Lucy McBath – Georgia’s 6th Congressional District Miracle

27023340_2079986038905413_6646339981118946822_o - copyThere were so many upsets in this past mid-term election, that it’s hard to keep up with them all.

This story, the story of Lucy McBath stands taller than any of the others in my opinion.  Never in a thousand years would I have thought Georgia’s 6th District would go blue.  The racial makeup of the county in 2010 62.2% White, 25.0% Black, 0.3% Native American, 4.5% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 5.3% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. 14.3% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are several reasons why I marvel at her success by winning this Congressional seat in “red” state Georgia during last year’s mid-term.

First, if you don’t know her story behind why she chose to get into politics in the first place, you should know it because it’s so profound it gives you goose bumps. Her son was brutally murdered at a gas station, while with some of friends, by a white man who said their music was too loud.  The shooter used Florida’s stand-your-ground law as his defense. He was not found guilty of murder in his first trial. In an October 2014 retrial, the shooter was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Second, to choose to run in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia was about a gutsy as anything a black person could think of. The 6th District, is an affluent suburb North of Atlanta in Cobb County, mainly white. My old district when I lived in Cobb County Georgia. It’s Newt Gingrich’s old district, Tom Price’s old district, the disgraced Health and Human Services Director appointed by trump.  It was always held by a white male until Karen Handel in 2017.

The story of Karen Handel is unflattering to put it mildly.  While I was living in Georgia, I followed her and her politics very closely.  Briefly, Karen Christine Handel Walker; businesswoman, politician, and member of the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 6th congressional district. In 2017, she became the first Republican woman from Georgia elected to Congress after defeating Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in a special election to fill Tom Price‘s vacancy in Georgia’s 6th congressional district; this special election remains the most expensive congressional race in American history.  In the recent 2018 election, Handel lost the election to a full term to Democrat Lucy McBath.

Handel previously served as Secretary of State of Georgia. A member of the Republican Party, Handel worked in business before entering politics. First elected in 2003, she chaired the Fulton County Board of Commissioners until 2006, and then was elected and served as Georgia’s Secretary of State from 2007 to 2010.

In 2011, Handel was appointed Senior Vice President of public policy at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a charity in the cause of fighting breast cancer,  and left on February 7, 2012, following the foundation’s controversial decision to eliminate and then later restore funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization to which she was opposed. Handel sought a second term in the 2018 midterm elections but was defeated by Democratic challenger Lucy McBath.

Finally, to beat Karen Handel after Handel trounced John Ossoff in the special election this year for Tom Price’s old seat, is nothing short of miraculous to me.  John Ossoff was a great candidate and ran a great campaign, but even he couldn’t unseat Karen Handel.  Never in a million years would I have thought that district would go blue, not to mention going blue with the seat being won by a black woman.  The districts demographics haven’t changed believe it or not.  It’s still predominantly white and Republican.  What has changed is obviously the number of forward-thinking white voters who decided – in this year of the women – to look beyond their past political biases and cast their ballots for the (best) candidate.  This is very encouraging to say the least.

My only regret is that voted in the district for thirty years and never, nor did I think I would ever have, the opportunity to vote for a man or women of color with the hope of them winning. It took courage – inspired in part by the tragic death of her son I am sure – for her to run and answer her calling to do something to try and help make a difference in our society’s woes.

Now a newly appointed member to House of Representatives 116th Congress Rules Committee by the Honorable Nancy Pelosi and twice elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.  How awesome.

My new hero, Lucy McBath.

 

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TV Reporters, grinning like a Cheshire Cat

cheshirecat_disneyGrowing up, my father would often use the phrase “grinning like a Cheshire Cat”, when he wanted to make the, not so flattering, point about a stupid, dim-witted  and otherwise display of adulation by someone, for someone else.

The display of adulation part of his use the phrase is the part I have long held as the most applicable definition when I look at and think about their grin, as one like that of the Cheshire Cat.

The Winners Dilemma, of Reconciliation

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It has become acutely apparent, as voiced by so many of the self-serving political pundits, that if Hillary Clinton had won the current presidential contest, she would have had to court, appease and otherwise pamper those deplorable voters who so viciously supported the other side, and attacked her in some of the most mean-spirited, nasty and rabid ways imaginable.

