Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits Of Good Citizens

By: Richard Haass

The Bill of Obligations

Be Informed

Get Involved

Stay Open To Compromise

Remain Civil

Reject Violence

Value Norms

Promote The Common Good

Respect Government Service

Put Country First

XV Obligations -akin to what Danielle Allen calls “habits of citizenship”- are things that should happen but the law cannot require.

p. 14 Obligations are different from requirements.  Americans are required to observe the law, serve on juries, and respond to a military draft. Failure to meet requirements can result in a penalty, be it a fine, imprisonment, or both.  Obligations are different, involving not what citizens must do but what they should do.  They are defined here as moral and political rather than legal commitments to be undertaken voluntarily. 

p. 31 Now, however, every candidate or elected politician is increasingly his or her own political party, able to reach voters and sources of money directly without having  to depend on parties.

p. 32 Intense minorities often overwhelm more restrained majorities in the political marketplace.  Compromise and even civility tend to be seen as a sign of weakness.  The center has been hollowed out.

p.41 Some two centuries later, the forty-fourth president, Barack Obama, made a similar point, arguing that “This democracy doesn’t work if we don’t have an informed citizenry.” An informed citizen is someone who understands the fundamentals as to how the government and the economy and society operate, the principal challenges facing the country at home and abroad, and the contending options or policies for dealing with those challenges.  An informed citizen is someone who puts himself or herself in a position to weigh what others say or write and contribute their own perspective.  Ideally, this individual would also know something of the country’s history and how it came to be what it is today, as it is impossible to understand the present without an appreciation of the past. 

p. 48 “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Or more recently, the head of the Associated Press made the following statement: COVID vaccines are safe. Climate change is real.  There was no widespread fraud in the 2020 U.S. election.  Those are not political positions; those are fact-based positions.”  Or as then Fox News correspondent Chris Wallace put it, “Truth is non-negotiable. There’s no spin to truth.  Truth is truth.”

p. 49 Parents have an especially important role to play: they have both the responsibility and the opportunity to encourage their children to learn about and get involved in the political process. 

p. 65 I’ve put forth compromise as an obligation because it is essential to getting things done in any situation in which power is distributed among multiple sets of hands, which is the case in a democracy.  Compromise is the process by which all relevant parties are incentivized to go along with an alternative arrangement.  An all or nothing approach to bargaining will almost always result in the latter.  

p. 76 Opponents on one issue need not become opponents on all issues, much less enemies.  Civility greatly decreases the chances that disagreements will spill over into violence. 

p. 80 The lack of civility also derives from the growing reality that people do not live in proximity to or regularly interact with people who hold very different views on matters on politics, race, or religion.  This “sorting” of our society in which we increasingly choose to live among people we find similar in ways that matter reinforces division and intolerance and leads to incivility.

p. 94 The need to minimize political violence also requires that a premium be placed on making the political and legal system fair and responsive, that there is a level playing field.  This holds especially true for those entrusted with special power, such as the police.  Acceptance of legitimacy of the state and its monopoly on the use of force is predicated on its willingness to exercise restraint, to use force lawfully, and to hold anyone who is an officer of the state accountable.  

p. 97 Norms are the unwritten traditions, rules, customs, conventions, codes of conduct, and practices that reduce friction and brittleness in a society.  Laws provide the scaffolding of a society, but norms are what fill it and make it livable, the furniture within the building, so to speak.

p. 98 Norms are related to the spirit and intent of the law, to behaviors that for one reason or another cannot be legislated or formally required but that all the same are desirable, even essential, for a democracy to be successful. Norms play an important role in our lives.  To remain civil. To look out for one’s neighbors and fellow citizens.  To respect authority.  To demonstrate good sportsmanship. To tell the truth.  To keep our commitments.

p. 110 Then there is the reality that there are those who do not contribute what they could to society and the economy and as a result increase the financial burden of the rest of us. 

p. 111 In his 1859 treatise On Liberty  John Stuart Mill articulated what has become known as the Harm Principle, which argues that individuals should be free to do what they want, even if it causes harm to themselves, but not if it causes harm to others. Explicit in Mill’s writing is that government should not interfere in individuals actions except when others suffer harm as a result.    

p. 115 It is baffling that opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine should be as strong as it is given the vaccine’s demonstrated effectiveness, it’s pristine safety record and the obvious risks associated with contracting COVID-19.  It is also curious in the sense that mandates for various vaccines, including smallpox, polio, measles, mumps, and chicken pox, were widely accepted for decades.  So why now?  In many ways the answers can be found in other chapters of this book: in the spread of misinformation via social media, and at times legacy media alike; in the reality that more of us live and work and socialize only with like-minded persons; growing hostility toward and lack of familiarity with government; an increasingly widespread rejection of facts and the experts presenting them; and a declining respect for norms that have long guided individual behavior, a reduce propensity to compromise, and a near exclusive emphasis on rights when people consider their relationship with society and country.

p. 116 Again, what it underscores is what can happen if we fail to balance individual rights with obligations and our personal freedom with the public good.  In such situations, everyone loses.

p. 117 Equal opportunity is not to be equated or confused with equal outcomes.  To the contrary, unequal outcomes in society are inevitable, the result of what we are born with, and what is garnered from effort, experience, opportunity, luck and more.  Discrimination that limits the potential of individuals must be discouraged as much as possible when it cannot be explicitly prevented by law.  Fairness also requires that what might be described as the circumstances of birth are not dispositive for those born without means. 

p. 138 A basic idea is that no one should be able to graduate from a high school or college or university without a meaningful exposure to civics.

p. 142 My instinct here is to suggest that the major debates, events, and developments be studied, that any single framing be avoided, and where there is disagreement, that various perspectives be presented.  As a rule of thumb, the curriculum should not try to settle contentious matters of history or the present or advocate for any particular policy as much as present facts, describe significant events, and set forth what were and are the major debates over analysis and policy prescriptions.

p. 148 I speak of the obligation to put the country and American democracy before party and person.  This obligation is a thread that helps bind the fabric of this society and is an essential element of patriotism.

p. 148 Virtue or character cannot be mandated or legislated. It can be encouraged on the basis that it is right and moral and ethical.

p. 153 Democracy requires entities that are not members of the party controlling a branch of government (or, in the legislative branch, that are in the minority) that question it, hold it to account, and offer policy alternatives. This is what opposition is all about.  It is unavoidable and necessary and constructive by keeping the majority honest and by creating the grounds for intelligent compromise.  The party in opposition has a higher loyalty to the law and to the success of the country.  Opposition must be grounded in policy and principle, not politics, if the country is to succeed and democracy endure.


p. 155 The central argument of this book is that American democracy will endure only if obligations join rights at the core of a widely shared understanding of citizenship.  By definition, obligations are behaviors that should happen but are not required as a matter of law.  The motive for signing up to and practicing a set of obligations even when fulfilling them is not a direct or immediate benefit is because it will encourage behaviors, norms, relationships and arrangements that over time will buttress our democracy and prove to be benefit to ourselves, the society of which we are a member, and the country in which we are a citizen.   


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2022 Election Postmortem: Rural Scrooge

Ted Sadler, Project Logic Ga | Southern Moderate African American Issues

Summary: While fresh on my mind, I write this unvarnished personal analysis of the 2020 election year with an eye on the past, present and future like Scrooge. Hopefully, this self-deprecating effort will be helpful and explain what should happen next.


* Rural Georgia South of Macon (the 1st, 2nd and 8th Congressional Districts) are ignored or tolerated by Metro Atlanta’s Democrats.

* Rise of Tea Party/Trump MAGA Movement – No place for Moderates (Ugly Tone and Neo Confederates)

* Rise of Progressive Movement impacts Blue Dog Democrats/Rural Black Moderates

               -Weak Rural Democrat leadership, bench or farm system

* Rural Bloggers and Moderate Grassroots consultants crafted an approach over the last 20 years different than the national or state party agendas.

               -Projectlogicga.com’s Best Interests Initiative and  P.E.C.S.

* O.P.E.N. 2020 Network: is a project that I designed that never was funded.  The plan was to cultivate 20 non-traditional influencers in 20 cities over time; building relationships before election seasons with local leaders who had preexisting community trust.  Also, we don’t need to proverbially preach to the choir.  Reaching non and infrequent voters with real issues was the objective.


* Democrat Party of Georgia treats some rural voters with distain and confusion; looking for “Atlanta type” locals rather than acknowledging our uniqueness and culture. (Both major parties seem less powerful than political groups controlled by Ms. Stacey Abrams and former President Donald Trump.  President Barrack Obama’s Organizing for America had more power than the D.N.C. at one point.

               -Rural Moderates: near the center, refute the Far Right claims that all Democrats are liberal.

* Candidate Selection: Traditionally, south Georgia has one of the big three statewide candidates: Governor, Lt Governor, or Secretary of State. Naturally, the Agriculture Commissioner should be from a rural area to balance the campaign effort for the ticket.  I was wrong to not push harder for LeMario Brown of Fort Valley or Winfred Dukes for Agriculture Commissioner.  Not having a south Georgian at this position on the statewide ticket might have cost us 250,000 votes.

* Down Ballot Candidates: While down ballot candidates clearly benefited from Abrams and Warnock, congressional and state legislative candidates in areas with better funding could have generated an additional 200k votes.  Those candidates in turn would have served as regional leaders for the ticket. 

* Cliff Albright: said that success in part comes from finding proven local networks and entities and supporting them with funding.  After the Warnock/Ossoff Runoff two years ago, some groups departed from this strategy and locals felt surprised.

* Campaign and PAC spending: my community thinks too much money was spent on negative advertising (T.V., radio, online, and mailers) in a lazy way.  20% of that money funding local events would have increased turn out by 20%. Door knocking and phone banking does work but the people need to be local.   

* Georgia Honors PAC: spent over 30 million dollars attacking Herschel Walker’s character and to some rural people, that effort seemed desperate. Also, there are no indications than anyone with this PAC is in or from Georgia. 20% of that money should have been focused on Walker’s inability to grasp government issues.  Did this group have a grassroots action component at all?

* Locals to Locals: Local people respond better to campaign people from their area. While Harvard, Yale, Sanford, Duke and even Morehouse and Spelman are top colleges, our regional colleges like Albany State, Fort Valley State, Savannah State, Valdosta State, Georgia Southern, ABAC and Georgia Southwestern run south Georgia and their graduates have an organic network from home and professional life.

* Millions and Volunteers: With online information, grassroots people in rural areas resent calls to “volunteer” from entities with huge budgets.  Of course, the real benefit of electing the right candidate comes from better public policy but the public only learns that from voter education.

