Stephen Moore | Tim Scott: Meet the New Senator From South Carolina

Most conservatives and Republicans in South Carolina and around the country were delighted by Ms. Haley’s choice. But the left wasted no time pouncing on the appointee. Adolph Reed, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, took to the op-ed page of the New York Times with an indignant piece entitled “The Puzzle of Black Republicans.” Mr. Reed sneered that Mr. Scott holds positions “utterly at odds with the preferences of most black Americans” and that his rise fits “a morality play that dramatizes how far [blacks] have come. It obscures the fact that modern black Republicans have been more tokens than signs of progress.”

To the left, Mr. Scott is dangerous because he has challenged liberal orthodoxy his whole career.

When he was Charleston County Council chairman in 1997, he decided to post the Ten Commandments outside the building—a move ruled unconstitutional in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU. Mr. Scott believes the free-enterprise system holds the most promise for allowing the poor to escape poverty. He blames liberals for an attitude instilled in minorities that they can’t succeed in America because of racial barriers, “which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

He thinks racial-preference programs and racial quotas are “mostly unnecessary,” because while he supports goals to promote minority hiring, “you can’t force people into relationships.” He adds: “It’s the same as when I asked the same girl out 10 times, and she just didn’t want to go.”

Growing up in North Charleston, he attended a mostly white but desegregated high school and was elected president of the senior class. After graduating from Charleston Southern University in 1988, he went into the insurance business and shortly thereafter hung out his own shingle as Tim Scott Allstate, which grew to 3,000 customers. He was elected to state offices beginning in 1995, then in 2010—the year of the tea party—he ran for Congress and defeated Strom Thurmond’s son. In the House, his first act was to sponsor a bill to overturn ObamaCare.


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