Many of us may not have noticed, but South Carolina has taken center stage on the national scene.
A deep water port; an "inland port": innovative research universities; the nation's finest technical colleges; record-setting tourism, manufacturing and agri-businesses; right-to-work laws; abundant natural resources; cutting-edge collaborations like Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research and the McNair Center for Aerospace Research and Innovation; a unique history; and strong, generous people.
A place like this produces remarkable leaders in all fields: business, law, medicine, sports, music, literature, the military and politics. Lindsey Graham is one of these. He was born in Seneca without riches, except in character and commitment. Entering Congress in 1994, these strengths propelled a meteoric rise into the Senate and American political consciousness. He's been a leader in virtually every important decision since then, often producing results when others had given up. And he's done it without alienating his colleagues.
Nobody questions his integrity, ability or dedication to South Carolina. And everyone appreciates good humor, good manners and a positive outlook. Ronald Reagan set the standard; Lindsey Graham lives it.
Is he a true conservative? Certainly. He's won top recognition from virtually every national conservative organization, from the National Rifle Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the National Taxpayers Union.
He is the "Taxpayers Friend," a "Taxpayers Hero," one of the "Top 5 Spending Cutters," a "Guardian of Small Business," and a "stalwart voice for freedom" possessing a "Spirit of Enterprise."
But regardless of labels, look at what he has done. When the National Labor Relations Board attacked Boeing in 2011 for opening its plant in South Carolina, he attacked the NLRB, and won. When Charleston's critical harbor deepening was threatened, he presented common-sense new rules which, together with bold action by state leaders, will guarantee the success of this game-changing economic engine.
He strongly supports efforts to open doors around the world to our pioneering S.C. manufacturers. He opposed Obamacare and the Obama stimulus, and is blocking the administration's retreat from commitments to the Savannah River Site.
Graham also is promoting the construction of Interstate 73 for tourism, economic growth and hurricane safety. He consistently advocates innovative and clean-energy development, including nuclear, solar and offshore natural gas if approved by the people of the state.
He authored a ground-breaking law which recognizes unborn children as victims, and also introduced legislation stopping late-term abortions. His record is 100 percent pro-life. He consistently fights for constitutional protection of traditional marriage.
Senator Graham stopped the transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. and blocked efforts to try them in civilian, instead of military, courts. He stands solidly against the dangers posed by radical Islam. He wrote the resolution defining support for Israel against Iran's nuclear threat.
An Air Force Reserve colonel, he is ever-vigilant against threats posed by tyrants and instability around the world.
The country's future is bright, but dangers abound. Strong, experienced leadership in all fields is a necessity. Lindsey Graham provides this in the Senate. I'm proud he is a South Carolinian.
Henry McMaster is a former S.C. attorney general and previous chairman of the S.C. Republican Party.