I’m a Georgia native.
After years of progress under moderately conservative Democratic leadership, my state has been governed by Establishment-to-hard-right Republicans for a dozen years. Our healthcare system has dropped to 46th in the nation, our educational opportunities are similarly plummeting, our only major metro area is mired in gridlock, and the tax burden to ordinary folks has actually increased while services have dropped. We’ve gone from the strongest economy east of the Mississippi to an employment laggard — the main reason we have economic growth at all is that City of Atlanta politicians have consistently supported the world’s busiest airport.
Last month, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp allowed the private information of millions of voters to get out to the public, and there’s been no move for a serious investigation of what happened. He blamed it on a “clerical error” and fired one person. Our governor — the grand marshal in his own parade of nepotistic scandals — turned down a League of Women Voters request for an independent investigation of the data breach.
Fearing that it would alienate conservative suburbanites (who don’t read it anyway), and now controlled by the conservative billionaire heir of a once-Democratic family, the state’s only major newspaper more than a decade ago simply eliminated its formerly great editorial page. Once upon a time, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorialists Ralph McGill and Cynthia Tucker won Pulitzer Prizes. Now, the paper offers up “balanced” right-left columnists, but fails to exercise the civic leadership that once upon a time helped to distinguish this state from Alabama and South Carolina.
Gov. Deal and his ideologue attorney general have wasted tax money and harmed tens of thousands of families by refusing to accept Medicaid money (that we paid for with our tax dollars), and by bringing multitudes of wasteful lawsuits against such demonstrable efficiencies as affordable healthcare and clean air.
Now, in perfidious exploitation of the easily misdirected minds of Southern white voters, the governor is engaging in massive resistance against a Syrian family that has done nothing but escaped horrors that cannot even be imagined by the spoiled Bubbas who sit quaking in their homes — guns at the ready for their children to stumble upon — in fear of the terror injected into them by cable “news” pundits and, seemingly, an entire political party.
Please, now, can we finally bring back Reconstruction?