A midterm election to remember
Across the country, Americans went to the polls this Tuesday and voted for candidates who have successfully appealed to their political and social emotions. At stake are 36 governorships, 35 Senate seats and 435 House of Representatives positions.
Political pundits, Republicans and Democrats have never witnessed an election that appears to have really divided Americans around major social issues such as immigration, healthcare and, of course, race. In Georgia, a hotly contested Governor’s race that has pitted Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, and former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representative against Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican, has been considered so important that voters have literally set a record in early voting. Leading up to the election, it has been reported that more than 2 million Georgians cast their votes.
The governor’s race has also attracted political heavy weights and celebrities from around the country. President Donald Trump and Vice President Michael Pence recently spent time in our state to rally voters to support Kemp. The president used the occasion to call his opponent unqualified during his brief visit. Abrams, a Yale graduate, discounted the president’s comments by sharing with her crowd of supporters, her accomplishments as a state representative, which she felt would make her a better choice as governor.
Abrams appeared to also have been a magnet with respect to attracting major support for her candidacy. Former president Barack Obama and media mogul, Oprah Winfrey, were among the many political and celebrity supporters who came to Georgia to rally voters for Abrams. In response to Abrams’ distinguished support, Vice-President, Pence in one of Kemp’s rallies, excited supporters by shouting “Georgia is not Hollywood!” Abrams’s supporters were quick to react and stated, “It isn’t Washington, either!”
The 2018 primary is indeed important. As I have reported in previous columns, a person would have to literally be living in seclusion to not realize the tension which appears to be growing among Americans that does not portend well for our democracy. This is a belief held by a growing number of supporters of both parties. Many blacks believe that our president is a source of this growing divide, and that their vote will contribute to the House of Representatives and ultimately the Senate taken over by Democrats. They believe that if this happens, President Trump would be impeached. On the other hand, whites, and some blacks, believe that the president is doing a great job and point to low unemployment and his tough stand on immigration.
A major factor contributing to the divide and animus in the country appears to be the unnecessary and hostile rhetoric that is coming from both parties. This is reason that the 2018 primary elections truly will go down in the records book — unfortunately, it will be described as a time when Americans had not been as divided in decades.