History has Been Made in Georgia

  • January 26, 2021
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History has Been Made in Georgia – Democrat Article

On Tuesday, January 5th 2021, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock made history in Georgia. Warnock is the first Black Senator from Georgia ever, and the 11th Black senator in United States history. While Jon Ossoff is the first Jewish Senator elected from the deep South since 1879. He is also the first millennial Senator. He is also the youngest Senator-elect since Joe Biden in 1973. Interestingly enough, Biden was 30 when he was elected to Senate while Ossoff has now been elected at the ripe old age of 33. Ossoff and Warnock will also be the first Georgian Democrats in 16 years. This will send shock waves in the Senate. The last Georgia Democrat was actually a conservative and even supported George W. Bush in 2004.

Despite the presence of a progressive elected Senate, what makes these victories even more historic is that Ossoff and Warnock won in a runoff that was designed to work against them. The runoff system was adopted in 1962 after the Supreme Court struck down Georgia’s previous voting system as it was too undemocratic. Georgia being an ex-Confederate state and a segregationist state, still needed a way to uphold their legacy of white-supremacy somehow. This is how the runoff system came to exist. The system was adopted for one reason and one reason alone, to make sure white politicians were elected. Emphasis on white.

Those in power feared that if two white candidates and one Black candidate ran against each other that the Black candidate would win. This is because they would have the overwhelming support of the Black community. This would result in vote splitting and would leave the two white candidates at 30% each, reigning the Black candidate victorious. In this type of situation, a runoff would come into play.

Since there would be no candidate with over 50% of the vote, the two candidates with the most votes would go into a runoff election. This all but ensured that the Black candidate would lose, since it was assumed that white voters would coalesce around the singular white candidate. The Georgia runoffs were specifically designed to work against Black candidates and in favor of their white counterparts. With this in mind, Warnock’s victory is even more powerful and a delicious bite of irony.

But what do these historically significant victories mean for America at large? Well, the Democrats will now have full control of Congress and the White House, making it easier for them to pass legislation. But here comes the caveat. The Democrats only control 50 seats, and one of these 50 is West Virginia Senator, Joe Manchin. Manchin is effectively a Republican in Democrats clothing due to his conservative stance on many issues. For example, he voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh which many progressives were strongly against. To add fuel to the fire, within the 2016-2020 period he voted with Trump about 50% of the time.

Despite Senator Manchin’s progressive shortcomings this is not all bad news. He is likely to support many of Biden’s large policy goals which is substantive action Democrats need. For example, he is in favor of expanding healthcare access and open to providing additional stimulus. However, Senator Manchin will most likely get in the way of Biden’s environmental agenda as Manchin has opposed pollution regulations previously. Luckily, the Democrats have Bernie Sanders as head of the Senate Budget Committee to make it fair game.

These victories do not just have implications for the Democratic Party. Republicans also have a lesson to learn. Trump has now lost them House, the White House and the Senate to the Democrats since he took office. The GOP now has a decision to make, double down on Trumpism or leave it in the dust. This decision will cause a significant rift in the party.

Overall, the historical Georgia runoffs give Democrats control of government for the next two years. They must make full use of it and pass progressive legislation that will positively impact people’s lives and give them the much-needed relief from these tumultuous past four years under Trump. If they do not, they are likely to pay in the 2022 midterms and beyond.

But there is another lesson in this victory. Black progressives can win in the Deep South. Democrats should take full advantage of that to win more seats and enact a more progressive agenda to help all Americans. Now we have a real chance at implementing change. It won’t be easy. The marathon has just started. We must pressure our elected officials to pass all the legislation Biden has promised. We must also hold Democrats accountable to the progressive policies they campaigned on and we voted for.

Written By Democratic Writer, Ali Lahrech

Point of Information

McConnell will get his revenge for Georgia – A Republican Response

Overall, my colleague Ali brilliantly highlights the monumental importance of the victories of Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock in Georgia. In a former Confederate state such as Georgia, it is truly a moment worth celebrating that for the first time in its history, a POC will be one of their representatives in the Senate. Let us not forget the immense work Stacey Abrams did in Georgia to ensure more minority voters registered and turned out to vote this year. She is a large reason why Georgia flipped blue for the first time in years.

Nonetheless, it is important to recognize the damage Trump has done to the GOP’s hold on the Senate. While Senator Loeffler and Senator Perdue were campaigning for their important run-off races, Trump was pontificating on Twitter about how the election was stolen. Now that we have seen Joe Biden’s inauguration, much of Trump’s legal team has abandoned him. He’s now been impeached for a second time. Instead, he could’ve been helping his colleagues campaign to maintain their Senate seats. He lost the GOP the White House and proceeded to further damage the party by losing them the Senate.

Soon to be Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has always worked towards this. His goal has never been to be President, he wants power. He had that power as Senate Majority Leader. He was a huge obstructionist to Obama and came close to axing the ACA if it wasn’t for McCain’s decisive no vote. As Senate Majority Leader, he managed to secure three strong conservatives in the Supreme Court. This has effectively stacked the court in a 6-3 conservative bias for decades to come. Trump lost him that, and McConnell will avenge himself in one way or another. He’s already said in private that he’s pleased Trump has been impeached.

However, he refused to reconvene the Senate sooner to continue with the impeachment proceedings. These meetings are now only taking place as Biden has been sworn in. I believe this was a tactical move by McConnell; it forces the Democratic Senate to choose between impeachment proceedings, or Covid-19 relief and other important legislation Joe Biden has promised to pass in his first 100 days. He’s pragmatic, and understands the consequences of his actions. Impeaching Trump would mean he loses support from the base, but by forcing the Democratic Senate to take over these proceedings, he passes the blame onto someone else.

Trump’s actions have had dire consequences for the GOP. These consequences will stick with the party for years to come. 2022 will be an interesting year with many Senate elections occurring, as well as the likelihood of the House flipping to the Republicans. Losing the House in the Midterms is a common occurrence for incoming administrations. Mitch McConnell is likely already thinking years in advance, and it will be interesting to see just what he has up his sleeve.

Written by Republican Writer, Sebastian Calcopietro

A Monumental Victory, but what will this really mean? – A Foreign Perspective

I really enjoyed this article. It highlights the monumental victory for the Democrats whilst not getting carried away by assuming future results. I am delighted by this result as it will allow the Democrats to control policymaking once again. Because of this, they can now enable some radical changes that the US needs. The Democrats must not rest on their laurels. In America it will soon be another election cycle and thus, the Democrats must make this count. Winning once is difficult but as President Trump has discovered, winning a second time is harder. Therefore, they need to show the Georgian voters that they made the right call and convince them once again.

As Ali mentions with Senator Manchin, it is true that he may not always be on the Democrats side but he will want the Democrats to be re-elected. Consequently, in knowledge of my earlier point, he may decide to vote with them more often this time. Only time will tell. Additionally, even if Senator Manchin did vote against The Democrats, it would only take one Republican to break from the party to level it back up again. The margins are close and therefore, anything could happen.

Finally, the article discusses the impact on the Republican party; this result is Trump’s fault. This is the result of a President that cares more about his image and career than the party or country. For most politicians they are a member of either party because they believe in that party’s way of improving their country. For Trump, this is clearly not the case. He does not care about the way the country will be governed in the future. He allowed the Republican’s to lose Georgia by focusing on himself.

Republican’s need to move away from Trump. If he is not found guilty in the Senate then he will be back. Republicans must not let him run again, for the sake of the party and of the country.

Written by Foreign Perspective Writer, Fletcher Kipps

Ali Lahrech
Democratic Writer | Website

Hi, I’m Ali and I’m in my third year at the University of Toronto. I’m studying International Relations as my major and Spanish as my minor.

 

I was born and raised in Washington DC to Moroccan parents. This gave me a unique lens with which to observe the country I was raised in. While I am an American citizen, I often have a different perspective than my friends and peers whose families have been in the United States for much longer than mine. Growing up in around DC also gave the unique opportunity of being at the heart of American politics. Ever since President Barrack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009 I was hooked.

 

I have always been left of the American center and most closely aligned myself with the Democratic party. While I vote for the Democratic party, like many Americans I’m starting to feel more and more disillusioned with them and the two-party system. The 2016 election is was the catalyst for my dissatisfaction with the American political parties. I had seen the Republican party move further and further right while the Democrats hadn’t really moved left. They had essentially implemented a policy of appeasement towards the Republicans. In summation I was disappointed that the Democrats had bent the knee to Republicans rather than proposing and implementing bold and forward-thinking policies that would help Americans.

 

This disappointment and disillusionment started to transform into optimism after the 2018 midterms. I saw that there was still hope for a bright future for America. The Democratic party had started to shift leftwards, albeit at a snail’s pace. After the 2018 midterms I became a man possessed by American politics. As I dove deeper and deeper into American politics, I realized that we don’t know enough about it. This fact is why I think it is key for all of us, no matter our perspectives, to have a conversation with each other and most importantly listen to one another; so, we better understand one another and where we’re coming from.

 

Therefore, I look forward to sharing my perspective with POI and reading others’ with great enthusiasm.

 

 

Sebastian Calcopietro
Junior Conservative Writer at | Website
Hello, my name is Sebastian or “Seb” and I am currently going into my third year of
studies at the University of Exeter, completing a bachelor’s degree in International
Relations.
Fletcher Kipps
Chief Conservative political writer at | Website

I am an incoming third year undergraduate currently studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Exeter. I am socially liberal, fiscally conservative editor here at POI. I have been fascinated by politics for many years, from PMQs to late night election results all which has led to the desire to study this at university.

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