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Cheating, Lying and Corruption Are OK

Cheating, lying and corruption are OK. They are means to an end. If that end is election to public office, and you win, cheating, lying and corruption don’t count. In fact, if you are elected governor of Georgia, cheating, lying and corruption go away—along with any debts you may have—and you are now honorable and honored. You are respected. You are the governor. It has always been this way, except that it is more so now, because the president of the United States has set new standards for cheating, lying and corruption, to the point that anything the governor of Georgia does is OK. In fact, looking like the president of the United States will get you elected in Georgia. You get a pass on cheating, lying and corruption, and all your sins and debts are forgiven at the moment you place your hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the law.

You know the story of that good ole Athens boy, Brian Kemp, with the big pickup and the little shotgun, who parlayed being secretary of state into being governor, with the endorsement of President Trump. You know how many times he was accused, even by federal judges, of suppressing votes, of using his office to disqualify thousands of people who were trying to register to vote. Brian Kemp, as secretary of state, the chief elections official in Georgia, accused thousands of Georgians of committing voter fraud by trying to register to vote. And, look, he knew that if he could get through the Republican primary, he would be running for governor against the woman who was helping all those people register to vote. And it was OK for Kemp to suppress those voters, because most of them were, shall we say, not white Republicans. So, with the full support of the white, Republican Georgia legislature, Kemp was fighting to keep all those non-white, non-Republicans from electing a non-white, non-Republican woman governor of Georgia, instead of his own white Republican self.

It was an epic battle, and it was all about voter registration and voter turnout. And in spite of all those years of Kemp’s suppressing voter registration and losing voter lists and destroying evidence of his incompetence and malfeasance, the polls showed him neck and neck with the non-white woman lawyer who had challenged his vote suppression.

One more dirty trick was needed, so Kemp, as secretary of state and chief Georgia elections official, on the weekend before the election charged that the state Democratic Party had hacked into the Georgia election system and compromised it. The secretary of state said that—the chief election official. It must be true, and if true, the Democrats did not deserve to win the election, right? How many people were swayed by Kemp’s announcement, who might have been leaning toward voting for the Democrat? It didn’t take many. Kemp won the election by around 1 percent. A squeaker, but close don’t count. Brian Kemp is the new governor of Georgia, and he’ll be sworn in next week and honored at official parties all over Georgia.

You know, it’s a funny thing. Kemp never offered any evidence about any Democratic hack. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution couldn’t find any evidence of a Democratic hack. It never happened, but it doesn’t really matter. It was just one more lie, one more example of cheating. One more instance of Kemp corrupting the office he held as a public trust. But none of that matters. Kemp, however he got them, had the most votes. Kemp is our governor, and Georgia governors are all, all honorable men. And next week, Brian Kemp will place his hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the law and defend the constitution and faithfully perform the duties of his office.

Kemp has modeled himself on the president, whose endorsement gave him the winning edge. Perhaps Trump can be reassured by his Georgia Mini-Me that cheating, lying  and corruption can indeed all finally go away, even if it takes a little longer at the top.