In the local elections this fall, I know and respect all of the candidates. But, competition is actually healthy; competition like Obama vs. Hillary that elevated both of their games. I can’t help but think that better competition might have compel Rep. Sanford Bishop to have been hungrier legislatively and could have lead him into the U.S. Senate or a presidential cabinet postition.
Barrack Obama was defeated in a U.S. House race by Bobby Rush, who is from Albany, Georgia. Heaven only knows who would be president today if Obama got bogged down in the morass of the House.
Local and state elected positions are building blocks for federal positions. Actually, there are members of the state legislature who never wanted to be in the Congress. Being a part-time lawmaker is cool but being a full-time congressman would be a pay cut for a person balling in the private sector. i.e. state Rep. Calin Smyre of Columbus. By building blocks I mean that congressional candidates look to members of the state house and state senate for support. Candidates for the state houses in turn look to local officials. Of course, presidential candidates look to elected officials on all levels.
To make it plain, Hillary Clinton 2016 starts with local elections this year.
I am ticked off by the ultra conservatives who ran moderates out of the Republican Party and who are designing laws and procedures in the state capitol to limited Americans from voting. They seem to be functioning under the Jean-Paul Sartre/Malcolm X phrase “By any means necessary.”
Gerrymandering of state legislature and U.S. Congress lines have left large sections of the South with one party leadership. In other words, candidates can win elections with little input and support from anyone who doesn’t look like them or thinking totally like them. My friends in the conservative movement will dare elected officials to listening to and explaining matters to the other side. I thought that was their jobs. To give credit where credit is due, Rep. Sanford Bishop and Rep. Jack Kingston love to talk issues with anyone in their service areas—hats off to them for that.
I want paraphrase Jesus to those whom might come up short in the coming election: Let not your heart be troubled…in my father’s house are many mansions.” The houses I have in mind are the state house and state senate. These are the legislative bodies where laws like “stand your ground” were passed. The place where state officials and lawmakers think it is cute to make it hard for regular people of any color to vote.
Look, I didn’t like former Democrat Congressman Jim Marshall and I gladly voted for reasonable Republican candidate Austin Scott because Marshall slamming Dems was too much. With the same strategy in mind, I hope that some of the candidates who fall short in the local elections will consider running for the state houses next year—from either major political party. I am sure that there are enough southern moderates to sway some primaries next year.
The most important matter is massive voter turnout. You can vote for Dora the Explorer for all I care but vote because someone is trying to reverse your rights. “Oh, after Obama is off the ballot…those people will go back to not voting again….right?” Wrong.
In the future, we will have some Republican sistas in the Georgia congressional delegation. These conservative ladies will keep legislative debate civic and tell my community what wise people already know—that the government isn’t your bank.