Submitted by a Georgia transplant
Georgia has a new voting law that President Biden called “Jim Eagle” and has the media foaming at the mouth. It is not even as tight as other states for in-person voting and other details. This is about the battle for the new red trending purple to trend blue lock state. The old Virginia play is going on here. It is a bit impatient of the left. Just watching the trends, the GOP leadership set this state on a path to go blue a la California via demographic change by 2030. I should know. I’m an import.
During the 2008 banking collapse, I found myself working for a firm in New Jersey that was acquired. My little department was spared elimination. I was given a reprieve with the offer to go to the new location in the Atlanta suburbs. I looked at the real estate links sent by the new firm, and stared in disbelief at low home prices in towns within twenty minutes of work. My family relocated to a northwest suburb of Atlanta.
I was surprised by the low cost of living in every regard. Had another kid, and really enjoyed living down here. I also noticed the lack of accents. People noticed mine, and it made me strain to listen for theirs, but to my surprise, outside older individuals and the rural trips we first took, I didn’t hear too much of an accent. I wasn’t a Sopranos character, and they weren’t extras on the Dukes of Hazzard. I also noticed more people from out of state in my development. Over time, I noticed other changes in inner ring suburbs just south of us. Growth is everywhere.
That seems to be the Faustian bargain Georgia made a generation ago. For economic investment and development, they pushed an image of a New South. The bid in 1990 for the ’96 Summer Olympics was predicated just on that idea. They had a narrative for the Olympics pitch. Georgia had come a long way, and wanted to show the world. Atlanta was the city to busy to hate. There were also the economic angles, and America always has an entry in Olympics’ bidding rounds because the television contracts are worth so much. Still, it is a weird idea to think that a region in the dominant superpower would feel the need for a coming out party like Brazil in ’16 or China in ’08. They did though, and this was well before my arrival.
The GOP leaders thought they could manage this, but big business wants cheap labor, so there has been an influx of illegals over the years. Any state level reform of immigration is going to be near impossible. There is also political pressure on social issues. Hollywood films in Georgia. The state gives them lavish tax credits for doing so. No one asked for that! There is also now a voter bloc that can swing elections that will cost the GOP the state. Stacy Abrams received applause for delivering Georgia, and her GOTV for ’18 was the roadmap for ’20. All of the ’18 midterms were test runs as the normal presidential year turnout showed up in ’18. Abrams’ team pulled out wild stops like extending polling hours in areas where HBCUs are, votes were found, and Abrams’ sister ruled on election issues. It almost cost Kemp.
It did cost Trump. Something else did, too. The exit polls show the same racial mix for ’16 and ’20. Abrams didn’t change that. What changed was Trump’s share. He dropped a full 6% with white voters. These were the suburbs. Trump won in ’16 by 5%. He lost by a tiny sliver of votes in ’20. We know about the fake broken water pipe. We all saw the weird vote counting on video, and we know that was a problem, but it never should have been had Trump still pulled 75% of the white vote. He didn’t because of all those educated white workers the state of Georgia has pulled in for the last couple of decades combined with the indoctrinated colleges graduates leaving the state universities.
Now the state GOP thought they could dump Trump but still be protected. The GA GOP should have fought hard against the weirdness in November because a proper audit would have saved Perdue from a run-off. They thought otherwise. The January run-offs would surely go for the normal GOP. They learned the hard way that you never make a deal with a dishonest broker. With the Senate sweep, the GOP must have realized they were toast.
The idiocy of it all is that they should have realized this years ago. They traded away higher tax revenues and some coin in their pockets for their state. I’m a transplant. I’ve met others. I hear the constant refrain. Georgia isn’t what they expected. They can find Thai places, they do enjoy the same amenities and they can relish the openness of the New South. At least I know I have little attachment to this ground, and I care about respecting the unique features and quirks of my surroundings. These newcomers have zero awareness, and they don’t care.