politicians), was preached by often articulate spokesmen and women around the world. There were plenty who latched onto the message, and by the end of the nineteenth century, several world leaders were among those who had been assassinated.

The anarchists, in a sense, were the first modern-day terrorists—banding together in small, isolated groups around the world; motivated by ideology; bent on bringing down the governments they hated. But they would, ironically, hasten into being the first force of federal agents that would later become the FBI.

It happened at the hands of a 28-year-old Ohioan named Leon Czolgosz, who after losing his factory job and turning to the writings of anarchists like Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, took a train to Buffalo, bought a revolver, and put a bullet in the stomach of a visiting President McKinley.

Eight days later, on September 14, 1901, McKinley was dead, and his vice president Teddy Roosevelt took the oval office.

Call it Czolgosz’s folly, because this new President was a staunch advocate of the rising “Progressive Movement.” Many progressives, including Roosevelt, believed that the federal government’s guiding hand was necessary to foster justice in an industrial society. Roosevelt, who had no tolerance for corruption and little trust of those he called the “malefactors of great wealth,” had already cracked the whip of reform for six years as a Civil Service Commissioner in Washington (where, as he said, “we stirred things up well”) and for two years as head of the New York Police Department. He was a believer in the law and in the enforcement of that law, and it was under his reform-driven leadership that the FBI would get its start.

Drew McKissick

Columbia Author and Grassroots Champion to address April 25 Club Luncheon

Conservative Activist and Successful Author Drew McKissick will address the April 25th luncheon of the Aiken Republican Club. Registration and a social hour will be from 10:30 to 11:30 am, followed by a meet and greet with Mr. McKissick  and lunch at noon.

He will be talking about the importance of political fundamentals for the Republican  party in South Carolina and more specifically some tips on how to grow local party organizations and campaigns at the grassroots level. Drew is a conservative grassroots activist with over twenty-nine years of political experience and a passion for helping other conservatives learn how to make a difference. He has served in elected and appointed positions at all levels of the Republican Party, including serving as a member of the Republican National Committee. Most recently he worked as the Eastern Director for Faith Engagement for the RNC, helping engage the faith community towards voter registration and education programs.

Mr. McKissick has announced that he is a candidate for Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party following the announcement by current Party Chairman Matt Moore that he will not seek re-election.  Matt and his wife Amy live in West Columbia, along with “Jasper”, their five month old Boykin Spaniel.

 

Republican Party Highlights:

  • Precinct President
  • County Committeeman
  • Delegate to thirteen SCGOP state conventions
  • Member: SCGOP Platform Committee
  • Member: SCGOP Rules Committee
  • Member: SCGOP Presidential Primary Task Force
  • Republican National Committee member
  • Delegate to five Republican National Conventions
  • Member: Republican National Convention Rules Committee
  • Member: 2004, 2012 SC Electoral College
  • Member: SCGOP Silver Elephant Club, 1993 – present
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The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on South Carolina

immigrantsAccording to www.fairus.org there are an estimated 70,000 illegal aliens living in South Carolina. They cost taxpayers $391,000,000 in state and local costs but pay only $21,000,000 in taxes, leaving a burden of $370,000,000 for South Carolina Taxpayers. Taxpayers are supporting $266 million in Education costs, $37 million in Healthcare costs, $28 million in Justice and Law Enforcement costs, $21 million in Public Assistance and $38 million in General Government Services for these illegal immigrants.

For a fascinating look at where US immigrants have come from over the past 200 years, click here Metrocosm.com to see the graphic display. Notice what happens after 1970.

John Klimm Aiken Std

Aiken City Manager to address March 28, 2017 Luncheon

Aiken City Manager John C. Klimm will address the Tuesday March 28, 2017 Aiken Republican Club Luncheon, which begins with a social hour at 11:00 am.

Mr. Klimm, 60, was unanimously chosen as Aiken’s new City Manager at the regular City Council session Monday, April 27, 2015 after a thorough six-month search. Klimm came to Aiken after more than thirty years of experience in the field of public administration and public service. His professional career includes positions as city manager and town administrator, chamber business liaison, regional housing director, state legislator, assessor and college professor in his home state of Massachusetts and in Rhode Island.

Klimm holds a Master in public administration degree from Bridgewater State University and a Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Boston College. Klimm’s previous experience also includes working as an adjunct professor at Suffolk University, Quinsigamond Community College and the University of Massachusetts. Klimm previously served a three-year contract as the town administrator of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, population 17,000, from 2012 through mid-April, 2015.

The City of Aiken operates under the Council-Manager form of government, an organizational framework which has grown widely in popularity since its inception in the 1910’s. Aiken first approved the Council-Manager form of government in 1955, and subsequent changes to the state legislation in the early 1970’s mirrored the City of Aiken’s Council-Manager Plan.

