Could it be true: are some people too dim to vote. I just noticed a comment on a post about John Monds, candidate for governor in Georgia from the Libertarian Party. The comment said “he short as hell” and I did not know if the writer was referring to my picture with Monds or with Rep. Sanford Bishop. Monds, Bishop, and MLK are all Morehouse Men and like Dr. Benjamin Mays of Morehouse they emphasize achievement and intellectual stature over physical stature.
John Monds is taking the high road in a governor race that has seen negative ads after negative ads from candidates who aren’t generally considered negative people. I think a cottage industry has developed in which people are more interested in making money from fundraising and media ads than actually winning the elections.
Monds has represented the LP movement well and introduced a southern style of the LP. Nationally, the LP generally stands for freedom and liberty from government regulations and involvement. Monds has pushed those principles without bringing up the marijuana card that could spicy up his numbers with some voters. I am not for smoking cannabis or for gambling personally (gaming being another hot button issue) but many political observers would play that card with the current changes in California in mind.
Monds is a powerful man in Georgia politics because his governor bid could provide ballot access to the LP for future elections and his run will likely force a runoff. Former congressman Nathan Deal is fighting to hold his base and former governor Roy Barnes is fighting to turnout the Dem base while attracting moderates. Politicos I bumped into during the local HCBU’s homecoming all said the same thing: why are Democrats spending 30 million dollars on media buys and very little on the streets.
“The streets” or Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operations have traditionally been a method of awarding those with great community networking skills and those with well-earned reputations as community problem-solvers. Today, that money goes to run more and more TV ads and the real winners during election season are HBO and Showtime—no commercials.
Mark my word and file this post: the down ballot Democrat candidates are suffering from a lack of GOTV and if the governor race goes into a runoff, Democrats are not coming back out because getting them out now is unbelievable hard. Some Democrats are rumored to be voting for Monds as a protest for Barnes taking them for granted while courting conservative voters.
Again, are some people too dim to vote? You have Dems who cried when Obama was elected but won’t vote in the mid-term elections. We also have conservative voters whose views are shaped by TV and radio talking heads and the Tea Party Movement rather than seasoned public servants or policy wonks. When did experience become a bad thing? Rep. Charles Hatcher told me that lobbyists like dumb candidates and heavy turnover because congress is complex and under those conditions the lobbyists have the knowledge and power.
Recently, former governor Roy Barnes bumped into 8th district GOP congressional candidate Austin Scott and Barnes joked that a picture together would ruin Scott’s reputation. Barnes was so right because the GOP voters want candidates who detest Democrats and Scott must cloak the fact that Democrats and Republicans down here consider him a bright and likeable guy. Of course, there can be zero mention of the fact that Scott voted to change Georgia’s flag when Barnes was govenor. If Scott wins next month, his history of voting his mind will put him at the top of the list of freshmen Republicans that President Obama wants to know.
That last line means that the conservative Austin Scott would be better for this White House than the current Democrat congressman Jim Marshall who is slamming Obama and Pelosi every chance he gets.
Come to think about it, I am taller in pictures than Austin Scott, Sanford Bishop, John Monds, Rep. John Lewis, Senator Johnny Isakson and Rep. Jack Kingston but that doesn’t mean a thing when we remember MLK’s line about contend of character. (The same could be said about U.S. Senate candidate Michael Thurmond, who I never met. He would be a great asset in the U.S. Department of Labor.)
In America, no one is too dim to vote. However, we clearly have those who are too dim to realize the importance of voting but I am not worried because they didn’t read this long blog post. If weed was legal or decriminalized, those dim cats would be even dimmer. Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders is off on the marijuana issue.