Will the US Senate become blue due to younger Georgians and voters of color?
Jack Bernard, a retired SVP with a large national healthcare firm, has worked extensively with hospitals across the nation regarding cost containment and insurance. He was also the first Director of Health Planning for Georgia.

Will the US Senate become blue due to younger Georgians and voters of color?

Joe Biden resoundingly won the 2020 Presidential election. Biden got 306 to 232 electoral votes, as well as 81 million of the total votes cast to Donald Trump’s 74 million. These results were due in large part to Latinos, blacks, and younger citizens voting in record numbers,

The fight is not over. The fate of the Senate is still in doubt. If the Senate remains red, Biden’s agenda will be completely stalled. That’s why the Georgia run-off is so important.

Medica executive Jon Ossoff (D) is running against Senator David Perdue (R). Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) is running against appointed Senator Kelly Loeffler (R). No Democrat has been elected to the Senate from Georgia in 20 years. However, unless both Ossoff and Warnock are elected, the Senate will remain in GOP hands.

Mitch McConnell stated in 2010, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” McConnell then blocked any and all progressive legislation for Obama’s terms, saying privately to GOP Senators “we can’t let (Obama) succeed.” If McConnell remains Majority Leader, we can expect more of the same stalling under President Biden.

Only by increasing the number of younger people (18-29) and minorities voting will things change, not that it has ever been easy for the young and minorities to vote in Georgia.

Georgia would currently have a black female Governor if not for Secretary of State Brian Kemp deleting 1.4 million voters from the state’s voter rolls to elect him Governor. It was the largest purge in American history. Kemp’s clear objective was to disenfranchise “black people, poor people, students.”

Further, items of interest to younger voters, like lowering tuition costs, loan forgiveness programs, women’s rights, and the loosening of marijuana laws, will not be accomplished unless young people get out and vote in the Georgia run-off. But younger voters are alienated and still don’t vote at rates which approach the Boomers and the Silent Generation. In 2018, the 18-29 voter turnout was 36%, whereas 66% of those over 65 voted. Low turnout has permitted older voters to decide elections.

In addition, Biden relies on the Senate to confirm his nominees. McConnell blocked Obama’s appointments to the Supreme Court, Appeals Court, and other Federal courts. He will do the same for Biden, directly impacting issues such as middle-class job creation, civil rights, a woman’s right to choose, and gun control.

McConnell will also refuse to confirm Biden’s liberal cabinet nominees and others requiring confirmation. These actions will cause tremendous problems for the nation, but McConnell has shown that he puts party before nation every time.

Biden wants to aggressively fight the COVID-19 pandemic using widespread testing and extensive contact tracing. These actions will not happen without funding from Congress. The same is true for efforts to help those who are unemployed due to the virus, aid businesses in danger of folding, and assist state and local governments to balance their budgets due to the financial burden of COVID.

Biden wants the US to move toward renewable energy sources like wind and solar and away from oil, gas and coal. Biden has put forth a $2 trillion “green infrastructure” proposal to fight environmental change, global warming, and pollution. Without Senate backing, this will not happen and our environment will continue to rapidly deteriorate.

Biden want to preserve and expand the ACA (Obamacare) which currently provides insurance to tens of millions of Americans. The GOP Senate and Trump have been trying to do away with the ACA in court for the last four years.

Biden wants to fund these initiatives with taxes on corporations and the ultra-wealthy, not the middle class. Taxes on the rich have been slashed during the Trump years.

Finally, one of the most negative effects of the Trump years is the division that it has sown in our nation. Without a unified Congress, we can expect more Congressional stalemates.

The only way progress can be made is for the Senate to be won by the Democrats. And that will not happen unless Georgia’s minorities and younger voters once again get out on January 5 and vote for change.

 

Jack Bernard, a retired SVP with a large national healthcare firm, has worked extensively with hospitals across the nation regarding cost containment and insurance. He was also the first Director of Health Planning for Georgia.