TURES COLUMN: For Office-Seekers: Please Make Us Proud, Instead Of Turning Us Against Each Other

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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Over the past week or so, I’ve received an endless stream of push polls on my phone where candidates for Congressional office are trying to get me to hate every other candidate in the race.  You can tell who paid for these polls, because there is only one that isn’t trashed in the survey.  Not only is everyone else some kind of “swamp creature” but some may <gasp> once have actually shaken the hand of someone from the opposite party.

I’m not sure that kind of candidate is a good fit for this city and county.

I know we have a couple of folks on the extremes, and the majority almost always goes conservative.  Since I’ve been in this West Georgia district, I’ve found taht most folks generally respect one another, and try and get along.  When the chips are down, we stand together.  We’re generally united.  We’re not fans of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, and respect those who served our country in the military, instead of giving them secret scorn when the cameras are off.

I didn’t agree with every vote taken by Representatives Lynn Westmoreland and Drew Ferguson.  But when our country needed them to step up, they did.  I will always respect Westmoreland’s brave votes against the Hurricane Katrina aid that seemed to go to every state but Louisiana, as well as Ferguson’s votes to certify the election, and not side with the insurrectionists.  Both courageous votes may have limited their careers, but both times, it was about doing the right thing, and what our district wanted and needed.  I’ll vote for another candidate who puts our district and country first, instead of taking orders from the national party, presidential candidates, and possible shadowy international sources.  I was proud to have both Westmoreland and Ferguson speak to my classes at LaGrange College (and Buddy Darden, for that matter).

It’s the same with our state.  I don’t agree with Governor Kemp, Secretary Raffensperger, Attorney General Carr or Commissioner King on all issues, but they’ve each spoken with me, and both of us listened to each other.  I’m not so sure some in the race see such communication as a two-way street.

This goes for our County Commission, School Board, Mayor’s race and City Council.  Some who are running in these contests seem to want to turn city, county and district into some kind of caricature of the extremes of our national politics.  I don’t want someone using us as a stepping- stone.  We don’t need national endorsements, memes and politics designed to divide us.

Like others in this district, I am looking for candidates who can show me they know how to reach across political and racial lines and make an agreement where all sides can benefit at least in some way.  We in West Georgia recognize that we’re not a one-party state, or some European parliamentary system where a majority can trample those outside the governing coalition.

We also recognize that “unity” isn’t achieved by forcing the entire county, and country to “show loyalty” to one man.  We also don’t want someone dressed in red, white and blue, waving an American flag, who can’t tell the difference between the Founding Fathers and foreign propaganda.  Like most Americans, we don’t really want to hate our fellow man, or woman. Most of us believe in the real teachings of Jesus, instead of a cherry-picked version of them.

Johnsonville LLC has a great commercial about selling their sausage.  They note that these days “outrage is all the rage,” and they harken to a not-so-distant past when folks used to get along, as they show a wide variety of people grilling together.  They recommend “we turn the temperature down to medium-low for a bit, keep it fun and keep it together.”  Let’s vote for the bratwurst over the brats in this year’s election.