The Newnan Times-Herald


The governor’s race

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • May. 17, 2018 - 10:27 PM

The governor’s race

The Newnan Times-Herald

It is becoming increasingly difficult to watch the TV spots produced by the leading GOP gubernatorial candidates, Brain Kemp and Casey Cagle.

I do not personally know either one, although I have met both at GOP fundraisers, but I do not believe that these ads could accurately reflect who they are from what I remember.

When has it become acceptable in conservative circles to point a shotgun at a teenager? Yet, that is what Kemp does in his TV spot. The obviously frightened kid is responding to him in a "yes, sir" manner.

Cagle started out with very well done ads emphasizing jobs and education. I was all set to vote for him in the primary. Then, something changed.

We can only surmise that these positive ads must have somehow been deemed ineffective by his marketing team, especially in view of the “take the low road” Kemp ads. Suddenly, Cagle switched to aggressive, misleading anti-immigration ads clearly designed to frighten white people. These ads falsely imply that our cities are being overrun by rough looking tattooed Latino gangs of illegals.

I’ve been in and out of Atlanta for 50 years and have never seen these thugs in our neighborhoods or on our streets.

State Senator Mike Williams of Cummings is also running for governor. His views are even worse than Cagle and Kemp.  His “Cinco de Mayo” gift to Georgians was to get on CNN and state that he wanted our 2,200 Georgia schools to have armed guards at every unlocked door. He then stated that it would not cost anything to us, the taxpayers.

This reminds me of Trump’s wall. When will Mexico pay for its construction? After Mexico pays for the wall, will it also pay for Georgia’s armed school guards?

Williams also indicated that he thought possession of guns was an absolute right and was under siege, mimicking Trump’s comments to the NRA. With 300 million guns in the USA, I wonder who is conducting this siege?

In any case, Williams doesn’t have a clue about the second amendment or guns. He stated on CNN that: “they are inanimate objects” and “we don’t need to talk about gun safety.”

Bazookas are inanimate objects, as are machine guns and rocket launchers. Should we legalize their possession by our citizens? If the second amendment is absolute, as Williams implies, should we permit mentally ill criminals to possess all firearms?

I understand that Williams is vying with others for NRA support, but does he really think that any discussion of gun control should be completely off the table? If more guns was going to resolve the problem, why aren’t our gun deaths going down? Why do we have many more gun deaths per capita versus all other democracies?

Williams was also on CNN before (on 6-24-17) speaking about repealing and replacing Obamacare (ACA) with a free market solution. He had no specifics at all about how this theoretical competition can be fostered when our health care system is driven by public and private insurance.

He also had no knowledge of the CBO score on Trumpcare, the GOP alternative that he fully supported, and which would have resulted in tens of millions losing insurance… as well as ridiculous tax breaks for the wealthy – like Williams – and corporations. He also incorrectly stated that “millions” had already lost coverage under Obamacare… when actually the exact opposite is true. Tens of millions have gained coverage and the rate of uninsured has been dramatically reduced.

Williams may really care about these issues but approaches them emotionally and ideologically versus logically. It is obvious that he had very little specific knowledge of healthcare financing and delivery, or of the history of the ACA. Further, his firearm views are extreme, no restrictions on gun ownership at all.

We already have a president who is purposefully forcing us into competing tribes. We need a governor who brings our increasingly diverse population together, not someone who divides us based on ideology.

When we see the Democratic candidates’ TV spots, they are emphasizing hope and a promise for a better life. Why won't the GOP candidates do the same? My GOP should be better than this.

Jack Bernard of Fayette County, a retired corporate executive, was a two-term county commissioner and former county Republican Party chairman in Jasper County.