Round 1 of pri­maries over. On to Round 2.

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page - Dick Yar­brough Philoso­pher & pun­dit

As the leg­endary Hall of Fame catcher and all-around philoso­pher Yogi Berra once ob­served: “It ain’t over till its over.” He could have been talk­ing about the 2018 Ge­or­gia pri­maries. A lot of would-be can­di­dates got sent to the side­lines by vot­ers on May 22, but now We the Un­washed are look­ing at runoffs on July 24. It ain’t over yet.

Just think, gang — eight more weeks of self-serv­ing ads, robo­calls at sup­per­time and slick mail­ing pieces with which to line our bird­cages. Once the runoffs are over, we will then have only about 15 weeks or so for more self-serv­ing ads, more robo­calls at sup­per­time and a ton or two of ad­di­tional bird­cage ma­te­rial. I call this good news be­cause when we get past Novem­ber, we should have a year or so of respite be­fore we have to start the whole thing over again.

At least it beats tanks in the street and hard-eyed mul­lahs telling us who we must vote for. (“Hi, this is Mul­lah Fa­zook call­ing and ask­ing you to vote for my good friend, Ishtar Bad­abohm, who is run­ning for Supreme Holy Spir­i­tual Leader. We would greatly ap­pre­ci­ate your vote and you would prob­a­bly ap­pre­ci­ate keep­ing the fin­gers on your hand since we will chop them off if you think you have a choice. Thanks for your time.”)

There will be a runoff for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion for gover­nor between Lt. Gov. Casey Ca­gle and Sec­re­tary of State Brian Kemp. For­mer state Rep. Stacey Abrams won the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion.

Ca­gle got roughly 39 per­cent of the vote and Kemp 26 per­cent. Ca­gle doesn’t need to be high-fiv­ing any­body right now. In the 2010 Repub­li­can pri­mary runoff, Ge­or­gia Sec­re­tary of State Karen Han­del came in first with 34 per­cent of the vote and for­mer Con­gress­man Nathan Deal ranked sec­ond with 23 per­cent. And we all know how that turned out.

Of course, both par­ties are ap­peal­ing to their base sup­port­ers (no pun in­tended.) If Abrams were to win in Novem­ber, she would be the first black woman to be­come gover­nor in any state in the na­tion, in­clud­ing wee­nieville Ver­mont. The Demo­cratic nom­i­nee says her cam­paign will reach out to mi­nori­ties, peo­ple of color (as long as they are not mid­dle-of-the-road white guys) and the LGBTQ com­mu­nity, as well as to well-heeled cit­i­zens of Cal­i­for­nia and New York, who are writ­ing her fat checks.

Ca­gle and Kemp, on the other hand, will tout their per­son­ally au­to­graphed pic­ture of Don­ald Trump hang­ing on the wall next to their ex­ten­sive gun racks. Look for things between the two to get some­where between testy and nasty over the next eight weeks. Repub­li­cans tend to do that kind of thing, some­times for­get­ting who the real en­emy is.

Hope­fully, both Abrams and who­ever wins the Repub­li­can gu­ber­na­to­rial nom­i­na­tion will re­mem­ber there are some of us who re­side in the po­lit­i­cal mid­dle. We don’t un­der­stand why peo­ple can cross our borders al­most unim­peded (in­clud­ing po­ten­tial ter­ror­ists.) At the same time, we strug­gle with the logic of why we have to learn to speak Span­ish in­stead of His­pan­ics learn­ing to speak English. We aren’t crazy about kids pack­ing heat on col­lege cam­puses or those on col­lege cam­puses who try to re­strict the free­dom of speech of those with whom they dis­agree. And we won­der why those who pass our laws ex­empt them­selves from those same laws.

We be­lieve in the pre­cious free­doms we en­joy in our coun­try but get tired of be­ing lec­tured about the no­bil­ity of a bunch of ir­rel­e­vant gazil­lion­aires who make a big show of dis­re­spect­ing their coun­try on Sun­day af­ter­noons. That is their right to do so just as it is our right to tune them out as more and more of us are do­ing ev­ery year. Keep it up and they all might have to go get real jobs.

Lit­tle no­ticed in the re­cent pri­maries was that for­mer state Se­nate pres­i­dent pro tem­pore David Shafer came close to win­ning the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion for lieu­tenant gover­nor with­out a runoff, gar­ner­ing 49 per­cent of the vote. I have been a bit harsh on Shafer in the past, but I give him high marks for reach­ing out. His is a good ex­am­ple some of his col­leagues should try.

I wish I could spend more time with you on my patent-pend­ing, in-depth anal­y­sis of the won­der of Ge­or­gia politics, but I must go. There is a ro­bot on the other line who wants to know what’s for sup­per. My work never ends.

You can reach Dick Yar­brough at dick@ dick­yarbrough.com; at P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, Ge­or­gia 31139 or on Face­book at www.face­book.com/dick­yarb.

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