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South Carolina editorial roundup

January 9, 2019

Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers:

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Jan. 8

The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg on the partial government shutdown and border security:

A government shutdown. A border wall. Political impasse. America is the loser as the important issues of illegal immigration are being framed more and more as Democrats vs. Donald Trump.

The president is standing firm on the money he wants to build a border barrier between the United States and Mexico. Democrats call the barrier a wall to counter Trump’s longstanding call for a “wall,” even though he has said securing the border — with a steel barrier or fencing — is the bottom line.

New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there will be no money appropriated for a barrier. “A wall is an immorality. It’s not who we are as a nation,” she said this past week.

Does that mean entirely open borders and tearing down walls that are already in existence? It appears that if either or both would be negative for Trump, those would be the positions.

Let’s not forget an old proverb: “Good fences make good neighbors.” It is so prevalent a position in different cultures that its origin is difficult to pinpoint.

The president is right about stopping illegal immigration. The laws of the nation support him. A border barrier is just one tool.

The argument by Democrats about technology are disingenuous. They know an improved barrier is a sound approach to complement other methods of control. They just won’t do anything Trump wants, with too many busy talking impeachment instead.

The nation is asking, “Which is more important: hatred of Trump or passing legislation that can be made into law?”

In the end there will have to be compromise. Shutting down government functions can only go on so long as Trump and Democrats hold fast to their respective positions with the country caught in the middle.

The compromise should be Democrats and Republicans working together to fund the money to proceed with a border wall and using other dollars for various other methods of stopping illegal immigration. But there must be progress on barriers.

Then if Congress really wants to achieve something rather than partisan gridlock, it should get down to business on real immigration law reform that deals with key issues from illegals to guest workers — and get firmly behind enforcing the law.

As Trump has correctly stated: A country without borders is not a country.

Online: https://thetandd.com/

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Jan. 8

The Post and Courier of Charleston on Clemson winning college football’s national championship:

Clemson left no doubts Monday about who has the nation’s best college football team.

The Tigers’ emphatic 44-16 beat-down of mighty Alabama is their second national championship in three years. Both victories were earned against the Crimson Tide, the program every school has aspired to emulate over the past decade.

Unlike the previous title game, Clemson didn’t have to squeak by at the last heart-stopping second. The Tigers were dominant in all phases of the contest, beginning with an interception returned for a touchdown in the opening minutes. Alabama players and coach Nick Saban were left grasping for answers at every turn as they were swallowed by a sea of orange executing a masterful game plan.

While earning the program’s third title overall — its first came in 1982 — Clemson and coach Dabo Swinney showed that they have moved past trying to prove they belong in the conversation with Alabama. Mr. Swinney has built arguably the top program in the country, and it might not be toppled from that perch anytime soon.

The Tigers have terrific skills on both offense and defense, including a talented freshman quarterback with the poise of a veteran, an excellent coaching staff, top-notch recruiting and a rabid fan base. Some schools are lucky enough to have two or three of those qualities; assembling all of them puts Clemson at the pinnacle of the college football landscape.

The championship game began with heralded Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throwing an interception that Clemson’s A.J. Terrell returned for a touchdown. A few frantic minutes later the Crimson Tide looked to tie it up at 14-14, but their kicker missed the extra-point attempt. While kicking has been Alabama’s one odd weakness, the botched kick turned out to be an ominous sign.

Clemson roared to a 31-16 halftime lead behind three touchdowns from Travis Etienne, one of the best running backs in the country. Fabulous freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence connected with Justyn Ross — an Alabama native who spurned the Crimson Tide’s recruiting advances — for a 74-yard score midway through the third quarter. It was all over.

Part of Mr. Swinney’s success is the unique family atmosphere and culture he has established at Clemson, something that is attractive to players and their families. That is one of the reasons Mr. Ross chose Clemson over Alabama.

The Tigers also have an intense desire to win — and the confidence that they will prevail, regardless of the opponent.

“Our guys, they had a clear vision of the way we wanted this to go,” Coach Swinney said after the game, according to The Post and Courier’s Grace Raynor. “There was a lot of talk about ‘best ever’ all year long. We were never in that conversation. But (Monday night), there’s no doubt.”

Given the elite level of talent, recruiting and coaching at both Clemson and Alabama, there is a good chance that these same two teams could end up in another title game in January 2020.

Only next year, it may well be Alabama trying to prove it is Clemson’s equal.

Online: https://www.postandcourier.com/

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Jan. 8

Index-Journal of Greenwood on the state’s opioid crisis:

“You can’t arrest your way out of this problem. You can give somebody medicine to treat to treat addiction all day long, but if they don’t have that reassurance with them through that recovery process, you see them back in the emergency room.”

Those words were spoken by state Rep. Russell Fry, R-Horry, during a discussion about South Carolina’s growing opioid crisis, with a number of lawmakers promising that funding mental health care is high on their agenda.

And with overdose death rates escalating to the point they exceed the homicide death rate, we have to hope lawmakers move quickly on this one. It’s not a Republican issue. It’s not a Democrat issue. Nor can this merely be labeled a choice issue, in which the victims are dismissed as having done this to themselves. Sure, some opioid death victims sadly made a choice to try the prescription pain medicine, not unlike the way people experiment with alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. But a good many also got hooked on opioids because they were taking them to combat pain issues associated with surgeries and any other number of health situations. In fact, they were taking the medicine legally, as prescribed by their doctors.

Make no mistake. This is not an outright condemnation of doctors. The majority are no doubt trying to make the best health care decisions they can for their patients while others certainly have been known to dispense prescriptions like candy, knowing they are likely doing a disservice to the patient and operating in direct conflict with their Hippocratic oath.

But the loss of human lives as a result of opioid addiction is just far too high to ignore. It will not, as Fry noted, go away on its own, and it is absolutely essential that our state put renewed focus on prevention and mental health — all while holding manufacturers accountable, for they know now, if they did not before, the stranglehold their products can and do have on people. Often until death do they part.

Online: http://www.indexjournal.com/

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