* South Georgia: should function like it’s own political unit.


*  Scales: South Georgia can tip the scales in any statewide election and therefore Moderate Democrats are susceptible to GOP money if the Republicans purge the Far Right (exodus to a Trump third party) and a less crazy Moderate suburban segment emerges.

* Head of the Snake/Locomotive: Rural Moderate Democrats are often community leaders. If the most centrist 20% depart for the GOP or considered themselves “Unaffiliated,” future Get Out the Vote would be difficult.  Black Moderates can’t be taken for granted by anyone.

* Ossoff: Senator Ossoff will feel the effects of 2022 Abrams/Warnock.  While victory is wonderful in this runoff, a “normal” Republican candidate would have won.  Brian Kemp, Brad Raffensperger and Geoff Duncan loom so the next U.S. Senate race in Georgia starts now with studying Warnock/Walker.  Keisha Lance Bottoms would charm rural Georgia if she was on a statewide ballot for governor.

* Campaign Cottage Industry: Campaigns and PAC efforts are lucrative and constantly ongoing.

* Straight hard talk to infrequent voters and non-voters.

* Recommendations: Ongoing Citizens voter education projects with depth and complexities regarding kitchen table issues, the political process and agenda development.  Toward that end, I think several of my blog projects from the past could be useful and lucrative. 

 Cross Generational Big Issues | Project Logic Ga

OPEN20/20 Network | a grassroots policy consortium (wordpress.com)

Best Interests Initiative | Project Logic Ga

Southern Black Muscle: P.E.C.S. | Project Logic Ga

Summary: Moderate Blacks are the Democrats base in rural areas.  If we are taken for granted, the party can’t win in the  South.

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“Meat On The Bone” Runoff Challenge

Background: With Georgia in a Senate runoff, candidates should most importantly show a general, non-scripted understanding of public policy issues. It occurs to my friends that every adult we know in the nation can hold a two- or three-minutes discussion about what our nation is facing.  It’s no time for fluff and cotton candy. We need candidates to put some meat on the bone—some have while others haven’t.

Problem: We have heard enough about the personal histories of candidates; that has been covered ad nauseam and at great expense—cast the first stone. 

List: Projectlogicga.com and the O.P.E.N. 2020 Network put together a list of 20 issues early this campaign season. 

Challenge: We challenge any and everybody to pick out four, five or more issues and post your brief opinions. Then, we hope you will challenge people in your social media orbit to do the same.

Objective: The Meat On The Bone Challenge will show candidates how simple it is to prove their grasp of public policy. 

Goal: With one week before Thanksgiving Day, 200 responses in seven days would be nice; 2000 would be nicer and more than that would be a real public service that positions us as the people to see for real grassroots action in the final push for voter turnout.

20 Cross Generational Big Issues

Healthcare for All/Prescription Drugs Cost

Legal Marijuana

Increase Minimum Wage

Tax Ultra Rich Fairly

Free Technical College/Trades

Student Loan Forgiveness

Teacher’s Salaries/No School Choice

Police Improvement/Community Partnership

Assault Weapons Ban


Money Bail/Prison Reform

Top Superpower/Good Global Leader

Ukraine W.W. III/Male and Female Military Draft

Regional Money Issues: MATEE-Military, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Economy

Climate Change/Smart Energy

Fair Elections/Voters’ Rights

Right Wing Lies/Propaganda Machine: Watch “other” news shows

Women’s Right to Choose/Assistance for Struggling Families

Heritage Reconciliation and Equality: Confederacy/Reparations; Define “We Americans”

Ugly Public Discord: Mean-Spirited vs. American Harmony

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Meet/Meat On The Bone: Georgia U.S. Senate Runoff Grassroots Plan

Ted Sadler

November 10, 2022

Summary: Winning the U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia between Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker will require a massive quick effort from several different sources.  My grassroots network of political and public policy friends and associates are surprised that successful methods of the recent past (Warnock/Ossoff) were not employed in 2022.  These methods could have made Tuesday’s election results considerably different. 

Objective: In addition to official campaign and party operations, South Georgia needs a nimble, organic grassroots effort that is well-funded and that can reach those registered voters who didn’t vote in the general election for whatever reason. In a nutshell, we don’t need to proverbially “preach to the choir” or rally voters who vote without prodding.  However, those voters are needed to encourage their whole families and communities to vote.

Objective: Voters need to know that they aren’t voting for Warnock or Walker but are voting for what Warnock and Biden/Harris would do for them and against what Walker and the Trump MAGA team would do to them and our nation.

Method: At O.P.E.N. 2020, we have crafted a plan for years to take 20 non-traditional community leaders in 20 cities and towns in the 2nd, 8th and 1st congressional districts and use their influence to get out the vote.  We believe in the “party with a purpose” concept of filling venues with good times and good energy then letting the crowd know what is on the table—important actual issues. 

Method: I personally wrote 20 quick issues earlier this year; issues I feel could be listed in 5 minutes.  It occurs to me that Mr. Walker couldn’t discuss these issues well. I don’t want to shame his intellectual shortcomings but being a U.S. Senator at this pivotal point in our history isn’t the time for a lateral move. We see what happened when Trump made a lateral move.  Herschel Walker being a Senator as his first governmental position is equal to Warnock coaching the Dallas Cowboys.  While Walker was the greatest college football player of all-time, he doesn’t seem to have the leadership and organizational skills to coach the Cowboys or serve in the most exclusive club in the world, the U.S. Senate.

Problem: During the Warnock/Ossoff runoff, those of us who push local, state and federal politics and policy year around were surprised to see the “outside” groups who parachuted into our state to save control of the U.S. Senate because Georgians were evidently not smart enough to know the importance of the situation—and they made millions while we volunteered. 

Solution: If the above-mentioned groups have the funding and need proven indigenous networks (to use Cliff Albright’s BVM term), we can win this election and stop Walker and Trump.

Method: In this short period of time, planning meetups or events should be simplified.  Local restaurants and American Legion halls can be taken over for events.  Our community appreciates the “grown and sexy” multi-generational family reunion and homecoming vibe parties.  Events down the street from high school football playoff games or early high school basketball games are great ways to catch people while they are out. 

Method: The concept from O.P.E.N. 2020 called for 20 local trendsetters with 5 to 7 being under the age of 30.  Today, that type young person would be a social media influencer with thousands of followers.  They should be paid by us to fill a venue and/or “go live” about our election efforts.

Method: In rural south Georgia, we would welcome the new cash crop “legal weed” and we pushed for LeMario Brown of Fort Valley or State Representative Winfred Dukes to be Agriculture commissioner candidate because they are strongly for reforming marijuana laws.  Those two south Georgians would have gotten the votes to save the Democrat ticket on Tuesday and they are still very important to voter turnout.

Method: The push for infrequent voter turnout could come down to two residual benefit unofficial referendums: 1. Stopping Trump 2. Legal Weed

Meet/Meat On The Bone: I couldn’t resist this pun because Herschel Walker has cover fewer issues and opinions than any Senate candidate in modern times. He hasn’t met the press with Chuck Todd, face the nation nor step into the situation room because he is a puppet who can’t say marionette.  We need to meet and talk about this runoff and the issues quickly.  We need to use our network to get people to rallies or other events.  At minimum, we should use social media to push are ideas to win to the public—a day web-based issues show from now until election night.

Summary: With only a few weeks before the runoff election and less for early voting, we need to decide what we can do this week; can we secure funding. Unfortunately, the GOP and their outside groups will likely put money on the table to get our community to support Walker or to stay home. In these rough economic times and with the holiday spending season looming, folks are susceptible.   

Cross Generational Big Issues | Project Logic Ga

OPEN20/20 Network | a grassroots policy consortium (wordpress.com)

Tailgate Talks: Input from Rural Men | Project Logic Ga

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Tailgate Talks: Input from Rural Men

October 25, 2022

Subject: Engaging the Energy of the Rural Men in the 2020 Election Effort

Background: Some political campaigns and “Get Out The Vote” efforts seem to inadvertently take certain rural men for granted or ignore them.  At this late date in the election season, quickly acknowledging and engaging them/us could tip the scales on November 8th.

Age-old problem: The Democrat Party in the South is based on urban areas because they are rich with voter potential and issues reflect that.  However, Georgia has several subsegments and mixing these cross-cultures can be awkward. (Metro Atlanta, Next Five Cities, Rural Regional Hubs).  The Rural Regional Hubs south of Macon included Tifton, Waycross, Americus, Bainbridge, Moultrie, Cordele, Thomasville/Cairo, Fitzgerald, Douglas, Dublin, Houston County and other county seats.  These hubs are the business districts for a 20-mile radius.

Sanford Bishop/Jim Clyburn Supporters: These rural Black men are often Moderates on the political spectrum—truck and gun owners, church officials, military veterans, factory workers, coaches, football Friday night, Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, love cooking out, law-abiding, live in Lowes and Home Depot, beer, very old relax-fit Levis.

“I wear a cap, not a visor…..don’t sip wine….I drink Budweiser.”

Overlooked: Could it be that the urban based Democrat experts have little comfort level with rural Black men and that they feel overlooked.  If not for Trump’s ugliness and the Neo Confederate vibe, these men would be open to Kemp’s pro-business climate because the national Democratic Party seems preoccupied with young men who have issues first rather than those who get up before daylight to legally do for their families.

Breakroom Talk: Rural Black men and rural people in general notice the unbelievable millions being spent on T.V. campaign ads and shake their heads—money down the drain.  A fraction of that money could fund a hundred discussion meetups at local spots or cookouts.

Real Issues: Rural voters might not realize how pivotal this election season is.  I wrote a list of 20 issues this summer and the list could serve as a discussion starter at actual events or at a web-based discussion series that involves our proven community connections and earned trust.  

