Terry Manning

Bad in, bad out applies to politics, too


A few years ago, I shared a post on my Facebook timeline after George Will announced he was leaving the Republican Party.

The conservative commentator had seen the changes that accompanied the rise of Donald Trump and had had enough.

“I left it for the same reason I joined it in 1964 when I voted for Barry Goldwater,” Will said on Fox News Sunday. “I joined it because I’m a conservative.”

I expected some of my friends who were reliable Republican voters to respond, but few did. I remember one asking, “Who’s George Will?” This wasn’t a question of his bona fides, but of his identity, not so much “Who does he think he is?” as “I’ve never heard of him.”

That I, a bleeding-heart liberal, knew who Will was and that a rock-solid Republican voter from Alabama did not, took me by surprise. How could this person not be familiar with one of their party’s thought leaders? Then I caught myself: Thought.

Little thought is given by too many voters who automatically check the box beside the name of their party’s candidates, whether those candidates have a single clue about the office they are seeking.

A friend who moved to Alabama last year lamented, “We vote next week and I have researched the Democratic candidates here in Alabama and I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. … I swear these folks just woke up one day and said ‘Hey, I think I’ll run for governor, Senate, whatever else’ and just filed an application. None of these people are qualified. NONE!”

I’m not picking on Alabama, I promise, not when I live in a state that elected newly thawed cavewoman Marjorie Taylor Greene to Congress and is seriously contemplating replacing the eminently qualified Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock with former professional football player Herschel Walker.

At a recent campaign appearance, Walker told the crowd he didn’t understand why there has been so much talk about race and racism, saying it is a tool of the Left. (He left off “radical,” something I’m sure he’ll have been corrected on by November). Walker told the crowd he’d been called a racial slur, but it was okay, because … raccoons are pretty smart?

He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that shortly after announcing his campaign, he was contacted by a group of Washington Republicans.

“I won’t say their names because I don’t want to embarrass them,” Walker said. “The first thing they asked me is, ‘Can you raise money?’ The second is, ‘Can you get people to change over?’”

That at least partially explains support for Walker. He is a Black challenger pitted against a Black incumbent in hopes he will swing Black votes to the Republicans. It’ll work to some extent, but Black people have known “every brother ain’t a brother” since long before Public Enemy’s Chuck D rapped about it in 1990.

He reminds me of my former brother-in-law, who told me he liked Herman Cain because “he lets me vote against Obama without looking racist.” I responded that if that was the only reason he was voting for a Black Republican candidate then sorry, that was still racist.

But what about Democrats? Surely they elect seemingly unqualified people, too?

Al Franken was a comedian before he became U.S. Senator from Minnesota. But he had also been a political activist. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez worked as a bartender and waitress. But she also graduated cum laude from Boston University with a degree in International relations and economics.

Democrats have nothing like the Murderers’ Row of Greene, Colorado’s Lauren Boebert, Arizona’s Paul Gosar, Florida’s Matt Gaetz, Alabama’s Mo Brooks, and North Carolina’s recently ousted Madison Cawthorn.

Or Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, who complained last week, “If you’re a Republican, you can’t even lie to Congress or lie to an FBI agent or they’re coming after you.” That’s a lawmaker, folks, complaining he can’t break the law without risking (gasp!) accountability.

Missteps by members of Democrats’ Squad show there is a learning curve for serving in public office, but the GOP is busy electing people for whom the curve is a vertical line. How can the nation win when one of its two major parties is dead set on filling its ranks with losers?

Terry E. Manning lives and works in Savannah, Ga. He is a Clemson graduate and worked for 20 years as a journalist. He can be reached at teemanning@gmail.com.

Previous Story

Seabrook man arrested for 2021 double murder

Next Story

The fun is over

Latest from Terry Manning