The past several months have been exceedingly frustrating. After November 3, we had to deal with weeks of lies that the election in Georgia was somehow stolen despite the fact that there’s absolutely no credible evidence backing up those claims. Put simply, Republican voters have been lied to by Donald Trump, who has done serious long-term damage to the Republican Party, and his most prominent supporters. Those lies led to an attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters who couldn’t accept the fact that Joe Biden won.
Anyone who has followed Georgia politics knows that the Republican hold on Georgia wasn’t going to last, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Georgia went blue in the presidential election. In 2004, George W. Bush won every single Metro Atlanta county but Clayton, DeKalb, and Fulton. Democrats began slowly picking up more counties in Metro beginning in 2008, adding Douglas, Newton, and Rockdale. Those counties stayed blue in 2012. In 2016, Democrats added Cobb, Gwinnett, and Henry. Those counties stayed blue in 2018.
It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that Republicans lost both Senate seats. Republicans had two really terrible candidates on the ballot. I won’t be surprised if Republicans lose top ballot races in 2022, although I’m not predicting that they will.
Yeah, I’m not a fan of the way the Secretary of State has handled everything, but I recognize that he was put in an impossible situation because he had to conduct an election in the midst of a pandemic. He used the discretionary authority given to him by the General Assembly the way he saw fit in response to that impossible situation. Still, there has been a lot of arrogance coming from the Secretary of State’s office and a serious lack of accountability. It’s clear that Secretary Raffensperger hasn’t earned another term in office.
The problem, though, isn’t Raffensperger. The problems are Donald Trump, his apologists, and the failure of the Georgia Republican Party to appeal to communities of color. The response of Gov. Kemp, the Georgia Republican Party, and Republican legislative leaders hasn’t been changing the perception of the party among voters it needs to win over. No, the response has been to pass legislation that has been framed as disenfranchising voters. I know that the Washington Post has fact-checked at least one claim about SB 202, but perceptions about the law are the reality, and Republicans are naive if they believed for a second that they were going to win the public relations war over this legislation. To be honest, they don’t deserve to win it.
Major companies, including Delta and Coca-Cola, are criticizing SB 202. Now, Major League Baseball has pulled the All-Star Game and the draft from Atlanta because of the legislation. Many Republicans are pissed. There’s an endless stream of “I’ll never fly Delta,” “I’ll never drink Coke,” or “I’m done with baseball” tweets and Facebook posts. That’s cute. Similar sentiments were expressed when Black athletes protested police abuses by taking a knee during the national anthem. The snowflakes on the right–the same people who make fun of the snowflakes on the left–were outraged and claimed to be done with the National Football League.
The outrage machine is so taxing. The empty threats mean nothing. The very people complaining about this will move on to the next outrage in a matter of a couple of weeks. You’ll drink Coke. You will eventually fly Delta. You will go to a Braves game or watch one on TV. Stop kidding yourselves.
Republicans in Georgia will be in the minority in ten years unless they begin to actually, you know, do something authentic, meaningful, and sustained to appeal to voters who haven’t traditionally considered the Republican Party. This isn’t going to happen overnight. Republicans are going to have to change a lot of perceptions. That means they need to stop being against literally everything and anti-everything and begin defining what they are for. And they have to hone the message that appeals to those voters.
Basically, Republicans have to give a damn. It doesn’t seem like they do. It doesn’t even seem like they want to. Once Republicans realize that owning the libs is not a viable platform, it might be too late.
For what it’s worth, I’m speaking only for myself. I’m not speaking for anyone else. This is just how I see things. I didn’t vote in 2016, a first for me since I began voting in 2000. I wrote in a name in the 2020 presidential election. I’ve never been a fan of Donald Trump. I’ll admit that. This doesn’t make me any less right.