When Raphael Warnock delivered his victory speech when he was declared the winner of the Georgia Senate Run-off Election, he stated that “the people have spoken.” He said emphatically that these are the four most important words in government. But what does it mean to have the people speak? Does it mean a straightforward one-vote win, or does it need an overwhelming majority? Does it mean it took two elections to achieve over 50% of the votes, or does it require a clear mandate? In today’s political world, I believe the people do not speak, that they no longer have a voice, and the race in Georgia proves this theory.
Georgia elections have come into focus of late because of intense criticism of state voting laws and the fact that nobody appears able to win a clear majority on the first ballot. Because of the split in Congress, additional attention has been placed on Georgia to determine the balance of power in D.C. The run-off election between Warnock and his Republican challenger Herschel Walker became one of the most heated and divisive elections in history. Did it really show that the people had spoken? I think not. Warnock won by a slim 3% difference, but that only tells part of the story. The election maps tell a bigger story.
The Georgia map is very similar to the country map for the mid-terms. Our government today is being chosen by the heavily populated regions. In the case of Georgia, the votes from Atlanta, Augusta, Albany, and Savanah determined the victor. On the national map, the West Coast, Northeast, and for some reason, Arizona and New Mexico are dominated by Democrats. The rest of the country is painted in solid red for the Republicans. So are the people speaking, or do just the urban dwellers have a voice?
The voters in the suburbs and rural areas are not represented unless they align with the Democrats. The same goes for the middle of the country, which is primarily Conservative. The big cities of their state choose their representatives. They have to live by that ideology. Politicians love to say they will go to Washington to represent all of their constituents. We know by their actions, as they only represent their voters or donors. That is how divided we are. The word bipartisan is thrown about far too often. Nearly every vote is cast along party lines, period. People cannot even see the other side of the aisle lest they crossover to vote with the opposition.
Over $400 Million was spent by Warnock and Walker, making this race the most expensive Senate seat in history. That is $400 million for 3.5 million voters. Have the people’s voices been heard, or just that of George Washington? Elections have ceased being about issues and character. They are all about money. Just ask John Fetterman in Pennsylvania or Kathy Hochul in New York. Neither deserved to be elected, but the money they raised said otherwise. And the Liberal voters that occupy the significant cities put them over the top. It is not a sound system, but even cynics say it is still the best in the world. Many more years like the last two, and I may want to debate those cynics.