Here we go again. Voters in Georgia won the electoral lottery one more time. Run-off elections two years ago apparently gave everyone in the Peach State a taste of excitement. That white hot national spotlight must have felt good. Because, as of this writing anyway, it appears as if control of the U.S. Senate might once again rest in the hands of Georgia voters.
It seems incomprehensible that all the votes across the fruited plain have yet to be tallied, but such is the case. Some of those western states must still be utilizing the remnants of the Pony Express to deliver marked ballots to their state Boards of Elections. With so many races decided by razor-thin margins, I can understand the desire to make sure totals are accurate. But, c’mon, we’re already a couple of days or more post-election and there are still places where barely two-thirds of the ballots have been certified. Maybe those who live off the grid in Alaska have an excuse, but very few others.
Once the dust has settled, it’s very likely there will be 50 Republican Senators accounted for, and 49 Democratic ones. So, the December 6th run-off election between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker will be the deciding factor as to which party has control of the Upper Chamber. (Remember, of course, that Kamala Harris, as Vice President, has a tie-breaking vote, giving the Ds control in a 50-50 Senate.)
No doubt by now everyone in Georgia is well-familiar with both candidates. I read an article that indicated the Walker and Warnock camps together had spent upwards of $250 million thus far. And yet, it wasn’t enough. You can take it to the bank that millions more will be funneled into TV, radio, social media, and printed ads. If the past is indicative of what’s to come, most of those messages will be of the negative variety. “He’s bad.” “Yeah, well, he’s worse.” “But he’s worse than worse.” And, so it goes.
When they’re not bad-mouthing the competition, both candidates, to their credit, claim to want to help the citizenry of the state. Especially those who may be struggling. Just a thought here, but that $250 million might go a long way toward providing some aide to those in need rather than lining the pockets of media outlets across the state.
However, something tells me that alternative use of the money is not going to happen. The negative messages will continue apace, and fistfuls of cash will cascade down on the campaigns from people in places near and far. Expect to see big names in the political game on both sides descend upon Georgia to embrace their favored candidate. Herschel and Raphael are going to need plenty of energy drinks for the next few weeks. If you haven’t had a chance to see one or both in person, I’m sure you’ll get that opportunity often.
Since politics are still going to be in-your-face well past Thanksgiving, I have a suggestion that might be fun and prove beneficial to many. Bear with me for a moment. Remember the first “Bob Newhart” show? That’s the one with Suzanne Pleshette where Bob played a psychologist in Chicago. Not only did every show feature a scene with Bob on the phone (his trademark in his stand-up comedy routines), but at least once per episode some character was apt to randomly greet him with a cheerful, “Hi, Bob.” It happened so many times that a drinking game evolved. Groups (well, mainly college cadres) that gathered together to watch the shows would take a swallow whenever the phrase “Hi, Bob” was uttered. (It was a simpler time and place in America.)
What if we put a more socially-responsible spin on that game? Suppose every time you saw a negative Warnock or Walker commercial, you donated a dollar to your favorite charity? There are approximately eight minutes of commercials per every half-hour of programming. Figure at least half of those eight minutes will be filled with campaign caterwauling. If you watch an average of, say, three hours of TV daily, that’s $24 every day that could go to the good works of your choice.
Roughly four million Georgians voted in this year’s Senate race. Four million times $24 every day? You’re talking huge dollars for charity each week. And you get to make fun of the commercials while you’re doing good. It’s just an idea. Along with this one: Vote. If you ever doubted that your one vote counts, look no further than the Georgia Senate race. Yeah, the run-off is a pain. But you make a difference. Pick a candidate and pick a charity. That way, everybody wins.
©MMXXII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer