Dear Community, 

It is a sad state of affairs when legitimate political discourse is replaced by name-calling and outright lies designed to shut down discussion of an issue.  For example, whenever you hear an elected or appointed official use terms such as “privilege” or “toxic masculinity” or “voter suppression” or “anti- fill in the blank” or the old standby, “racist” without any empirical evidence of such or context, then you know that person likely has absolutely nothing substantive to back up an argument.

Instead, they rely on throwing out inflammatory words to try and frighten political opponents into silence. Choosing to attack something they do not like based on “feelings” or blindly spouting uncorroborated “gotcha headlines” that fit their preconceived notions. However, these tactics may finally be coming to an end. 

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The recent voter integrity law passed in Georgia may just be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. This common sense legislation was met with the same tired chorus of meaningless epithets – it’s racist, voter suppression, blah, blah, blah.  To the credit of the governor and legislature, they did not cower in fear, rather, they calmly pointed out the misrepresentation and outright lies spewed by those who tried to maintain the broken status quo.

The intellectual laziness of those officials who opposed the new law pales in comparison to the abject stupidity of Major League Baseball (MLB) and other corporate entities who tried to score political brownie points with the cancel culture crowd by trying to punish the state of Georgia for passing sound election integrity legislation.  Incredibly, MLB’s knee-jerk reaction was to move the All-Star game out of Georgia to Colorado – a state that already has voter ID laws in place. 

The hypocrisy does not end there.  It has been the policy of MLB for many years to require photo ID to pick up tickets from stadium will-call windows.  It appears that MLB does not consider that “fan suppression.” If MLB can require photo ID for something as unimportant and inconsequential as picking up baseball tickets, then certainly something as sacred and critical to our republic as election integrity merits the same protections.

Aside from showing the ignorance of issues inherent in many corporate entities, this clumsy attempt at strong arming elected officials away from legislation that is not only needed, but will benefit every citizen of Georgia illustrates how important it is for officials to stand firm for what is right, regardless of the pressure from outside, ill-informed forces.  Moreover, a free society cannot allow unelected corporate executives to dictate public policy.

It is time to move beyond silly empty rhetoric and start debating issues and legislation on their merits.  We need to hold elected officials accountable when they either support or oppose legislation to engage in real substantive dialogue and not some lame virtue signaling buzzwords.  The country is at a serious crossroads requiring critical thinking and reasoned positions on the serious issues facing us.   

Sincerely, 

Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger