Earlier this week, Roy Barnes stated, “I’m fed up with both the Democrats and the Republicans. I’d be a Bull Moose or a Whig if they still had a party.”
Now, David Poythress took exception to this, saying in an e-mail, “So, in addition to Roy Barnes dissing the Democratic Party, he says he wishes he could be a member of the political party whose members flocked into the Republican Party. Roy is out of touch and for the sake of his legacy, he should leave the Primary campaign to those of us who are proud to be Democrats!”
I met Gen. Poythress Friday night at the Albany Mall after he spoke to a group at Albany State’s homecoming festivities, and he really is a nice guy – completely partisan, but also very genuine and upfront about things.
But the conflict between Barnes and Poythress sets up my challenge, as I’m actually going to echo Poythress to a degree:
You may not be aware, but the Whig Party DOES, in fact, exist. In fact, you can view their site at ModernWhig.org , and you can view their issues on that site.
Now honestly, you were just before my time. I was 15 years old when you were elected governor last time, and I wasn’t politically active at all. So I know next to nothing about you other than what I have heard people say over the years.
But if you were truly serious about being fed up with both the Democrats and Republicans, and you truly mean what you told Dick Pettys at Insider Advantage when you said, “Have we come to this, that we ignore the real issues and concentrate on an off-the-cuff remark explaining that we need not be Republicans or Democrats but Georgians?”, I highly encourage you to seek out a so-called “third” party which you DO agree with, and run for governor with that party – whether it be the Whigs, the Libertarians, the Greens, the Constitutionals, or any other.
You see, I know all too well the ballot restrictions parties other than the Democrats and Republicans face, and I trust that those restrictions won’t be so tough on a former Governor such as yourself. The way I see it, if you become governor as a third party, we may have more success in eliminating Georgia’s draconian ballot access restrictions, thus allowing a much more free and open debate about who our leaders are and who we want them to be. With this truly free and open debate, we can then concentrate on being Georgians rather than Party members.
So what do you say, Mr. Barnes? Do you truly want us to be Georgians first, or was this simply more campaign rhetoric?
We’ve had more than enough of the latter; it truly is time for the former.
Written by Jeff Sexton. Jeff Sexton co-owns the political blog SWGAPolitics.com and is a candidate for the Leesburg City Council.