What the Persistence of Rural Georgia’s Politics Means

I just want to say that this article is most likely the deepest and most analytical insight into Georgia political decision-making I have read to date. Its summation of Georgia’s varying political entanglements is indicative of an inner understanding and insight into the mindsets of rural Georgia politicians.

As someone whose family background is of rural origins in the state, the societal divide between urban and rural is something I’ve grown to understand fondly, whilst still abhorring at times. It appears that our current governor’s propensity for catering to a specific segment of voters will be his demise in more ways than one. As someone who is a gun-carrying, mostly libertarian individual, I respect individual freedoms, but as someone with a college education and experience in corporate America, I also respect conclusions drawn from intensive data analysis and moderate decision-making. The governor’s recent decisions and lack of regard for data and logical reasoning lead me and many others to assume that he is acting as some leaders past; that is, acting with some input from ideological advisers, but without research or intellectual curiosity to draw his own accurate conclusions.

There is a sense among many in the liberal urban enclaves of Georgia that the governor is incapable of complex analysis or caring about broad societal needs. This sense will come to haunt the Republican Party in the state for years, if not decades to come.

By digging himself into the hole of core rural support only, our governor has distanced himself from the swing voters needed to maintain any semblance of political dominance in the state. He is, as Professor Cobb mentions, using a 150-year-old plan. This usage may be expediting the plan’s long overdue expiration date, coinciding with the expiration of Governor Kemp’s political party as a dominant force in the state. By veering too far to the right, he has alienated voters, such as myself, who fear that the inexplicably human need for interaction and living could be met even less over the course of the year as our state inevitably becomes an example for what not to do in a pandemic.

—William Gentry


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