TODAY IS THE LAST DAY FOR EARLY VOTING. THE ELECTION IS TUESDAY MAY 22ND.
Primary season is almost over in Georgia. The distinctions between the Republican and Democrat focuses is plainly obvious from the television ads.
Republicans are fighting to prove who is the most Trump like. They have chosen undocumented individuals as the focus to rally behind. Rounding up “illegals” on a broke down bus and showing scary looking pictures of brown people is apparently what the Republican candidates think is the number one issue for conservative leaning Georgians. Not taxes, not transportation, not education, not job growth — but rather a Spanish speaking bogey man. Are they right? Is this what conservative voters lose sleep over?
The Democrats are equally narrowly focused. The election centers around two themes. The two Stacey’s are debating about who wants to educate Georgia’s children more. More specifically there is debate about which Stacey supported Republicans in their efforts to dismantle education. Maybe it is the progressive in me but arguing who will educate Georgia’s children makes far more sense than the “get out of our country” debate. SIDE NOTE: Unless you are a descendant of a Native North American tribe – you too are an immigrant – you leave first.
The second debate for progressive leaning Georgians is over the African American community. #FILA. A recent Evans ad aimed at Abrams’ voting record on HOPE featured an African American high school student discussing Abrams’ role with the scholarship. “How dare she use the image of a black girl to talk to black people?” I read in an angry post on social media. The Doug Jones vs. Roy Moore campaign was criticized because many believed the black woman vote was taken for granted by the Democratic Party. Looks like this election has created a pendulum swing where the African American vote is the top of the agenda.
Sorry non-African American democrats this is not your election — or is it? The topic of education affects all Georgian’s far more than the issue of immigration reform. Although both of the Stacey’s visited all of Georgia, a bulk of the Democratic gubernatorial primary television ads were focused on black turnout. Both candidates will be closely watching the metro area on election night. How easy will it be for them to shift to being inclusive of parts of Georgia outside of the metro area after the primary? Will this metro centered strategy help or hurt democrats in the general election? Will Evan’s connection to Ringgold Georgia help her? Will Abrams out of Georgia background hurt her in the general election?
I try to imagine how I would look at both sides of the aisle as a white male living in south Georgia who typically votes as an independent. On one hand, if I vote alongside the conservative party they will be more concerned with profiling and kicking out people than they will be on the education of my children or the quality of life in my community. On the other hand, if I vote alongside the progressive platform, although my child will be able to benefit from HOPE and a good education – will the Democrats even try to understand my rural Georgia concerns?
As we narrow our choices in the primary it’s time to start thinking about who we ultimately want to lead our state. When the primary is over and we are choosing between one Democrat and one Republican, education vs. immigration, progressive growth for our state vs. keeping the state exclusive to people with papers.
I hope everyone remembers the focus of the primary races – for whatever it is worth.