Republicans need to stem the blue tide
Published 6:39 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019
The Peach State has been controlled by Republicans since Sonny Perdue was elected governor in 2004. I was proud that Republicans had finally won the battle that began during Reconstruction. However, I am concerned as I look toward 2020 and beyond.
According to 11 Alive, Georgia’s voting rolls have swollen over the last 10 months. Many of those newly registered voters are new to the state. Some Democrats believe that these voters will be enough to turn Georgia into a blue state in 2020.
I don’t believe that will happen so soon. However, there is certainly cause for concern.
The state says more than 310,000 new voters have registered in 2019. While I am pleased that more people are choosing to exercise their Constitutional right to vote, Fair Fight Georgia, the liberal group launched by Democrat Stacey Abrams, believes that a large number of these people will vote for Democrats.
If the trend continues, there could be three-quarters of a million new voters in Georgia for next year’s presidential election. In 2018, Gov. Brian Kemp won by only 55,000 votes in our red state over the far left Stacey Abrams.
How do Republicans stem this blue tide?
1. Educate the public, particularly younger voters who have not fully formed their political ideology, about one of the most important principles of the Republican Party — fiscal conservatism. The message needs to clearly point out that less government means that you get to keep more of your hard earned money. Nathan Deal brilliantly illustrated this idea with his criminal justice reforms. Our state saved millions of dollars by removing non-violent drug offenders from prisons and placing them on parole or probation.
2. Appoint more conservative women and minorities. Now, I am not saying that a quota system is the solution. That would be unfair and disastrous. The best candidate always needs to be appointed. But, there are thousands of judicial candidates across the state who are highly qualified, conservative and do not look like me. So far, Governor Kemp has done an excellent job in appointing quality people of both genders and all races to the judiciary, executive positions, etc.
3. Viewpoints and party affiliation do not win elections. Motivating the base of a party and independents who lean to the right to get up and go vote wins elections. The main reason that Governor Kemp barely won the 2018 election is that too many Republicans assumed he would win and just stayed home sitting by the fire. Hopefully, the closeness of that race will be remembered for years to come.
There is also a significant upward trend in voting in the past few years. However, that trend is favoring Democrats. For instance, young adults (18-29 years of age) generally vote for Democrats. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this demographic had a 16 percent increase in voter turnout from 20 percent in 2014 to 36 percent in the midterm election of 2018.
Even though voter turnout is lower in midterm election years because there is not a president on the ballot, the 2018 midterm election saw 3.9 million of the 6.4 million registered voters (57 percent) in Georgia cast a ballot.
This was the highest rate in a midterm election year in recent history. That turnout was close to the 63 percent of registered voters who participated in the 2016 presidential election. Even folks like me, who are not exactly talented in math, can figure out that these numbers foreshadow large problems for the G.O.P. in the future if massive voter turnout campaigns and clear messages about issues like fiscal conservatism are not unleashed now.
4. Institute annual mandatory classes to be taught from first to twelfth grades for children in public schools that focus only on the Constitution. Our children need to know how our country was formed, the limitations of our government, and the rights they have as Americans.
Many of my fellow conservatives tell me that I should not be concerned. Georgia is a red state. However, I see a blue tide rising from afar. If Republicans do not quickly take strong actions, the victory in 2004 will be short lived.