Can’t we all just get along?

Only 24 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction, according to an AP poll conducted in October. While this recent poll focused on national politics, the public’s view of Washington has cast a shadow of divisiveness over state and local governments as well.

In order to answer the question, “Can’t we all just get along?,” and understand the significance of 24 percent, it is important to put that number in perspective. It suggests that only one in four Americans believes in the current trajectory of our country and it reflects the pessimism beating from the heart of our nation’s capital and being felt throughout legislatures around the country.

Unfortunately, South Carolina and the city and county of Orangeburg are not exceptions. We are a community with an abundance of resources but a deficiency in implementation. Orangeburg is rich in pride but poor in tolerance. Orangeburg is strong in tradition but weak in compromise. These challenging dualities have contributed to Orangeburg's slow economic growth.

While there is no single source of blame for the current challenges we are facing as a community and a state, the solution is simple. We must allow courtesy and compassion to trump chaos.

Dr. Kevin Ray, Orangeburg

Corker, others obligated to act

My senator and your native son, Sen. Bob Corker, has recently become an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump. While it's come as another welcome voice of dissent from the GOP, the senator has made it clear in recent weeks on TV that the current president is a danger to the country.

He therefore has a constitutional duty to protect and defend the Constitution and the country against the clear and present danger he has been criticizing in the press. Corker and any congressperson feeling that the current executive branch is dangerous need to step up and be the check and balance that the Constitution (and their oath of office) calls for them to be.

This means doing more than clever tweets and soundbites and pressing for tax reform. There are bigger fish to fry right now. Congress needs to act now to put this president in check and get adults back in the Oval Office.

Ian Rhett, Nashville, Tennessee

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