Cross Generational Big Issues | Project Logic Ga

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Unfortunate Rough Talk

Unfortunate Rough Talk

  1. Republican strategists are experts at misinformation and twisting facts to demonize Democrats.

-Design issue presentation to create division (Stir up regular folks with fear and contempt) Ex: Defund The Police

  • Big vs. Small (David vs. Goliath; Factory Owners vs. Factory Workers)

-Big Pharma/Drug Companies vs. Consumers; Legal Weed Pain Relief vs. Opioids

-Big Farm/Plantation Families vs. Farmworkers/Small Farmers

-Money NOW –Damn fairness and the future

  • Back To The Future: 1952 Again

-Senator Tuberville and President Trump are Racial TNT: saying out loud what Republicans are thinking

-Herschel Walker is the perfect Black: follow orders, tote the heavy load with a smile, don’t ask questions

-Second Trump Term based on November 2022 elections: remove public assistance, public housing, let the poor work for current minimum wage or starve

  • Church: Make the Republicans faith the law of the land: Unconstitutional

-Black Enslavement and treatment of Native Americans: Necessary Evil

-Biblical Justification: Descendants of Noah’s son Ham (Genesis 9); Slaves, Obey your masters (Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22)

-Trump and Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the Lords hate: Yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

  • Democrat Control: Everyone Votes

-Democrats can’t prioritize helping people who don’t vote themselves

-Hot Issues: Student loan forgiveness, Legal Weed, Money Bail/Prison Improvement, Ukraine, Assault Weapons, Global Warming, re- segregation of the schools, universal healthcare, affordable housing, more jobs

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For me, there are no political epiphanies. An epiphany is an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure. I think my guardian angels are so tired of in the angel locker room but they whisper the epiphanies in my ears.

They might say, “Without action, America could end.”  I see it as plain as day.  The American experiment in Democracy is at a crossroad. The experiment that began with founding fathers planning a new nation on land stolen from the Native Americans and with labor stolen from Africa.  My Republican sister Dr. Condoleezza Rice says that slavery was America’s birth defect. 

During Watergate, John Dean famously said there is a cancer growing on the presidency.  Today, the cancer is Donald Trump and I don’t trust Democrats voting to address it. The same voters who sat on aluminum, wood or concrete bleachers for hours Friday night watching high school football and the same people (like me) who will watch over nine hours of college football on Saturday and more hours of pro football on Sunday, need to take 10 minutes to early vote for local, state and federal candidates in the Republican and Democrat parties who say no to Trump’s tone and action.  That’s one long sentence but I’m no Hemingway—Ernest or Nakita.


Remember, presidential candidate Donald Trump said the election was stolen when Republican Senator Ted Cruz beat him in the Iowa Caucus. To win elections on all levels and to stack the Supreme Court with conservatives, normally reasonable Republicans ignored Trump’s childish behavior as a necessary evil in the same way Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers accepted slavery.  Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger caught hell from Trump for not creating 11,708 votes so the president could steal Georgia.  However, Duncan is the only one of the three to say Trump is bad for America.  Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney says candidates who support Trump’s Big Lie of a stolen election are “unfit” for office.

Action: Ask every candidate for every office on every level if they believe Trump’s stolen election claims.


The War on Drugs can be wrong at times.  People can’t function in a constant haze but let the people decide what they want between marijuana and alcohol.  Classifying an ounce of weed with hardcore drugs seems to benefit the big pharmaceutical companies who can’t profit from opioid pain drugs if Americans could grow their own organic weed pain relief.  Opioid drugs like morphine, codeine and oxycodone being abused has some folks walking around like zombies.  Oh, they need treatment said then President Trump but when crack was an epidemic it was lock them up and toss the key.  In my opinion, weed should be treated like liquor but the Democrats aren’t discussing their support for reform of marijuana laws. Earlier, I mentioned Nakita Hemingway and most Georgians would ask who is that? 

Nakita Hemingway is an urban farmer who is running for Georgia Agriculture Commissioner.  She won the Democrat primary over seasoned lawmaker state Representative Winifred Dukes.  Dukes wants to use legal weed revenue to fund Pre-K and Hemingway is a strong supporter of legal weed (most statewide Democrat candidates are and the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives passed a legal weed bill.)  Most of agriculture policy in Georgia is bipartisan but the Republicans treat grown folks like children: no legal recreational or medical weed while they have a well-stocked liquor cabinet.  

If Hemingway had a half million dollars in her campaign account, she could inform the under 30 voters about legal weed and the over 30 voters about possible expansion of medical marijuana.  She could pull out enough infrequent voters to tip the scales for Abrams, Warnock and every Democrat candidate but she doesn’t have the funding.

Action: Ask candidates where they stand on legal marijuana.


The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, facilitated by Donald Trump almost ended America.  Hold up again, a hostile, armed mob with Trump flags and Confederate flags beat police officers on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, entered that bastion of democracy and sought to hang the Republican Vice President for certifying a fair election.  I can’t make this up.  In the movie A Time To Kill, Matthew McConaughey’s lawyer character told the court of the unthinkable crimes committed against a brown child then he said “Can you see her? I want you to picture that little girl. Now imagine she’s White.”

Imagine a Black or Brown mob attacking the U.S. Capitol.  The authorities would have pounced so fast.  They would have been dead before they hit the ground.  I worked as a congressional staffer during the Million Man March so I know the grounds.  Blood would have flown down to the Botanical Gardens west and to Union Station north.

Action: Ask local candidates if Trump was complicit in the January 6 attack and how can they support him as leader of the Republican Party after that?


Trounce means to defeat heavily in a contest.  Of course, you should vote for whomever you like.  As a Moderate, my position on the political spectrum is an equal distance from craziness on the Far Right and Far Left.  However, the angry tone of Donald Trump’s Republican Party could lead to a Civil War if we aren’t careful and if we don’t vote.  The November elections are pivotal because we are electing state house and state senate officials who might continue to make it harder for people to vote.  Georgia needs a Secretary of State who will stand up to Trump during the next election.  If every adult in our community doesn’t vote, we could be on a path to Georgia 1952. 

Action: Make sure everyone over 18 years old in your family registers now and early votes so Democrats wouldn’t be trounced by Trump’s team in the November election.

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The Georgia State House 154 contest between Republican Gerald Greene and Democrat John Hayes begins and ends for me with a few simple questions.  As you may know, Rep. Greene was elected as a Democrat in 1982.  That’s the year I graduated high school but Rep. Sanford Bishop has been in Congress too long to the Republicans.  Really?

For the record, I’m a Moderate Democrat who voted for GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss and GOP Senator Johnny Isakson in the past but gone are the Nathan Deal type conservatives who explained their governmental actions to people who voted for them as well as people who voted against them. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are right about differentiating traditional Republicans from Trump’s Make America Great Again (MAGA) far right Republicans.  Personally, I think the MAGA people are the new majority in that party.

My state senator and state representative are Republicans and generally likeable fellows like Hayes and Greene.  But, I would have voted against them this year if they had opponents because I need Republicans to publicly state if they believe in Trump and Kemp and I need Democrats to say if they are for Biden/Harris and Stacey Abrams/Charlie Bailey.

In the newspaper today, Ms. Stacey Abrams drives home the importance of healthcare coverage for more Georgians while Governor Kemp mentioned job creation and blamed economic issues on President Biden.

John Hayes, Gerald Greene and every candidate on the ballot on every level this November should answer these questions:

  1. Do you believe Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the White House or do you believe Donald Trump’s allegations of a stolen election?
  2. Do you believe Trump was wrong to ask Georgia’s governor Kemp and Secretary of State Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes so he could win?

Also, there is a division among Georgia voters on the legal status of marijuana.  Generally, Republicans want the current prohibition while many Democrats support medical weed, decriminalization of marijuana or recreational usage.  How about these questions:

  1. Do you support a statewide vote on legal marijuana?
  2. Do you support a statewide vote on medical marijuana?

Birds of a feather flock together.  “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else, he will hold to the one and despise the other.” “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”  Obama, Biden, Trump, Kemp and Abrams aren’t masters, birds or trees literally.  But, like it or not, they are leaders of teams and good people don’t condone the actions of Trump.  President Trump actually wanted our governor to commit a felony by pulling votes out of thin air. 

For me, the most courageous leader in Georgia is the Republican Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan who told Trump no to stealing the election and then could not in good faith run for reelection in Trump’s MAGA Republican Party.  Another question:

  1. Do you favor Geoff Duncan and Barrack Obama’s cool tone for political/policy discussions or Donald Trump’s bullying bitter vitriol?

Jeb Bush said that if he had to be ugly to win the presidency, he rather not win.  He didn’t.  As quiet as it is kept, Senator Saxby Chambliss wanted out of Congress when the Far-Right wing of the Republican Party criticized his bipartisan negotiations in the Gang of 8.  Do what you want but I can’t support Gerald Greene or any Republican who stands idly by as bullies demonize Barrack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and even Geoff Duncan. In her book Becoming, Michelle Obama wrote that she can’t get over Trump creating an environment that threaten the lives of her whole family.  You don’t play like that.  You don’t chill while the U.S. Capitol is under attack and an armed mob seeks to lynch the Vice President.

  1. Did President Trump instigate the January 6 attack?
  2. Would you vote for Trump again?

Campaigning is more than smiles and waves.  We need to get down to real issues and you can’t be good fruit growing on a rotten tree. I say one thing about Republicans: when the battle lines are drawn, they get in where they fit in.  They got over Trump’s drama filled past to win.  So, Democrats need to do the same.

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GOP 2.0 is an amazing political policy book by Georgia’s Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan.  I’m a Moderate Democrat who admires Republican Duncan’s courage as he acknowledges the ugliness of Trump’s Republican Party and outlines a path back to civility—a path their party might not take.  In the political arena, we have the Left, the Right, and the majority in the sensible center.  However, the question is how do you function in vibe and tone.  Senator Sam Nunn, Senator Johnny Isakson, Senator Saxby Chambliss, Representative John Lewis and Representative Sanford Bishop were all good guys who sought dialog with the other side.  Duncan points out that the Georgia politics of his youth (when I was a congressional staffer) was led by conservatives —-who were Democrats.  I hope it’s not illegal for me to list my notes from this important book below. 

If Duncan was running for reelection, I would vote for him the same way I voted for Nunn, Chambliss, and Bishop.  The GOP had a blueprint for a more inclusive big tent party from African American GOP National chairman Michael Steele and they decided to be dark instead.  They could have had genius Governor John Kasich for president but they took Trump.  To me, Geoff Duncan is the second most important grassroots leader in America behind Stacey Abrams.  After reading these notes, you will see why.

