2018-12-05 / Editorial

GEORGIA ON MY MIND

Michael N. Searles

Georgia has been my home for over 40 years and there is no place I’d rather live. Yet, there times when I have difficulty understanding my fellow Georgians. Not everyone thinks, believes, or acts the same and that’s something we all should appreciate. However, here is my dilemma. If there were two candidates running for a state office, let’s call them Candidate A and Candidate B. While they both had political experience and were qualified for the position, there were differences.

Candidate A: earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Georgia and worked as a home builder before turning to politics. Used every effort to limit and suppress eligible voters. In a commercial pointed a shotgun at a young man and found no problem with it. Held an office overseeing the election while running for a higher office. Failed to support extended Medicaid which denied 726,000 Georgians access to health care. Used highly offensive language against the undocumented mirroring that of the President.

Candidate B: was A Harry S. Truman Scholar, studied public policy at the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs and earned a Master of Public Affairs degree in 1998. In 1999, earned a law degree from Yale Law School. Encouraged every eligible citizen to vote. Advocated responsible gun rights supported by many Georgians. Argued that Candidate A should have resigned from the current office held. Advocated Medicaid expansion to aid citizens and keep local hospitals open. Supported dealing fairly with immigrants.

With these two candidates on the ballot, how would Georgia vote? While the election was close, certain trends manifested themselves. One segment of the population strongly supported Candidate B especially in the urban areas. Voters in the rural areas strongly supported Candidate A. What in the actions of Candidate A’s position prompted strong rural support. It is questionable whether limiting the number of eligible voters especially in small towns and communities would be seen as positive. With the amount of gun violence across the nation, it would seem unlikely that women in those rural areas would treat gun-toting commercial as appropriate or alluring. Good judgment is a quality that has no urban-rural divide. A person at odds with the business community would seem to be against economic growth and prosperity. An issue that concerned many rural residents was the expansion of Medicaid. This action had the overwhelming support of Georgians in all parts of the state. Yet Candidate A’s position did not stop rural voters from supporting the Candidate. It must be left to the reader’s imagination or surmise as to why Candidate A has become Governor of our great state.

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