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I wouldn’t be surprised if #SCDems try to make Feb. 29 primary voters sign a loyalty oath “to the principles of the Democratic Party” in response to reports that “Operation Chaos” Republicans will be coming out in massive numbers to support Bernie Sanders.

It would make sense. The South Carolina Democratic Party has done it before.

Back in 1944 the SC Dems tried to circumvent the Smith v. Allwright “White Primary” Supreme Court decision by removing all government involvement in primary elections, in an attempt to preserve the fiction that the party that elected 100 percent of public officials was a “private organization” allowed to limit membership to “those persons of the white race.”

This is why until very recently both parties in South Carolina had annual dinners to pay for the cost of running the primary.

When the Supreme Court ruled that subterfuge illegal, the South Carolina Democrats created a “loyalty oath” requiring those who wanted to participate in the Democratic Primary to sign (in a state that voted 99% for Roosevelt in 1940 and where no Republicans filed for any offices besides President for decades.)

The authors of this “loyalty oath” assumed blacks would not sign a document pledging “allegiance” to segregation and “white supremacy.”

But black people didn’t care, signed the silly meaningless oath and voted anyways — enough to be a force in local elections years before they elected anyone themselves (often voting with poll taxes paid for by local political bosses).

And Trump people won’t care either. Let them come up with any kind of pro-Socialist loyalty oath they want. No one cares about that meaningless piece of paper today any more than blacks in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville or Spartanburg cared in the 1948 and 1950 Democratic Primaries.

It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

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Author: Rick Shaftan