GOP 2.0,  book notes by

Geoff Duncan, Georgia Lt. Governor

p. 9        The Duncans know that at the State Capitol, Dad always operates by a guiding principle: “Policy over politics.”  They’ve learned I believe that whatever your party, good public policy should lift all boats.

p. 11      You can’t make policy without the middle. Nor can you lead a state or country- or win big elections- without an inclusive coalition.  Bipartisan support is not a sign of weakness.

p. 25      Let’s focus on refreshing and recharging the GOP and engaging more voters through conservative Policy, genuine Empathy and a respectful Tone. Let’s call this our PET Project: Policy: Support smart conservative legislation that can create consensus and help real people solve real problems. Empathy: Genuinely seek to understand others inside and outside the GOP, and in the process, build a winning coalition. Tone: Lead by example as we share our ideas and perspectives with honesty, respect, and civility.

p. 31      When my father’s job brought my family to Georgia, it was a conservative country, led by conservative Southern Democrats.

p. 57      I liked raising my boys in peace.  But how could I let them see me spreading rumors or lying to my constituents? What would they think if I compromised the democratic principles and institutions that they’d learned to revere in civics classes?  What would it teach them if I stood by idly in this storm of misinformation?

p. 89      Nobody talks about the logical conclusion of the Fraud Hoax.  It understandably makes us uncomfortable.  We saw a glimpse of that conclusion on January 6, 2020, at the U.S. Capitol.  Make no mistake: If Republicans had overturned valid election results, the country could have collapsed.  And everyone making false allegations and trampling the Constitution would have been complicit.

p. 97      As early as 2016, I heard concerns from many friends about the president’s indiscretions, language, bullying and tendency to blur the truth.

p. 97      Pray at church and consider Jesus’s point of view on Sunday morning, but resume the unrestrained warfare against the other side right after the benediction: “All’s fair in war and politics; God will look the other way because he’s really on our side.”

p. 107   Here’s what’s really true: If our party want a future where in can win majorities and pass conservative legislation, it needs ideas and policies that can capture the hearts and minds of a majority, no matter how many people vote. Tht

p. 139   Here’s the alarm bell: The Republican Party has won the popular vote one time – once – since 1988.

p. 140   The 2020 elections offer three particularly important lessons to Republicans. 1. Our tent must expand. 2. Our tent can expand. 3. The sideshows have to stop.

p.  154   He (Trump) gain 4 percent from 2020, reaching 12 percent (of the Black vote.)  He did this despite four years of divisive language, flirtations with white supremacy, and poor handling of racial justice protests.  What if he had showed understanding and empathy?  What if he’d responded to the needs and conditions that fueled the protests?

p. 157    We conservatives are allowing ourselves to be poisoned by misinformation.  Our grip on reality – and our credibility with key voters such as independents, moderates, and even many conservatives – will continue to slip if we don’t take a stand and stop this nonsense.

p. 158    We learned in Bob Woodward’s infamous interview that the president clearly knew the facts about the coronavirus but chose to politicize this global threat to boost his image and agenda- and divided Americans with the one issue that should have united us.  And many party members went right along with him.

p. 183   And in this political era so full of anger and rancor, Republicans and Democrats need to forgive one another and move to understand each other.  Let’s also show America we can love those who don’t usually vote for us too.  Our leaders need to provide the example.

p. 214    And when people do find themselves inside the (criminal justice) system, we should find ways to equip lesser offenders with the tools and skills they need to make a better path for themselves outside the system.  As long as safety permits, American potential doesn’t need to be locked up or dragged down by inescapable cycles of fines and penalties.

p. 240    Seriously, how can we expect somebody to vote for us if we’re not willing to sit down with them at a kitchen table and ask them their challenges?  How many Republican legislators know what it’s like to be a single mom with two jobs and three kids?  Even after talking with Ahmaud Arbery’s  mother, I still don’t truly comprehend what it must be like to be a young Black man in America.  I never will, but I’ll commit to trying.

p. 240    Broadly, we need to spend time with the poor, people of color, those in the middle class- many of whom don’t statistically vote for us but who many of our policies could help. 

p. 249    Truth is, governing requires much more: It requires listening, studying, collaborating, compromising, explaining, and teaching.

p. 252    Rotarians evaluate their statements by asking:

               1. Is it the truth?

               2. Is it fair to all concerned?

               3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

               4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

p. 257    Republican leaders have excused, accepted, encouraged               , and rewarded making false statements on an astonishing scale recently, especially for a party that claims moral high ground.

p. 263    Let’s stop undermining every information channel that doesn’t always see it our way.  Let’s call out falsehood.  Let’s promote policies that don’t need misinformation to win support.

p. 269   We imagine a government of representatives who vigorously and honestly debate big ideas and then come together to take responsibility for helping our nation solve its challenges.  We envision leaders who can show us how to love one another, even when we disagree. 

p. 272    I’m convinced this generation of Republicans and this refreshed and bigger version of the party I imagine – GOP 2.0 – can bring together an extraordinary coalition behind conservative policies that work, genuine understanding that informs and respectful honest tones that unite and inspire.

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If you have 20 seconds, I have listed 20 issues that “might” be important enough to get unlikely voters to the polls in November or “might” get everyone over 18 years old to register. Would you be so kind as to peruse the list and help political eggheads/nerds know what you think is vital to your family—past, present, and future.  People who use words like “peruse” shouldn’t create the issues list—real citizens should. 

To the abovementioned eggheads, the sky is falling on this nation and our region like Chicken Little said. When you produce too much political commentary, people don’t know when it’s really, really dire.  Best believe, we are at a pivotal point in American history.  This list is a policy skeleton or framework. Hopefully, we will consider these issues and items over the Summer and Fall so we can be well-informed voters with developed opinions by Election Day in November or early voting. 

The cross generational aspect for me involves two or three generations of a family discussing voting because grandmother remembers the bad old days when our community was systematically oppressed. They fought hard for the right to vote and participate in representative government on the local, state and federal levels.  If the under 30 demographic continues to blow off voting, the South will be run by folks who are as nasty as they want to be and who romanticize the Jim Crow era.  That’s scary. Kids who can’t vote (the future) deserve better opportunities and a fair chance at the good life.

To put meat on the skeleton’s bones slowly, a series of short (five minutes) video discussions are coming. From the 20 issues below, how many are really important in your opinion?

Healthcare for All/Prescription Drugs Cost

Legal Marijuana

Increase Minimum Wage

Tax Ultra Rich Fairly

Free Technical College/Trades

Student Loan Forgiveness

Teacher’s Salaries/No School Choice

Police Improvement/Community Partnership

Assault Weapons Ban


Money Bail/Prison Reform

Top Superpower/Good Global Leader

Ukraine W.W. III/Male and Female Military Draft

Regional Money Issues: MATEE-Military, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Economy

Climate Change/Smart Energy

Fair Elections/Voters’ Rights

Right Wing Lies/Propaganda Machine: Watch “other” news shows

Women’s Right to Choose/Assistance for Struggling Families

Heritage Reconciliation and Equality: Confederacy/Reparations; Define “We Americans”

Ugly Public Discord: Mean-Spirited vs. American Harmony

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After a campaign misstep this week, I want to think out loud in a rambling blog post that will be read by few but hopefully the process will be beneficial to those of us in the political arena committed to actual forming a more perfect union.  To make this medicine goes down easier, we should add a little sugar in the form of related musical lyrics.

Background: Georgia’s primary elections were interesting on both sides.  The Republicans selected football great Herschel Walker for U.S Senate over the much more qualified current agriculture commissioner Gary Black evidently with the logic that his name and maybe blackness will attract enough Black voters to win in November.  They would have gotten more Black votes in November from folks who would think that Gary “Black” is a bro like his opponent Senator Raphael Warnock.

In that famous Romeo and Juliet soliloquy, Shakespeare had heart-broken Juliet say “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  No sweetheart, you just can’t marry this guy from the Montague clan and no Black folks won’t vote for politically baffled Herschel Walker because could tote the pigskin back in the day. 

My misstep was thinking that the legislative ag experience of State Rep. Winfred Dukes would get him into a runoff for Georgia Agriculture Commissioner. Correction, other people made that misstep while I wanted to increase name id so we could have one non-Atlanta candidate on the Democrat statewide ballot. 

What’s in a name: With secondary consideration to experience, biographies, and everything else, evidently some voters just select candidates whose name sounds like someone from their community.  I do the same thing when cheering for Rickie Fowler in golf tournaments because he must be a bro, right?

To be fair, voters can pick candidates anyway they want and I once thought there is no way Barack Hussein Obama could become a U.S. senator.  In the primary, the lt. governor and agriculture commissioner races might have involved the name game. Since Shakespeare wrote about roses, we must rock with cut flower grower/urban farmer Nakita Hemingway for ag commissioner.  She could help the Dem ticket by bringing voters’ attention to the fact that Democrats would let them grow legal marijuana. 

The lt. governor runoff pits Charlie Bailey against Kwanza Hall.  We think some voters selected Kwanza because of his name.  However, the runoff will give Georgians the opportunity to look deeper into both candidates and use this position and other runoff contests to balance the Democrat ticket. 

Holds No Currency: When Paul Simon went solo, he put together a band of South African musicians and some Black folks were in their feelings. The brilliant Graceland album and the single “You Can Call Me Al” comes to mind because of the lyric “He holds no currency.” Let’s be honest, in politics and everything else, money talks and bull— walks.  Money is the mother’s milk of politics and heaven knows the ag commissioner results would have been different if my friends and I held some currency in south Georgia.  The current mother of grassroots politics in America and a money raising machine is Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams. She is smarter than us; She has a plan; we should trust her process and maybe we can so win so Senator Warnock can remain in the Senate majority and Vice President sista Harris can get President Joe Biden to cancel student loans.  I told you I was rambling. No one can win elections without holding currency.

Clearly, the Democrat plan is to have a statewide ticket that looks and feels like our diverse state while Republicans have a bunch of angry White guys and one angry Black guy (Ricki Fowler can come to the cookout in his orange Puma gear before Trump supporting Herschel Walker can but the GOP doesn’t know that.)  Black voters can pick a bunch of Black candidates who don’t bring range into the big tent or big umbrella.  When Jason Carter (Jimmy Carter’s kin) ran for governor and Michelle Nunn (Sam Nunn’s kin) ran for U.S. Senate, I think most if not all of the other statewide candidates were Black women.  We didn’t win anything that year.

Dream of the Blue Turtles: We love the police—law enforcement and the band.  When Sting went solo like Paul Simon, he put together an amazing group of Black musicians (Branford Marsalis on soprano sax) and Black folks again lost their minds.  Dadgum it, Black folks, calm down and trust the process.  That CD was fire and I dusted it off recently to hear the haunting nuclear war song “Russians.” Sting sang “what might save us—me and you- is if the Russians love their children too.”

If we love our American children as much as Sting loves British kids, we will let Abrams get us some Blue Turtle victories in November with her dream ballot and issues like minimum wage, healthcare coverage, choice, improving schools, gun control etc.  The ticket must include more than urban voters in Atlanta.  Some of the down-ballot candidates add range for the Dems into suburban and rural areas.  Since we can’t have a rural farmer for Ag Commissioner, I’m taking a hard look at lieutenant governor candidate Charlie Bailey because he is from rural Georgia and can connect with country voters.

