The Kemp Effect
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” — Winston Churchill
To many Democrats the results of the midterm elections must be more bitter than sweet. Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams, two promising candidates who continued to gain huge traction with voters in Texas and Georgia, failed to achieve their victory on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the corks would not be popped on the champagne.
But, Democrats have cause for hope with their newly acquired majority in the house of representatives. In addition to being able to block Trump’s legislative intiatives, the Democrats will also be able to wield the power of the subpoena. Which could open up the Trump Administration to quite a few damaging revelations they have been desperately trying to avoid.
Now that the midterms have ended America will once again return its focus to Donald Trump’s ongoing war with the news media. Something the President knows all too well and will continue to use to his advantage. The show will indeed continue.
Rather than talk about Donald Trump, the magnifying glass must be re-focused on Kemp’s victory in Georgia. Brian Kemp’s victory on Tuesday night should be marked as a major defeat in American democratic values. How is it that a candidate for governor, who oversees the election he himself is running in, be allowed to run in the first place? Furthermore, this same candidate has also been accused of using voter suppression tactics to help create an edge in the polls.
In a letter to then Secretary of State Kemp, President Jimmy Carter presciently wrote:
“In Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial election, popular confidence is threatened not only by the undeniable racial discrimination of the past and the serious questions that the federal courts have raised about the security of Georgia’s voting machines, but also because you are now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate. This runs counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections — that the electoral process be managed by an independent and impartial election authority.”
President Carter hits the nail on the head here by emphasizing the importance of independent impartiality in the electoral process. A principle Brian Kemp is quite obviously lacking. As vile as Brian Kemp is to American democracy, he didn’t win the governor’s race all by himself. We gave him our vote.
One would think the right to vote for all, regardless of color or creed, is an essential principle to be upheld at all costs. I thought so on Monday. But, I was proven to be severely wrong on Tuesday along with many of my fellow Americans.
Party politics has superseded liberté, égalité, fraternité. Our national moral compass has been infected with the toxicity of the American political system. Rife with lies, muck raking, hatred, and party ideology, our politics has become entirely self-destructive. As the gap widens between the electorate so too will the consequences of our tribalistic political decisions.
In this case, Brian Kemp is a consequence of our failure to achieve solidarity. If one were to remove political ideology from the equation all that would remain would be the individual. It is the individual who can think logically and realize what is truth and what is non-truth. Supposedly, as Americans we have a pedigree in championing the individual. Today, the concept of the individual seems quaint.
So, what to do? Brian Kemp has indeed won the governor’s race.
Will we let voter suppression become the lesser of two evils?
Or, will this tragic political episode finally awaken the public to the game we are all playing?
I’m hoping for the latter. However, some part of me knows it will almost certainly be the former.