Change, change, change

Even if Barack doesn’t carry the Peach State, you may be shaken the morn­ing af­ter the Nov. 4 elec­tion. You will see the sun rise on the real new Ge­or­gia — a Ge­or­gia

The Covington News - - Opinion how about on my terms? not just their faul -

Why do you look so wor­ried, Bubba? Barack Obama is not go­ing to win Ge­or­gia. He might come close, but he can’t win. Mav­er­ick McCain and his lit­tle moose- hunt­ing buddy should keep Ge­or­gia safe for Repub­li­cans for at least two more years.

Still, Bub - ba, you should brace your­self for a good dose of shock and awe. Even if Barack doesn’t carry the Peach State, you may be shaken the morn­ing af­ter the Nov. 4 elec­tion.

You will see the sun rise on the real new Ge­or­gia — a Ge­or­gia fill­ing up with new vot­ers and mi­nor­ity res­i­dents. The dra­matic changes will be re­flected in a record voter turnout.

The fresh Ge­or­gia po­lit­i­cal map is likely to star­tle. Just since 2004, Ge­or­gia’s regis­tra­tion rolls have grown by 577,000 new vot­ers, a plu­ral­ity of them black. Po­lit­i­cal ob­servers be­lieve an ad­di­tional 300,000 new vot­ers are yet to be pro­cessed and added to the rolls.

Don’t frown, Bubba. It will be OK. Trust me. Whites still hold a com­mand­ing ma­jor­ity of the vote ( 64.5 per­cent). How­ever, their num­bers have di­min­ished by nearly 6 per­cent in just four years.

The en­tire state’s pop­u­la­tion is on the move, as the vote to­tals may show. Your bud­dies in the GOP, once firmly rooted in the sub­urbs, are mov­ing in droves far­ther and far­ther from traf­fic, lousy schools, high crime rates — and mi­nor­ity neigh­bors.

The ele­phants will soon be known as the party of the ex­urbs and ru­ral Ge­or­gia. They are be­ing re­placed on the once- hal­lowed grounds of sub­ur­bia by AfricanAmer­i­can vot­ers. Blacks also main­tain their tra­di­tional strength in Ge­or­gia’s ur­ban cen­ters. This kind of move­ment is just what Democrats had in mind to re­gain power.

( A cou­ple of ex­am­ples: Sub­ur­ban Cobb County, for­merly the cap­i­tal of Barry Gold­wa­ter Re­pub­li­can­ism, has reg­is­tered at least 28,000 blacks since 2004, and only 14,000 whites. Sub­ur­ban Dou­glas County has reg­is­tered 13,000 black vot­ers and only 2,000 whites.)

If th­ese trends hold, Ge­or­gia could be back in the Demo­cratic fold by the time Hil­lary runs again in 2012, and Bubba may have moved far­ther into the moun­tains to es­cape the tidal wave of vot­ers and new neigh­bors who are not Ir­ish, Scot and Protes­tant.

Not too long ago, Ge­or­gia was the cen­ter of the solidly Demo­cratic South. We went over­whelm­ingly for John F. Kennedy in 1960. Our best and bright­est po­lit­i­cal minds — Judge Grif­fin Bell, for in­stance — helped Kennedy pile up the sec­ond- big­gest ma­jor­ity of any state in the coun­try. Rhode Is­land was first.

By 1964, how­ever, white South­ern­ers were fed up with then- Pres­i­dent Lyn­don B. John­son and civil rights demon­stra­tions. When John­son signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he re­port­edly said to an aide, “ We have lost the South for a gen­er­a­tion.” He was dead right. Four months af­ter John­son’s dire pre­dic­tion, Ge­or­gia was one of six states to go for Gold­wa­ter.

Democrats held onto the Ge­or­gia State­house for an­other 40 years, but the state was fin­ished as a true- blue Demo­cratic bas­tion. Only na­tive son Jimmy Carter and Arkansas’ Bill Clin­ton would break the Repub­li­can grip in pres­i­den­tial elec­tions. Race was the GOP’s ace in the hole. Repub­li­cans were the white party; Democrats were ev­ery­body else — plus a few white libs and ec­cen­tric old folks.

I only tell you all this, Bubba, so you can get ready for the com­ing revo­lu­tion. How­ever, a glim­mer of hope re­mains for you in the form of an al­ter­nate sce­nario:

De­spite mount­ing num­bers of mi­nor­ity Demo­cratic vot­ers, Repub­li­cans could re­main firmly in power. Democrats may not have enough brainy and en­er­getic peo­ple left to in­spire and or­ga­nize the new vot­ers into a power bloc. And noth­ing will change.

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