The Plot Thickens: Kwanza Hall is a former congressman and member of the Atlanta City Council but Charlie Bailey has support from some trusted names in the Black political community.  The plot thickens in the secretary of state race because Dee Dawkins-Haigler is friends with countless people across the state but Stacey Abrams recently endorsed state legislator Bee Nguyen who has friends as well. 

On that Sting album, the hot single was “If You Love Someone Set Them Free.”  I’m a Moderate Democrat who appreciates what Ms. Abrams has done to energize Progressive voters.  She helped give us two U.S. senators from Georgia and a presidential win for the state.  Shall we set Ms. Abrams free to work her brilliant magic one more again. I think we should study the runoff candidates in detail and select folks who can win in November.

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State Representative Winfred Dukes is the best choice for Georgia Agriculture Commissioner.  Because the Republicans are nominating a well-funded state senator, Democrats must select wisely if they have any hope of winning and if they want someone who can increase rural voter turnout for Stacey Abrams, Senator Rafael Warnock, Congressman Sanford Bishop and every Democrat candidate around the state.

Experience: Dukes is a long-serving member of the Georgia House Agriculture Committee and been part of House Leadership so he has connections with legislators all over the state and detailed knowledge of the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the food and fiber industry it promotes.

Rural-Based/Old School: Rep. Dukes is small business owner from a rural county and lives in an agricultural region of the state.  While the Progressive Movement is growing and well-represented in new leadership in the Democrat Party of Georgia, Old School Moderates are still the core of the party outside Metro Atlanta.  Dukes and Bishop are the connective tissue to many of the leaders, networks and issues that gave The Blue Team success during the Bill Clinton, Sam Nunn and Roy Barnes years.

“Down Ballot is good like salad”: President Obama constantly spoke of the importance of wise voters voting on every item or contest on the ballot. He said he would have had a better congress and got more done if people who voted for him would have taken an additional few minutues to also voter for everyone who supported Democrat beliefs.

First Lady Michelle Obama promoted healthy food choice while in the White House Garden because she knew that better nutrition is key to energy and less illness. Dukes as Agriculture Commissioner will continue this mission.  Mrs. Obama moved America from the old food pyramid to an easier to understand myplate.gov with equal portions of fruits, vegetables, grains and protein.

If you will, the Democrat plate of candidates needs balance with Agriculture Commissioner Winfield Dukes being the down ballot salad.  You can’t have a plate of just meat (Atlanta); we need the vegetables (rural voters) as well.

Stacey Abrams can win alone. The effort to win for the whole Democrat team involves many Blue team members campaigning across the state in their regions from their experiences. Winifred Duke is from south Georgia and is vital to the overall Democrat effort in November because he brings a “down home” vibe that others don’t have and rural voters want that.

When Abrams wins, her term would be difficult if she doesn’t have Democrat elected officers as Lt. Governor, Agriculture Commissioner, Labor Commissioner, Attorney General, Secretary of State and state house and state senate members.

Dukes should secure victory without a runoff so he can start focusing resources and time on his Republican opponent.  

The misinformation machine of the Republican Party constantly speaks of the ultra-liberal entire Democrat Party.  But, the existence Dukes and other rural Democrats who are closer to the political center are very real and gives range the Democrats, a diverse group that looks like America.

Agriculture: Ag is Georgia’s top industry and all citizens benefit from it’s success directly or indirectly because everyone eats food.  We thank heaven for the farmers, producers, ranchers, fishermen, foragers, food processors, farm workers and trucker drivers who provide a safe and affordable food supply.  Because local school districts are partial funded by property taxes, farmland is the foundation of the tax revenue in rural areas.  Agribusiness includes manufacturing of farm equipment and agricultural chemicals. 

“Seed to Fork” is a concept that encompasses every aspect of the food and fiber industry. During the COVID pandemic, we learn that truck drivers, food distribution center workers and chicken deboners are essential personnel.  Indirectly, food is shipped from Georgia Airports, Seaports and Rail Centers all over the world.  Agriculture is vital to our state and Dukes acknowledges that everyone is involved.

Weed: Reforming Georgia’s marijuana laws is a pivotal issue.  On the Democrat ballot, Referendum 8 asks “Should marijuana be legalized, taxed, and regulated in the same manner as alcohol for adults 21 years of age or older, with proceeds going towards education, infrastructure, and health care programs?” Democrats are asking the public how they feel about legal and/or medical marijuana while Republican are in the Stone Ages.  The same Republicans supported opioids for pain relief and abuse of Oxycontin turned many Americans into dopesick zombies.  The Pharmaceutical corporations would go crazy if better pain relief could be grown in grandmother’s bay window.  We know cancer patients who sought marijuana when opioids didn’t help.

We need Winfred Dukes as an Agriculture Commissioner who would promote all of Georgia’s crop and explore new crops like marijuana. 

Flintstones vs. Jetsons: Like any other industry, Agriculture must evolve and function in an ever-changing world. Corporate greed drives the rich Republicans. Their mentality seems to be “make money, ignore science, scar the planet, no future generations.”  We now know that climate change and global warming is real.  But, Winfred Dukes and wise Democrats believe we can transition to cleaner energy agriculture while retraining workers displaced from the fossil fuel industry.  Clean water and clean air are part of our stewardship of God’s Green Earth.

Farmers and citizens must balance use in Georgia, Florida and Alabama of the waters in the Coosa, Tallapoosa, Apalachicola and Flint Rivers. We must listen to all involved parties and arrive at logical conclusions.  We appreciate Georgia farmers for implementing farm methods that are water wise.

That’s Ag Too?: American dependance on foreign oil is being address with plant-based fuel research at UGA, Georgia Tech, Fort Valley State and ABAC.   The crisis between Russia and Ukraine is a Georgia Agriculture matter because Ukraine was the breadbasket of the Former Soviet Union.  If they aren’t planting grains, it effects the global market price here. Unfortunately, that volatile region is a market for Georgia products like peanuts and soybean products as hungry war refugees flood into neighboring nations.  So, agriculture support from Georgia is beating biblically beating swords into plowshares around the world.

If we want people fleeing troubled nations to have better lives in their homeland and not come here, we can export farming methods from our state into Latin America, Africa and elsewhere. Can you believe a UGA researcher is teaching Africans to irrigate their fields and grow catfish in the waterways.   Winfried Dukes believes the adage “give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”  Dukes as Ag Commissioner would promote for Georgia food producers in the short time by providing food assistance in the short time and exploring seed and equipment to stabilize developing nations’ agriculture industries in the long term.

Campaigning Across Georgia: The Democrats almost won the governor’s race then did win the presidency in our state as well as two U.S. Senate seats.  But the crafty Republicans are making it more difficult to vote since they can’t win fair and square.  Democrats can’t concede so-called “Red” congressional districts because we can win there if people knew the issues and know that we are the party that fights for working people, the middle class and those driven to achieve.

Honestly, rural folks like to hear regional issues, concerns and policy solutions from candidates with similar roots as them. Winfred Dukes for Agriculture Commissioner would be one of very few non-Atlanta candidates campaigning in the Fall. 

Summary: The saying “Put Up Your Dukes” is dated. Most young people would not know what “dukes” are. They were born in a time when Democrats seem right on policy but light on fight.  Grammarist.com defines “Put up your dukes” as getting into a fighting stance and defend yourself.  Winfred Dukes is battle-tested, trained, seasoned and ready to win.  The State Agriculture Department is a catch-all for various mechanical aspects of state government.  The Agriculture industry isn’t going to entrust their field to a newcomer or novice. But, they must admit that Dukes knows them from his years of service as a state legislator.

While young voters don’t know “Put up Your Dukes,” their similar saying is “let your hands go.”  Elections aren’t about candidates only. They are about what the candidates would do in office fighting for everyone—not just the people who voted for them.  Well, they will never get to fight in office if they don’t put up their Dukes and let those hands go because the Trump-type Republicans fight dirty, punch below the belt and will throw everything at the Democrats to stay in power and serve their rich friends.

Stacey Abrams has fight.  Warnock and Ossoff have it as well.  South Georgia proudly puts up fighter Winfred Dukes for our Blue Team.  Because a winning team requires balance, diversity, and range. We feel Duke will be perfect for the statewide ticket.  He could tip the scales for a Democrat victory.

Summary Points: Dukes for Georgia Agriculture Commissioner


Long Serving Member of Georgia House Agriculture Committee;

Business Owner; Roots in Rural Farm Area;

Democrat Party connections across state.


Support and promote Agriculture, Georgia’s top industry;

Support entire “Seed to Fork” employment opportunities in Georgia Ag;

With Georgia’s research colleges and universities, develop plant-based alternative energy sources;

Support science-based best farm practices for good stewardship of clean water, air and land;

Promote Georgia agriculture tourism as an additional income source for our farmers and producers;

Work with USDA to end “Food Deserts” and provide access to affordable locally sourced fresh meat, fruits and vegetables;

Encourage vocational training in Georgia schools for careers in Ag related fields like truck driving; distribution center workers, food processing and food inspection;

Explore new cash crops like medical marijuana and legal weed;

Political Strategy:

Down Ballot statewide candidates support the overall Democrat ticket;

Democrats can’t win in Atlanta alone; South Georgia wants a seat at the table/Agriculture Commissioner Winifred Dukes would be perfect;

Dukes years under the Gold Dome brings valuable connections to Georgia Democrat past successful leaders and fundraising apparatus;

Dukes is actually part of the Georgia agriculture community and has time-proven experience with local, state and federal farmland legislators and congressman.

Dukes legislative record on promoting cannabis/weed as a new cash crop (growing, processing, marketing) and reforming marijuana could prove pivotal getting infrequent voters to the polls in November for Abrams, Warnock and the whole Democrat ticket.  Legal weed might tip the scale because the Republicans are against it.

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Cahoots, Comity and Kibosh

In rural politics and public policy, we function differently than urban areas.  While state and national political parties exist, local and regional interests create unlikely alliances and that’s fine.


Political history in southwest Georgia could serve as a background research area for the rural South. Coming out of Jim Crow, recent segregationists were Dixiecrats in the Democrat Party with Blacks and Labor Union members nationally.  This awkwardness ended with the exodus of Southern Whites to the Republican Party.  In his book A National Party No More, Governor/U.S. Senator Zell Miller wrote that the Democrat Party winning big elections required flexibility in national parties.  You give a little and you get a little. 