These are some of the same political pundits and haters, that along the way, did all they could to disparage, demean and discredit her Most of them gave not a hint that they would even remotely extend an olive branch to her or her supporters should their vile candidate win the election.  Why then, would Secretary Clinton have been held to yet another (different) standard; a standard of being (expected) to heal the land and ease the pain of those voters and opponents – who I believe – will do something quite the contrary now  that it appears they will be in power.  Heck, Donald Trump had openly stated he may, or may not, accept the results of the election unless he won.

Never mind, that no where along the way did Donald Trump himself, even hint of reconciliation with the opposing party’s voters, or signal he would reach out to those voters, ethnic groups or factions who did not support him if he were to win.  Instead, he unambiguously and boldly stated the direful actions he would take, the type of post-election actions that are generally seen only in the so-called Banana Republics and dictatorships; things like jailing his opponent.  Even more spine-chilling, is when his deplorable rally goers often chanted very venomously chilling chants like, lock her up and electrocute her, he did and said absolutely nothing to quill their abhorrent and misguided fever and thirst for her blood.

Hillary Clinton has repeatedly said she wanted to be the President of all of the people, even those who voted against her.  This is generally the mantra of the more sane, civil and reasonable politicians – even that of many republican politicians – leading up to, and after an election – win or lose.  This is just one of the many discernible, and yes, rational differences between Hillary Clinton and the dismal, hate filled and racist views of Donald Trump.  If anyone believes Donald Trump and his staunchest supporters would have demonstrated the calm, rationalism, courtesy and civility Hillary Clinton demonstrated the day after the election, they’re either outright lairs at best, or delusional at worst. Again, every indication by Donald Trump – through his rhetoric – was that this was not going to be the case if he had lost the election.

Then, there is the graceful and dignified offer by the current President to welcome and offer his, and his staff’s, full support to President-Elect trump to ensure he had a smooth transition into the white house.  Let’s not so easily forget that this graciousness of President Obama is being extended to the man who spent the last four years (at minimum), ridiculing him, and using a blitzkrieg of demeaning and demoralizing racist attacks against him – through his constant barrage of brither assaults – even to the point that our first black President was forced to produce his long form birth certificate. Through the eyes of those of us who are African-Americans, the descendents of slaves, was an unpleasant reminder of an act that was a throwback to the days when slaves had to carry (ownership) papers with them, showing their master’s ownership of them; thereby, allowing them (somewhat safe) passage through the maze of plantations, towns, back roads and pass the vicious  bands slave catchers.

One thing for sure, Donald Trump is a very vindictive person, and while he has been unequivocally evasive about his governance philosophy on so many fronts and, based on his actions and implied threats thus far, we can assume he will spend quite a bit of time performing acts of retribution on those he feels were against him.  Trump made it crystal clear he was test the tenants of our peaceful transfer of power y publicly stating he wouldn’t accept the outcome of the election – unless of course, he won.  There is an eeriness that hovers over Trump’s election victory and Hillary’s loss to him.

He was very transparent and luminous about his desire to jail Hillary Clinton, and often relished in the boisterous chants offered up by his supporters chanting “lock her up.” Photos of some of his rally goers with handcuffs began surfacing on various social media outlets. One can only wonder what she would have been up against, or what aggravating taunts and petty challenges she would have had to endure by him and his minions if she had won.  Not to mention, he being the one who exploited and fueled all of the ugliness of a sequestered racial divide, often referred to as the “elephant in the room.”

No sane or civil person would suggest that the winner of this – or any other Presidential election – ignore, punish or otherwise seek retribution against those who voted against them. Besides, it wouldn’t work in our system of government, where there are systems in place to put in check anyone who would attempt to exert such actions.  One could make the argument; however, that if Hillary Clinton were the winner of this political election, she would have every right to (at least) flirt with the idea that her opponent should have to soak in the sweat of his defeat for some undetermined period.

Why is it then, that if Hillary Clinton had won the election, she would have been expected to spend her valuable time consoling those bigots who voted for Donald Trump while they licked their wounds.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, I believe that if she had won, she would done just that, not because it would have been demanded of her, but because that’s who she is.  Unfortunately, win or lose, it seemed okay that Hillary Clinton was subjected to some of the worse insults ever witnessed by an unapologetic misogynist, she is called on by the pundits, before the ink dries on the election results, to take the lead in reconciliation.  Had she won, she would have been called upon throughout her tenure in office to appease and comfort the losers.

The dilemma of reconciliation maybe, just maybe, a headache Hillary Clinton will not have to contend with.