Under the Council-Manager Plan, the City Council serves as the Board of Directors for the city, with the Mayor acting as Chief Executive Officer. City Council sets policy guiding the city’s growth, development, and future. The City Manager serves as the Chief Administrative Officer, much like the President of a corporation. Under this role, the City Manager is responsible for daily operations, including hiring and firing of all employees, as well as the efficient and effective use of funds approved by the City Council through the annual budget

Chief Barranco

Aiken Public Safety Chief Charles Barranco to also address February 28th Luncheon

Aiken Public Safety Chief Charles Barranco will join Aiken County Sheriff Hunt at the February 28, 2017 Aiken Republican Club luncheon.

Charles D. Barranco is the Director of Aiken Department of Public Safety. He is a graduate of the South Carolina Fire Academy, a distinguished graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and a 2007 FBI National Academy graduate.

Charles was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. He moved to Aiken, SC in 1988 where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at the University of South Carolina-Aiken Campus.

Charles began his law enforcement career in 1991 as an armed security officer with the USC-Aiken Department of Public Safety. In 1993, he became employed with Aiken Department of Public Safety. Upon promotion to the rank of Sergeant of the Special Services Division, his responsibilities included management of the bloodhound tracking team, high risk warrants, VIP security, traffic enforcement and animal control. He also served as one of the Department’s Public Information Officers.

In 2005, Barranco transitioned to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office as the Homeland Security Coordinator, Sex Offender Registrar and a Public Information Officer. In a little over a year’s time, he was promoted to the rank of Captain of Jail Administration where he supervised 78 employees, managed the facility with an average of 325 inmates, prepared and managed a $4.8 million budget and continued his duties as a Public Information Officer.

Barranco returned to Aiken Department of Public Safety as Director in January 2012. His responsibilities include maintaining policies and procedures for police and fire divisions, budget preparation, continuing police and fire certifications, grant procurement and accountability, media relations as well as mitigating and responding to emergencies.

During his time as Director, Chief Barranco established The Aiken Safe Communities Approach which is a nationally used focused deterrence model to reduce violent crime and recidivism. According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s (SLED) Executive Summary Report, after one full year of implementation (from 2012-2013), Aiken documented significant decreases in violent crime. Murders reduced 85%, robberies reduced 17.5% and burglaries reduced 12.5%. Also, with the implementation of The Approach, community and law enforcement relationships and partnerships have been strengthened by the development of additional diverse community engagement opportunities.

Chief Barranco has also received Awards and Commendations over the years. They are:
Certificate of Commendation –Aiken Department of Public Safety (2000)
Certificate of Commendation – Aiken Department of Public Safety (2002)
Certificate of Appreciation – Palmetto Pride Governor’s Council on Beautification
Life-Saving Award – Aiken Department of Public Safety (2005)
Certificate of Appreciation from South Carolina SAVIN (Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification) Program (2009)
Strom Thurmond Award of Excellence in Law Enforcement (2014)

Professional affiliations of Chief Barranco include:
South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association (1993 – Present)
South Carolina Fireman’s Association (1993 – Present)
South Carolina Jail Administrators Association (2006 – 2012)
FBI National Academy Associates (2007 – Present)
South Carolina Police Chiefs Association (2012-Present)
International Association of Chiefs of Police (2014)

Chief Barranco has served on the Board of Directors for the Child Advocacy Center, Aiken Sertoma Club (past President) and the Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Aiken County and is the Second Vice President of the FBI National Academy Associates-South Carolina Chapter. He and his wife Beth, currently reside in Aiken County, SC.

Sheriff Michael Hunt

Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt to Address February Luncheon

Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt will address the Aiken Republican Club at its February  luncheon meeting on Tuesday February 28, 2017.

Michael E. Hunt, Sr., became the 18th Sheriff of Aiken County in May 2003 during a special election. A year later, he ran unopposed to win his first full term, an accomplishment not seen in Aiken County in more than 40 years.

His law enforcement career spans more than two decades. Prior to joining ACSO, Sheriff Hunt headed up the Special Services Bureau as a Lieutenant with the Aiken Department of Public Safety where he received The Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement in 2001.

Encouraged by his father and others to dedicate his life to serving the community, Sheriff Hunt began his public safety career as a firefighter in Richmond County, Georgia. He then became a corrections officer at the Aiken County Detention Center, a public safety officer with the North Augusta Department of Public Safety, and in 1985, joined the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

Since taking office, Sheriff Hunt restructured the agency. More deputies on the street has resulted in a drastically improved response to citizens calls for service. Sheriff Hunt most recently demonstrated his “hands-on” management style during the January 2005 train derailment and chemical spill in Graniteville, South Carolina. Governor Mark Sanford recognized the extraordinary leadership and awarded Sheriff Hunt the state’s highest honor, The Order of the Silver Crescent. In 2006 he was voted South Carolina’s Sheriff of the Year by the members of the South Carolina’s Sheriff’s Association.

A 1979 graduate of Langley-Bath-Clearwater High School and a 1983 graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.  Sheriff Hunt is married to the former Tonya WiIlhite. The couple has an 18-year-old son and lives in Graniteville.

For more information about the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, visit: http://www.aikencountysheriff.org/