The Big Tent or Big Umbrella political party concept got tossed out of the window and was replaced by litmus/purity on policy tests.  But, regular voters often like public servants who had served previously with secondary consideration for party drama and loyalty. Georgia U.S. Senator Sam Nunn took care of our military bases, veterans and agriculture while serving as one of the last White congressional Democrats from the South.

Successful Strategy

When Republican U.S. Representative Saxby Chambliss prepared to run for U.S. Senate, Georgia GOP Chairman Ralph Reed cooked up an ingenious strategy.  Normally, the Dems and the GOP want candidates in every congressional and state legislative contests. The logic is that those down ballot contests are building blocks for statewide or presidential races.  But the crafty brain of young Reed realized Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Sanford Bishop and other Democrats could not be defeated in districts that both parties helped design.  If you can’t beat these Democrats, the smart move would be leaving them, their sizable, big dollar war chests and proven voter turnout machines out of the battle. Much to my chagrin, the strategy worked because some of the affection for Lewis and Bishop was personal or racial rather than political party-based.  Basically, some Democrat voters didn’t vote at all because these members were not challenged.

Senator Sam Nunn, Rep. Lewis and Rep. Bishop’s support with secondary consideration for political party is similar to rural Democrats who often voted for Senator Johnny Isakson and Senator Saxby Chambliss.  All of these leaders aren’t generally angry or conniving in their natures in my opinion. 

U.S. Senators might disagree but traditionally they discuss issues and policies with their colleagues with comity.  Comity means a state of civility or courtesy between people, organizations, and nations. It’s a hoped-for mutual respect and friendliness, although too infrequently the case in politics and business.  

For sake of full disclosure, Senator Chambliss was super nice to me on a Farm Bill tour stop in Taylor County when I was a congressional staffer and I still appreciate his comity. He said, “watch this” then gave a textbook speech about national parties fighting on Capitol Hill but how the Georgia delegation will always work together on agriculture, military, veterans, transportation and other regional issues. 

In 2011, Senator Chambliss joined the bipartisan Gang of Six with other Senators to address the national debt.  The new increasingly angry “my way of the highway” extreme segment of the Republican Party was not pleased.  Of course, the growing Progressive segment of the Democrat Party was unhappy with Senators Warner, Durbin and Conrad as well.  In 2014, Chambliss did not seek reelection and I think the bitter climate in Congress was a factor.

Concept: Winning important elections requires flexibility in a candidate’s support.  Does your political party afford you the range of support from old friends in the other party without jeopardizing the most loyalty-driven segments of your party?

A classic adage says “There are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests.”  But, what you can’t do is be my friend in the morning and trash my whole team as evil in the afternoon.  How short is your memory?  Being part of a team must mean you come in swinging when a team member is in a fight.  You don’t ask the “particulars” like was my team member wrong.

This “swing first” mentality is related to Machiavelli’s “The ends justify the means.”  Personally, I refuse to participate in the demonization of all Conservatives.  Many of the principals of conservatism are similar to the Black community’s roots in doing for self and not depending on the government.  However, resorting to misinformation by anyone in the political arena for power gain is despicable.

Loyalty in War

Big elections are national or statewide wars.  But, the local and regional battles feel like Civil Wars because they involve personal friends and former colleagues. How many officers on both sides of the American Civil War were classmates at West Point? Again, what happens when your team or party goes to battle for a questionable cause. General Robert E. Lee was the most important military man in America before the Civil War and President Lincoln immediately offered him command of the Union Army.  While Lee was a hero during the Mexican American War, a commander at the John Brown raid at Harper’s Ferry and former superintendent of West Point, he could not take up arms against his beloved Virginia. Are you more a member of your race, faith, Georgian or American?  Do you “ride with your team” like General Robert E. Lee?  

The hip hop culture example of this loyalty to me is the scene in the movie Boyz In The Hood when Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) told Doughboy (Ice Cube) to let him out of the car heading for a revenge shooting.  He didn’t jeopardize Morehouse College and a professional career by committing a gun crime.  In real life, many NBA and NFL players from rough areas received “passes” from local thugs during high school who acknowledged that they were doing something positive that deserved encouragement.

My point is that the rough extremes in both political parties should give “passes” to their candidates who are supported by everyone across the board.

Great Places: Above the Fray

During the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta’s business community and local Blacks worked together to grow the city into an international trade center while other cities struggled with unrest. From Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. hosting a dinner honoring Dr. Martin Luther King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize to a string of Black mayors in the 1970s, Atlanta was about making money over fighting old battles.  In south Georgia, Thomasville and Tifton have earned reputations of working together on local and regional interests across traditional lines. Honestly, a history of constant bickering and racial drama jeopardizes attracting national companies with a diversity and inclusion mentality. 

Kibosh: The dictionary defines kibosh as: To put an end to; squelch; check.   


Before the 2022 election year filing deadline, shall we work together to put “the kibosh” on opponents for southwest Georgia candidates who have worked on regional issues together, displayed a certain amount of comity and will likely win anyway.  The logic is why involved them in state and national political battles if not necessary. The time and energy they would spend fundraising and campaigning would be better spent focusing on issues and seeking solutions.  

Money: In the political arena/campaign cottage industry, those who make money from campaigns (wag the dog) wouldn’t be pleased with candidates not needing their services.  However, the millions that the governor’s and Senate races will put on the table more than make up for removing a few officers from certain battles and those officers will still be deeply involved in the other contests on the ballot.  In short, shall we be smart and diversify our political portfolio by acknowledging the usefulness of certain elected officials?

State Rep. CaMia Jackson of Albany recently asked that her campaign fundraising be directed to the Boys and Girls Club because their vehicles were vandalized. Her consideration deserves a nod from either political party and a review of other members of the General Assembly from the area could produce a “Kibosh” list because those lawmakers are beneficial to the region.  And if campaign consultants and fundraisers need to work, they can fund and engineer this effort publicly or behind the scenes.   


Before candidates get the bright idea of running, we should tactfully help them have the best information about the strong support of certain current officeholders. On a related note, candidates seeking to “primary” those officeholders should have smart reconnaissance as well.

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That being pro-Black isn’t being anti-anyone else because a rising tide lifts all boats.

That Dr. King said “no lie lives forever” and that lying in political propaganda is detrimental to the nation.

That I will vote for the best Democrat over Republicans in local elections because that is what they do over over over again.

Local Democrat candidates might not be perfect but then again, we aren’t perfect either.

That brave Black Americans served and died in the military for a country that often treated them and their families like second-class citizens.  

That America is still the best country in the world and that Black ownership in the nation was paid for with blood, sweat, tears and billions of hours of free or low-cost labor until 1980.    

That the Biblical statements about “Servant, obey your earthly master” are wrongfully use to justify the enslavement of Blacks in America and Jim Crow.

That we respect everyone’s right to their faith but we want to reduce ancient religious conflicts continuing in America today.  Really.

That saying Trump and Pence won the election is also saying Kamala Harris isn’t Vice-President.

That some folks will continue unfair race-based privilege by any means necessary.

That we must admit that sometimes our group is dead wrong.  

That VOTERS should not break their necks fighting for good public policy for NON-VOTERS…help us help you….help us help us. We see you spending time on other things but can’t spend 45 minutes total a year voting.

That voting in every election is vital on the local, school board, state and federal levels .

That romanticizing crime and thug culture in music is your right but possibly counterproductive to our community.  Just Saying.

That speaking and writing English well 24 hours a day is a gift to your family’s future and wealth. That good grammar gives older people opportunities to move from working on their feet into management behind a desk.

That the “trades” careers like welding, plumbing and nursing can earn more money than the non-STEM college grads (Liberal Arts).  So, young people must earn more than sports and rapping in their youth.

That young people must have a sense of community when enjoying their culture freedom.  In other words, turn down your music to legal levels and know the city laws.

That sometimes our family members are committing crimes–help them do better and void  punishment.

That lying about Trump’s call to action in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is just like lying about slavery, Jim Crow and segregation.  

That keeping up with local, state and federal officeholders and their actions is important to my family.

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Georgia Runoff: Six Rural Points

1. Biden/Harris Democrats: Obama/Biden becomes Biden/Harris if Democrats controlled the U.S. Senate.A massive voter turnout by Dems will reverse Trump’s bitter government that pitted Americans against Americans and would create basically a third Biden-involved wise, compassionate White House. Georgia Runoffs are the last Chess match battle in a war between Democrats and Republicans that started with Trump’s Obama birth claims.  

2. Smart Health care: Dem-controlled Senate would improve upon Obamacare with Bidencare, covering more Americans while maintaining options to keep your current doctors and plans. Biden’s corona-virus actions will be science-based to stop the spread until vaccines and treatments arrive.

3. Economy/Jobs: Biden and the Democrats want to increase the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour and therefore raise many current higher wages subsequently. Dem-controlled Senate could pass a massive multi-trillion dollar infrastructure stimulus plan that repairs roads, bridges and hospitals in addition to moving utilities and technology forward. High schools and vocational schools will get billions to train trades workers while many Americans will get relief from new college tuition and others will see their student loans go away. The richest one percent of Americans will pay more in taxes to fund these plans. Do you think the current rich senators from Georgia want that for their wealth friends?  

4. USDA/Rural Georgia: Rural Georgia is different from the cities and that must be respected because those areas are the breadbasket of our nation and home to many of our military bases. Everyone wants a safe and affordable food supply. 70% of USDA’s budget goes to food and nutrition programs like WIC, Food Stamps, the School Lunch/Breakfast program and food banks which helps working families and provides new markets for our farmers. From seed to fork, rural Georgians work moving farm produce as truck drivers and processing foods like deboning chicken. Democrat Senate candidates care about farmers and farm workers while Republicans side with Wall Street corporations. Rural Development under President Biden’s USDA will improve rural living because we should not need to move to the cities for opportunities. With next generation internet for all, Americans can work, live and play anywhere in Georgia. USDA housing programs are often the resource of first-time rural home ownership–that was the case for sharecroppers in the 1970s across rural Georgia and should be in the future.  

5. Crime/Justice: Vice President-Elect Harris was California Attorney General or Top Cop and she knows where law enforcement and corrections can do better with a Dem-controlled Senate. In a 50/50 Senate, she would break the tie as President Biden seeks to decriminalize marijuana and make prisons a place for punishment and self-improvement. Few Georgians want to “defund the police” but training could be better and bad police shouldn’t be police.

