By the time this paper arrives in your hands, the campaign of 2008 will be over.
I am writing this before Tuesday’s runoff election here in our state, so I don’t know how those final three races turned out. (I know how I would have liked for them to turn out, but that’s another issue).
For many, including the most die-hard of political junkies, it has been a long, grueling affair which admittedly we all could use a little break from. Personally, I’ll be fine within a few weeks, but I know many are past the point of burn out.
Quite frankly, how could you not be? The U.S. Senate race and runoff has no doubt set some kind of record for number of television ads, unsolicited phones calls and cards in our mailboxes. Most of them have been complete distortions by Saxby Chambliss, but we shouldn’t be surprised by that.
This was someone, afterall, who didn’t serve in the military, but painted Max Cleland as some kind of coward in the election six years ago. Now in 2008, Jim Martin, who served in Vietnam, a true fighter for the blue collar worker in Georgia, was labeled as something he is not by the Chambliss distortion machine.
Yet, as we went into the final days of the campaign (remember I am writing this before the vote on Tuesday), Chambliss was actually ahead in the polls. Amazing what negative campaigning and bending, breaking and distorting the truth will do for you when you think about it.
But enough about Chambliss. He isn’t worth my time anyway.
One thing which is encouraging about the 2008 election has been the massive number of voters who have turned out to take part in the process. Georgia can be proud as well as people have actually had to wait in some cases to cast their ballots.
Still, despite the record turnout in numerous areas, there are still so many who don’t take the time to vote. It pains me to think so many still don’t care enough to take advantage of one of the greatest rights we have.
I recently watched a documentary in which I learned in Australia, citizens can be fined if they don’t take the time to vote. Can you imagine what would happed if people had to pay $500 if they did not do their patriotic duty and go to the polls in America? Oh, the debate that would rage on talk radio if that law was passed.
Looking ahead for a moment, a full slate of statewide offices will be on the ballot in 2010. One positive thing about 2010 is that we will be rid of Sonny Perdue, who will no doubt go down as one of the least effective governors in our state’s history. Numerous plants and companies have closed during Perdue’s reign in office and the governor hasn’t even been seen in months. Where is he these days? No one seems to know, or care for that matter?
Hopefully, the enthusiasm hundreds of thousands of Georgia voters showed this November will carry over into 2010. We have many problems here in the Peachstate which need to be ironed out. I would love to see the rise of a third political party to challenge the broken two-party system. Now is as good a time as any for that.
Still, I know most of you are tired of hearing about, reading about and watching politics on television. Take a break, rest up and get ready to go again. There’s too much at stake to remain asleep at the wheel now.
Chris Bridges is an editor with Mainstreet Newspapers. E-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.