South Carolina Republicans Requiring Candidates To Sign Personal Morality Pledge

The Republican Party in Laurens County, South Carolina is requiring candidates for office to sign a pledge that includes several representation about their personal behavior:

To be on the ballot as a Republican in Laurens County, you do not have to be “just” Republican.

You, apparently, have to be the “right kind” of Republican.

You must oppose abortion, in any circumstances.

You must uphold the right to have guns, all kinds of guns.

You must endorse the idea of a balanced state and federal budget, whatever it takes, even if your primary responsibility is to be sure the county budget is balanced.

You must favor, and live up to, abstinence before marriage.

You must be faithful to your spouse. Your spouse cannot be a person of the same gender, and you are not allowed to favor any government action that would allow for civil unions of people of the same sex.

You cannot now, from the moment you sign this pledge, look at pornography.

You must have:

“A compassionate and moral approach to Teen Pregnancy;”

“A commitment to Peace Through Strength in Foreign Policy;” and

“A high regard for Unites States Sovereignty.”

These are just a few of the 28 principles of Republicanism, some taken from the Jeffersonian view of democracy, that candidates must pledge to adhere to if they want to be allowed on the Laurens County Republican primary ballot.

These are in addition to the qualifications outlined in state law.

Now, of course, a political party has every right to decide who it puts on the ballot, or at least who it endorses. But, I’ve really got to wonder what the value of this kind of pledge would really be. After all, wouldn’t an amoral, power hungry politically ambitious South Carolinian just lie anyway?

Via @JeffQuinton

FILED UNDER: Democracy, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. David says:

    And this is what has become of Ronald Regan’s big tent party…

  2. Eric says:

    It feels like it’s missing something. Oh I got it.

    “You must be part of a recognized Christian organization/church.”

  3. ernieyeball says:

    “…some taken from the Jeffersonian view of democracy.”

    You would think Jefferson’s views on sex would be good enough for them too!

  4. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Not surprising. South Carolina might be the worst GOP demographic anywhere. Not only is it a collection of dissociative Bible bots in large part it’s a collection of wealthy dissociative Bible bots. Hilton Head is like being on another planet in some sort of parallel universe. Imagine Zombieland if the Zombiebots drove Lexuses and Benzes and wanted to convert you and then have you marry their daughters. Yikes.

  5. Herb says:

    Can you still hike the Appalachian Trail?

  6. Christopher says:

    The Ten Commandments should be posted in every government building, especially courts and legislative buildings.

  7. Hey Norm says:

    No PORN??? Do they realize that’s a billion dollar industry? They want that to just go away? Sure..let’s offshore those jobs too.
    Balance the State Budget? They took billions in Stimulus money alone. How in the hell will they do that when the Federal money dries up because they mandated a balanced Federal budget…which I assume will have to be done without revenue increases?
    This is the state where 98% of the party is white, right?
    I think I hear banjo music!!!

  8. marvin says:

    I think I am in the hickest, <— being the most hick out of all, state in the usa

  9. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Hilton Head is like being on another planet in some sort of parallel universe.

    Leave Hilton Head alone several of my friends live there

  10. An Interested Party says:

    What, a belief in Intelligent Design isn’t part of this pledge? How disappointing…

  11. Elizabeth Mignoen says:

    So, Newt Gingrich would not be able to take the pledge.

  12. me says:

    So what are they claiming is pornography? I mean this is politics, so we need to make this clear. Do they include hardcore, softcore, and any rated R film with a nude scene?

  13. Rob in CT says:

    Effing hilarious.

    So you are self-selecting for people who either: a) are in a narrow minority; or b) are just gonna lie to you (moreso even than your average political wannabe).


  14. ernieyeball says:


    USCON Article VI Clause 2: This Constitution*,..shall be the supreme Law of the Land…

    Should be posted in every place of worship above every pulpit in the United States.
    *(not your Holy Book)

  15. Rick Almeida says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Not only is it a collection of dissociative Bible bots in large part it’s a collection of wealthy dissociative Bible bots.


    It’s a mass of lower-income white Bible-bots adroitly manipulated by the Charleston-Hilton Head welathy.