6. World Affairs: Democrats running the White House and both houses of Congress will return an Obama-like stature around the world. From smart military actions to climate change to world markets for American products, Trump’s actions need to be reversed. Our friend nations will be pleased and we won’t play around with monster leaders anymore. Our sons and daughters in the military will know their missions will have plans and purpose. Democrats could use “soft power” around the world as much as hard power with military strength. For example, agriculture advancements from UGA and Fort Valley State University could help farm practices in Africa and Central America to stabilize their areas and stem their migration– Isaiah 2:4 “..beat their swords into plowshares.” But, we still have swords with Georgia’s nine military installations, important rural economic engines.    

Summary: Voting for Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff will stop the Senate Republicans from blocking President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and congressional Democrats. Biden and Harris will have a green-light to get America back on a positive course.  It’s about Georgia families–not Trump and two millionaire Wall Street Senators. We must vote. 

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As we prepare for Senate runoffs and the governor’s race in 2022, I wanted to consider a breakdown of Georgia voter groups. The groups are: Metro Atlanta, the Next Six Cities (Athens, Augusta, Macon, Columbus, Albany and Savannah), Rural Georgia and Coastal America.

We know that Atlanta is the power in Georgia and her suburban areas rival the regional cities in population and money. The Next Six Cities are the regional cities that are hubs for a 20 mile radius. Candidates running statewide from Atlanta often think a visit to Albany is a trip to Rural Georgia. No.

The vibe and mentality of Non Atlanta voters is different from the Next Six Cities voters and Rural Georgia voters are still different from the other two groups.

In Next Six Cities, you find somewhat urban Blacks with a rural twist on some level. In Rural Georgia, Black voters are near the political center. The political history of Rep. Sanford Bishop reflects these divisions.  As a college student in Atlanta, Bishop was a Liberal but he might have grown more Moderate while serving Columbus as a state legislator. For over 20 years, dapper Congressman Bishop got his expensive foot-ware dirty on farms and military bases in rural Georgia as he became an expert on agriculture, the military, transportation and veterans matter.

You can’t win a statewide election in Georgia without showing well in the three Georgias. One would think that U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock would have asked Statesman Bishop if they could shadow him for a week or two last year to drink in his knowledge and wisdom of Non-Atlanta Georgia, USDA, DOD, VA and other federal alphabet soup. Ossoff knows the federal government somewhat from being a congressional staffer but is likely awkward in the land of plants (manufacturing plants and green, leafy plants.)  Warnock is an outstanding preacher who Bishop would have loved to mentor politically and maybe he did privately but we didn’t see indications of rural knowledge from any U.S. Senate Dem candidate other than former U.S. Attorney Ed Taver and he had no money.

You might have asked what is Coastal America in this Georgia political discussion; isn’t Savannah one of the Next Six Cities. Oh, I am not talking about Georgia’s lovely coastal region. For this voter analysis, Coastal America would be the Democrat donors from Washington, D.C. to Boston and from San Diego to Seattle who pour campaign contributions into the South to help candidates and fund Get Out The Vote efforts.

Their assistance is greatly appreciated. Can you believe that South Carolina might have two Black U.S. Senators if Jamie Harrison can beat Lindsey Graham. Harrison’s national fund-raising has been amazing. Of course, the pioneer of this funding method might be Georgia’s Stacey Abrams.

In my Rural Georgia area, we say whomever pays the piper, calls the tune or a modern version might be whomever hired the D.J. selects the playlist. The downside to campaign cash pouring into a state is the fact that those donors have the ear of the candidates/officeholders as much as local voters.

We have a dilemma in Georgia because Coastal America cash comes from donors who are more Progressive than Rural Georgia Black voters. Actually, Black Georgia voters aren’t the same group as Black Georgians because Progressive seek to help struggling families who vote infrequently. Democrats would own the South if most Blacks simply registered and voted.

The plan seems to be win Georgia statewide for Democrats by registering young, hip voters in Atlanta and the Next Six Cities with a Progressive agenda. We Moderate Dems would be a bonus or gravy but seeking our support isn’t efficient and jeopardize Coastal America Progressive donors because centrists are near conservative on guns, faith, spending, military, agriculture and the limited role of government.  

Moderates are dumbfounded because we feel our place in the center is needed because we counterbalances the Far Left division of the Dem Party and could attractive enough college-educated suburban conservatives to win more elections and leave the GOP as the new MAGA Party of Trump and his angry types.  

Well, we should remember that Moderate Joe Biden beat Progressive Bernie Sanders by securing Black voters in the South. Finally, the usage of the Coastal American contributions is strange and lazy anyway. The money is generally spent on T.V. ads with limited substance. While we are in a pandemic, statewide candidates still could have crisscrossed the state safely to show their regional understanding.

But, they didn’t see the need to connect with Rural Georgia voters as much as Coastal America donors. While Republicans should be ashamed for rubber-stamping Trump’s actions, the argument can be made that the some Republicans are familiar with our regional interests and those interests are as important as national matters. I’m reluctant to write the idiom “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” but that’s likely the mindset of the Georgia Republican farmers who supported Rep. Bishop because he was always there for them.  

To win, Democrats need Rural Georgians.

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Georgia Senate Races

Georgia voters will see two U.S. Senate seats on the ballot this Fall and those elections might determine which political party controls the Senate. Shall we analyze the situations with an open-minded to arrive at logical conclusions?

In the first race, current Republican Senator David Perdue is facing Democrat Jon Ossoff. Ossoff is the young man who raised a zillion dollars when running for a U.S. House seat shortly after President Trump entered the White House. Trump selected a Georgia congressman for his cabinet and donors from around the nation were eager to make anti-Trump donations.  Ossoff didn’t win but Lucy McBath did take the seat later. Moderates around the state were surprised that former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomblinson didn’t make a runoff with Ossoff for the Senate seat but a powerful endorsement from Rep. John Lewis went a long way for Ossoff.  The national Democrat Party must have been salivating over Ossoff’s outstanding donor list and the impact it could have for the overall Dem ticket in Georgia. We have rarely seen Ossoff campaigning in south Georgia..remember that central theme.

Senator Johnny Isakson leaving office for health reasons created another opening. President Trump wanted the seat filled by Rep. Doug Collins, his impeachment manager during that drama. Georgia Governor Brain Kemp selected wealthy businesswoman Kelly Loeffler. Both Collins and Loeffler are in a so-called jungle primary in which candidates from all parties running at the same time. If anyone gets over 50%, that candidate wins. If not, the top two vote-getters meet in a runoff in January.

The Democrats in the jungle primary create a dilemma because the candidate who helps the overall Dem ticket by driving out voters in metro Atlanta isn’t necessarily the best qualified for high-level government service. Pastor Raphael Warnock, former Senator Joe Lieberman’s son Matt Lieberman, former U.S. Attorney/Army officer/state legislator Ed Tarver and reparations expert Tamara Johnson-Shealey are getting most of the spotlight.

To me, the situation feels like the difference between a great bride/groom versus a great wife/husband. An elegant, graceful woman might make the perfect bride on her wedding day but a less glamorous lady could say “hey, let just go to the courthouse then Applebees” and be an excellent wife for 60 years.

Rapheal Warnock’s celebrity as a famous pastor makes him like the perfect groom. However, the considerable public service career of Ed Tarver positions him better to debate a Republican in a runoff.

Yes, service in office is not relevant if you can’t win. Actually, Warnock’s situation makes me think about candidate Donald Trump from four years ago. Trump was a groom who could put on a great show but his time as a metaphorical husband has been horrible. Oh, Warnock would be a decent senator but Ed Tarver would be much, much better.

A visit to Warnock’s campaign page shows an impressive list of endorsements–a Who’s Who on the national stage. But, did those endorsers recommend that Warnock develop knowledge of public policy and an understanding of Georgia outside Atlanta and his native Savannah? Most of those endorsers would have been better statewide candidates than any candidate in the special election except Tarver.

My personal speculation is that Warnock received much of his support because he is cool with the most powerful Democrat in Georgia—Stacey Abrams. We desperately need her magic in Georgia and several other swing states to rescue America from Trump. State and national Democrats gave her carte blanche in Georgia but that’s complicated because her Achilles heel seems to be rural area voters. She would be governor if our efforts for her were a little better in south Georgia. A candidate can’t win statewide in Georgia by winning Atlanta and the next six -largest cities only.

Outside Atlanta, candidates for high office must show an understanding of regional issues like agriculture, military/veterans, transportation and general kitchen table economic matters facing working families.

I am writing this at 4 a.m. because this conundrum is a mess. Should we get behind Warnock because his candidacy helps the Biden/Harris ticket? Should Tamara Johnson- Shealey get more support because she is campaigning everywhere and young voters might connect with her really progressive positions? Or should we support Ed Tarver because he is proven and would be excellent in office?

Forget about me…forget about fancy endorsements…forget who can raise millions. Every few years we have a senate Democrat candidate who can raise millions and who doesn’t win.

We should listen to all of the candidates and personally make up our minds.



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I appreciate President Trump and his supporters for leading us to a collective, national enema which was a long time coming. Shall we–once and for all–get it all out. Metaphorically, America is a lovely mansion built on a shaky, corrupt foundation.  Republican sista Dr. Condoleezza Rice says that America’s birth defect is slavery.  This nation grew strong faster in part because it had free and systematically discounted labor for most of it’s existent.


Those who romanticize the Confederacy as a noble cause and wish for a return to days when everyone knew their role insult current and past African Americans. A popular Facebook poster reads “No White person alive today ever owner a slave. No Black person alive today was ever a slave.  We can’t move forward if people want to keep living in the past.”


That poster isn’t from a Klan site. Oh, no. There is no need for Klanning when these bold folks say what is on their minds point blank, straight No Chaser from a national political party…from the Oval Office. The same uninformed people declare “Go Back To Africa” as if, we came here voluntarily.  They love to mention that some Africans sold other Africans into slavery. But, those were warring tribes.


No Black person today was ever a slave but we should take a realistic look at the true timeline of Black oppression in what is now America. The first African slaves arrived here in 1619; 150 some odd years before the birth of this nation. In addition to brutal forced labor, we should not forget about childhood rape, reading being illegal and generally every effort made to turn humans into beasts of burden.


The horrible institution of slavery was justified by Christians from Genesis 9:24-27. Noah’s son Ham laughed at his father drunken state but his other two sons Shem and Japheth backed over him with a blanket as to not see him like that. Noah cursed Canaan, Ham’s son, to be a servant.  In the Black church, we say that Jesus cleaned the slate for any previous drama but when the Native Americans didn’t workout in the fields, someone had a bright idea about Africans/Canaan’s grandchildren supposedly.


