'He said, go purge': South Carolina Tea Party leader explains why they listened to Trump — and waged war on the GOP
All across the country, the Republican Party is noticing a growing trend: political ambushes from unwavering "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) loyalists steely focused on doing former President Donald Trump's bidding.
According to The Daily Beast, the latest occurrence in Greenville, S.C., is a prime example of the political shakeup. When it came time for the Greenville Republican Party precinct to hold its annual vote to elect officers for the year, Lenna Smith who has been a prominent figure on the city's political scene for the last 30 years knew she would be elected president again.
But to her shock and dismay, when she walked into the meeting, she was met with quite a few new faces she had never seen before. When it was time to nominate candidates for precinct president, things became even more awkward. The publication notes that "one of the newcomers nominated a fellow newcomer, but not a single person nominated Smith."
When it came time to vote, the outcome was a foregone conclusion: Smith had lost the president position she'd held for years. For the vote on the next most senior office, the same thing happened, and then the next, until there were no more offices left. Smith had been totally shut out.
The strategic effort left Smith with many questions as she ultimately wondered what led to it. "I came home, and told my husband, I was just booted out," Smith told the publication. "Do these people see me as what I'm not?" she recalled wondering. "Did I offend them?"
The publication reports that a local South Carolina Tea Party leader named Pressley Stutts is at the center of the political shakeup. While he admitted that he is aware of the stark changes, he claims there is a reason for it. Trump had a request and he and others feel obligated to fulfill his request.
"There are a lot of good people that did lose their positions. Some are my friends," Stutts admitted during a recent chat with The Daily Beast on Tuesday. "Some people say, Pressley, what have you done?"
He added, "He said, go purge, get rid of the RINOs in the Republican Party. So we took him seriously."
During an interview with the publication, Smith expressed concerns about the future direction of the party and what new leadership could suggest. "It's frustrating to think the party may be turned over to people who have different goals from what we've had for years," she said. "Their goal is to replace us all. They may succeed."
Suzette Jordan, a Republican activist in Greensville, recently weighed in with her reaction to the changes as she offered a clear explanation for what has occurred. At the end of the day, she believes it all boils down to MAGA — or, better yet, not making America great enough.
"We've been accused of being establishment, being not MAGA enough, whatever that means," said Jordan. "Afterward, a lady stepped up and said, 'Congratulations on being an elector!' It was kind of ironic to me. None of that mattered."
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