What the Georgia runoff reveals about American politics

The Georgia runoff election concluded on Dec. 6, with incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) defeating his challenger, former NFL player and Trump endorsed candidate Herschel Walker. Though a significant victory for Democrats, this race should never have been as close as it was, considering the two candidates.

Warnock, a pastor at Martin Luther King Junior’s former church, was first elected in a special election in 2020, capped the cost of insulin for Georgians, co-sponsored a bipartisan infrastructure bill with Senator Ted Cruz, co-sponsored the Equality Act, which would protect members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination, along with much more. On the other hand, Walker has shown his incompetence time and time again. He appeals to voters by saying that he is pro-life and parades his Christian faith, but has pressured women into getting abortions and then denied the truth. Furthermore, he has had a history of sexual abuse, domestic violence, even talking about “having a shoot-out with police.” He has lied about graduating from college “in the top 1% of his class,” even though he has never graduated from college). Walker is merely another walking Republican puppet, with his son even speaking out against him.

Walker is about as incompetent as a candidate can get, and the fact that he even came close to winning is worrying for America. The 48% of Georgians who voted for Walker are once again proving the issue with the partisanship in our country. The most prominent recent example of this said partisanship was the impeachment of former President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection against the government of the United States on Jan. 6, 2021. It was not only disappointing, but a sad reflection on what the Republican party has succumbed to, as a vast majority of Republicans in both the House and Senate voted against his impeachment. Additionally, this partisanship is made worse by the polarization in our congress which is only getting worse. A statistic by Pew Research Center shows that Democrats have been moving slightly to the left over the last few decades while Republicans have been moving to the right over this same period of time. With this increasing polarization, it is more important than ever for politicians to work across the aisle and make compromises.

Going forward, if we hope to continue progressing as our country, we need a reversal of the recent growth in partisanship. This applies to not only politicians but voters as well. It is important for voters to consider candidates as not a walking representation of their party but also as individuals. The rift between Democrats and Republicans will continue to worsen overtime if this partisanship continues, and as it gets worse, less and less will get done. Differing views are essential in any government but divisiveness brings the downfall of a democracy, and therefore we must work through disagreements as a country in order to push forward.