The timeline on slavery for me doesn’t end until July 4, 1976, because the shackles of Jim Crow were simply an unofficial form of slavery. The Civil War saw the end of slavery but not the full citizenship of Black people and economically former slaves had no choice but to become sharecroppers or servants became a Black person could never have an opportunity until all White people prospered first.


For the White folks declaring that they never owned slaves, I ask if they want a forensic financial examination of their wealth. The connection between current Blacks and Whites who forced them into Jim Crow sharecropping is very fresh and involves the local, state and federal governments.  Also fresh is the land and wealth enjoyed by the ten richest families in most rural southern counties now….generational wealth or ill-gotten gains. We know who our folks/we worked for in the 1960s and 1970s.


So, can you as a Black person understand that if you were born blond and blue-eyed, you would likely support any system that provided advantages to your future grandchildren.  Can you as a Black person see that committing crimes which get you locked up is insulting our ancestors who were enslaved.  Author Ta-Nehesi Coates wrote that in the South before the Civil Rights Movement, Black incarceration numbers were low because the whole South was basically a prison to us. That’s deep.


America is so very much my country because my people labored here without compensation or under low-wages for most of history. Will I see this nation treat citizens of color correctly in my lifetime? The answer is no and we are actually going backwards. If we are to make it as a nation, we should take this opportunity to thank President Trump for inadvertently getting all sides to open up about how we truly feel….the good, the bad and the ugly. President Obama represented what a positive America should…unrealistic. President Trump reflects what America actually is….a racial mess.

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For my Black Republican friends, I want to offer some Moderate Democrat insights that you’ll rarely get because we are in constant battle. But, as a member of the national honor society from Black college, I am committed to our motto “I make not my head a grave but a community of knowledge.” The “if/then”conditional statements from computer programming will be my tool.



In in the Summer of 2020, Democrats and Republicans will select the overall tickets or teams for the November elections that include the presidency.  From president to vice president to congress to the state legislators to local candidates, the selection process is complex and involves reality and what the other side is offering.



The Democrats must balance Joe Biden with a VP running mate to gets the base to the polls.  Hillary Clinton picked Senator Tim Kaine who would have been an excellent VP. However, we will never know what Kaine would have been because the selection didn’t help get out infrequent voters in swing states.


Winning the White House might come down to Black women voters in 10 swing states tipping the scales.


If Black voters knew that Biden would seriously consider selecting a non Black woman, then we would have been better off supported a Black woman or man for president in the first place. I acknowledge the fact that VP nominees normally are big state Senators (the states are big, not the actual Senators), big city mayors from swing states or governors. But, we aren’t in normal situations.


If Biden selects a Black woman or Latina for VP, then she must be someone who can energize the crowds better than he can.  She doesn’t need to be the DNC’s favorite person as much as she needs to be a person who can connect with people who voted for Obama but blew off Hillary for whatever reason. Again, the party leaders aren’t as important as regular folks across the heartland and in Deep South.


Trump Relative To The Democrat Ticket

It’s not a good look for a national party to not look like the nation. It’s like a ruling class of people lording over the servant class. The DNC and GOP feel like modern plantations to many Black voters.


If Biden selects a Black or Brown woman for VP, then the GOP should use Black and Brown congressional and legislative candidates as regional diversity leaders. Indications are that the previous sentence is a joke. Many GOP voters are pleased to be unapologetically in a party primarily of people who look and think like them only.


Georgia’s Second Congressional District Race

Rep. Sanford Bishop has served the agriculture and military communities well for decades. If he is defeated, then his power over UDSA spending could cost the peach state billions.  However, the GOP will field a candidate of their selection. If policy expert, ultra conservative Don Cole wins the primary next month, then it will be par for the course and consistent with the notion that the Republicans want aggressive far Right conservatism even in a Democrat heavy district.


Is the far Right’s effort to unseat Bishop actually Don Quixote tilting at windmills? If Bishop is unseated, then the Big Ag industry will be sadly dealing with a Democrat controlled House of Representatives without Bishop….be careful what you wish for, GOP.


Vivian Childs is the other GOP candidate in the 2nd Congressional District and is a Black woman with deep roots in the GOP and Black community. If she was the GOP nominee, her nature and grace soften the otherwise rough, tough style of the southern GOP in some places.


If Biden selects a Georgia Black woman for VP, then Vivian Childs as a congressional candidate from south and central Georgia is good optics and hopefully she could privately get the president to chill on some level with his fiery rhetoric and drama.  If Cole is the nominee, then the Democrats will have a field day pointing out that the GOP couldn’t find a Black candidate in this very Black district. Of course, the vast majority of Blacks in the 2nd district will be voting in the Democrat primary. So, the question is will White GOP primary voters select someone like Childs who can get some new Black voters in November for their team.



If Biden slights Blacks by not picking a Black woman after Blacks saved him in South Carolina , then unfortunately some disillusioned Black voters might wrongfully stay home or protest vote for Childs and Trump if she come out of the primary.


Who knows what will happen. Cole is similar to most of the voters in that primary while Childs would garner national attention and help Trump. We will see.

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Blacks in or near the political center are at an awkward crossroads.  The situation is as dramatic as the Southfork Ranch on the T.V. show Dallas. If you aren’t old enough to remember this classic, you likely don’t realize the danger of flirting with socialism on the far left or tyranny on the far right.  Baseball great Yogi Berra famously quipped “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”


I am writing this anthology of my blog posts as a guide map as Black voters decide which political south fork to take. Yes, Black Republicans are as much a part of our community as Black Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialists are. We all want a better, more fair America but how to get there isn’t clear. You know you can arrive at the same place from different directions.


Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken started “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both” and ended “…and I- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”


Black conservatives basically took the road less travelled. While most Blacks would say its less travelled because it is wrong, I think these brothers and sisters serve an important purpose. They diversify our political/public policy portfolio. Daddy taught me not to put all of our eggs in one basket; backup plans are needed. If President Trump wins a second term, Blacks who don’t vote would have been complicit. We can’t continue to break our necks to work for people who aren’t working for themselves. I think the following blog posts could be useful:


The Best Interests Initiative


I wrote a monthly blog series for most of a year called the Best Interests Initiative. The mission of the project was to outline how the Black community could or possibly should function with secondary governmental involvement. Do we really trust a local, state and federal government that sanctioned our oppression until recently and wonders why we are still upset. To me, old school Black conservatism (Country Club/pre-T.E.A. Party) was based on moving forward with a fair opportunity for all for the first time and not based on the government ensured that everyone has a nice life. That would be socialism.  Socialism would create a lazy and entitled segment of the population. My error-filled, unedited blog posts are a raw reflection of what the Black majority says in plant breakrooms, church parking lots and barbershops.


In the 25 some odd years since I returned to Georgia from Capitol Hill, it has been Black Republicans who sought a dialog with this Blue Dog/Centrist Democrat. During that time, the urban elites from the two coasts pulled the Democrat Party more and more to the left. While I appreciate their liberal well-intended actions, I knew that some of them views Blacks as children who need constant assistance. What’s more, Washington and Atlanta policy wonks decide what is important to the Black community then go about the business of “teaching” us what that is. Wrong move.


If any Black candidate for Congress from any political parties wanted to “flip the script,” he or she should use the Best Interests Initiative as a starting point for a discussion about what we can do for ourselves. It could be a game-changer because we must play chess rather than checkers–always thinking three moves ahead. If the GOP can’t be corrected by voting them out of power, we need to appreciate the reasonable brothers and sisters in their ranks. Personally, the Blacks on the far right aren’t my cup of T.E.A. but those near the center are straight enough.


Southern Black Muscle: P.E.C.S.


I love the PECS blog post because it outlines a comprehensive strategy for improving our community.  Voting and public policy are just part of the problems and solutions. P.E.C.S. spell out the issues: Political, Economic, Cultural and Social. It’s about addressing actions and concerns before they become problems. Old school personal responsibility is the foundation of the moderation.


OPEN 2020



OPEN 2020 is my unfunded baby.  OPEN stands for Our Policy Education Network.  Every two years campaign people run around trying to get the right 20 people in a room to meet their candidate and hear their points.  I thinking a network of the right 20 people should be in place and cultivate. But, I am not taking about the usual crowd. OPEN 2020 seeks to find and dine the real local trendsetters from the community and social media. We selected 20 towns in the Georgia south of Macon in which candidate Obama received over 4,000 votes. If OPEN was in place, Stacey Abrams would be governor. Also, OPEN 2020 believes that all political sides should have opportunities to make their points in our communities. Listening to the other side might be the best motivation to stay woke and vote.



Farm Bill: Everyone’s Glance


The Farm Bill is the most important bill/law to rural America.  From different angles, the Black community in Georgia should stay abreast of food and fiber issues relative to a safe and affordable food supply. The Black community surprisingly has more jobs connected to the Farm Bill than you might think.


Georgia Democrats: Normandy Style


In December 2018, my vision of a military campaign style approach to the campaigns of 2020 was outlined in a blog post. Of course, the Democrats aren’t working like the well-oil machine I sought. Will Rogers said “I am not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.’ While that is cute, there is nothing funny about losing to people who would turn the clock back to the Jim Crow era.


Political Money Maps vs. Kids


Why why why can’t people realize that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Elected officials read the voting results by areas and if your area blows off voting, they often blow you off.  So, you attend every home high school football game to support the team, the cheerleaders and the band but you don’t register and vote to support those same young people by picking better councilmen, mayors, sheriffs, state legislators, judges, congressmen and presidents. Those same kids in high school uniforms last Fall might soon be drafted into an unwinnable war—wearing a camouflage uniforms on the other side of the world because a president has an itchy trigger finger. My road gets paved first because we vote.


5 Hot Issues: Weed, Schools, Military, Health-care, Jobs


A 2018 blog post showed my selection of five issues that could get our community voting. The issues driven by Democrat Party activists don’t reflect the interests of heartland Blacks. We should give Trump credit for asking his people what they wanted (albeit crazy stuff) then trying to deliver said twisted promises. We must make it plain and clear to reach and move the people. Okay, I am tired of begging grown folks to vote for or against candidates making decisions impacting our world.


In summary, the Black community is at a political fork in the southern road. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Southfork on Dallas wasn’t real; Trump’s America is very real. If the Democrats can’t get organized to defeat this president, we deserve whatever he brings next. I still believe that privately some old school Republicans are saying “this nation is on the wrong path…this can’t be good.”

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