My column suggesting to Republicans that, like it or not, the presidential elections are over and for those crying ‘foul’ they might want to take out their anger on the Democrats and not each other brought some interesting and some predictable responses.
There was, of course, the “Fergit, Hell,” group who think they can garner enough support among Georgia voters to defeat Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in 2022 for not backing Donald Trump’s claims that the election results in Georgia were rigged. They still don’t get it.
In their fantasy world, they will somehow get the Republican incumbents defeated and a new crowd in place and will prevent Democrat Stacey Abrams from waltzing into the governor’s office. Not going to happen. Write it down.
Don’t forget that Republican incumbent David Perdue and his cohort Kelly Loeffler were all-in for Trump and both lost their seats in the United States Senate to a couple of political neophytes, Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, which guarantees Democrats not only have the White House but both houses of Congress, as well. How did that work out for you?
I have received a number of responses from conservatives – some names might be recognizable to some of you – who agree it is time to move on. They are worried the Trump devotees in their quest for revenge are going to severely hurt the Republican Party and the damage will be long lasting. Some say their vote in the last election was more a vote against Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump.
The Republican Party is bigger than Donald Trump. His zealots are standing on the shoulders of a group of visionaries who built the Republican Party in Georgia when the torch-and-pitchfork crowd were a gleam in their daddy’s eye. People like Bob Shaw, the nonagenarian who was around when Republicans could have held their conventions in a phone booth; former U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Mack Mattingly; the late Sen. Paul Coverdell; former U.S. Rep. Bo Calloway and former State Reps. Rodney Cook and Kil Townsend, among others.
They were compassionate conservatives who offered a responsible alternative to a left-leaning Democratic Party certainly before Donald Trump came along and before he was doling out money to Democrats like Chuck Schumer and John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Not to mention $6,000 to current Vice President Kamala Harris in her race for California attorney general ($5,000 in 2011 and $1,000 in 2013.)
For those who have tried to rationalize the actions of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last month or who support some paramilitary group flexing their muscles and talking jive talk about taking matters into their own hands because they disagree with the outcome of the presidential election, please do not use the word “patriot” with me when describing yourselves as though you are and the rest of us are not.
Webster’s Dictionary defines a patriot as “one who loves his country and supports its authority and interests.” You may claim you love your country but only if it operates by your authority and in your interests. Quit throwing the term around until it loses its real meaning.
By the way, I am still trying to figure out why some of the self-styled patriots showed up that day in Washington waving Confederate flags. Correct me if I am wrong, but that war ended 156 years ago this coming April and the final score was 1-0. Our side lost. What is your point?
Most disheartening to me are the letters I have gotten from readers so frustrated with how things turned out in November they say they are not going to vote in the future. They have lost faith in the system. I hope that is not the case. It is critical that our legislators closely examine our current election laws and come up with solutions that will give us faith our vote truly counts.
At another time of crisis in our country, Abraham Lincoln said, “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
It is time to get this election over with and to once again find the better angels of our nature. It is time to move on.
•Dick Yarbrough is a four-time winner of the Best Humor Column by the Georgia Press Association. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.