In short, they suggested Alvin was mentality underdeveloped or possibly mentality retarded.
When I came to Tucson in 1989....the administrative guy in my office was a NCO who was rather odd from day one.
I came to realize after about two months....that he was mildly mentality retarded. He could read through a book or study manual, and remember enough to pass tests. If you asked him to explain the material....he'd just look at you. He could not comprehend. Question X met up with answer Y. That was his entire comprehension.
He did his job, but the minute he finished the tasked assigned....he just sat there staring at the wall. He could spend three hours a day staring at the wall.
After six months.....I came to realize there was a list of issues with this guy. He'd been in fourteen years and would probably make Master Sargent within a year or two. He could not supervise anyone, and he was a total loss at taking an emergency and reacting to it. He had the responsibility ability of a twelve year old kid. He could become ballistic and slam his fist on the table with only a marginal chaotic situation going on. With three or four beers....he'd just sit there staring at the wall and not react much to anything you said.
Did the Air Force realize this guy's issue? I think most of us did....but the leadership didn't ever see it as a reason to let the guy go. That was the general attitude in 1989. Could a guy survive in today's atmosphere in the Army or Air Force as mildly mentality retarded? Maybe...at least for the first four years. But after that point....they kinda expect some leadership to come out of you....and if you can't perform as a leader...they'd eventually let you go.
So....this is the sad part about this entire story. Americans really don't ask questions about who they vote for or why....and in the case of a bunch of folks in South Carolina.....just being a black guy on a ballot....might be enough to win an election.
Did Alvin get help or $10k to register as a senate candidate? Who knows? Who cares?
The public spoke, and this is basically over as far as I can see. The public didn't want to ask serious questions....so you just might have a terrible choice for your Democratic candidate. You might bring up voting in 2008 and suggest that few if any questions lead to folks voting a certain way then.
It's a story that will simply linger. If you start asking questions....you won't be happy with the answers. And if you just accept fate....you won't be happy. It's life....and you just gotta accept it.