Even more depressing than voting in California, which has had plenty of right wing kooks in power such as Pete Wilson or debased professional politicians like Gray Davis, is voting in Georgia, where it's too often a choice between one good ol' boy or another. While I still find it hard to believe that Arnold Schwarzenegger is governor of California (if Danny DeVito had been elected governor that would have been less weird and embarrassing), in Georgia governors and senators are these big, chunky, pink-cheeked manimals, often with wide ties and occasionally a flappy gray moustache. "Why would I vote for that guy?" I ask myself. "How is it possible that that walrus and I would see eye to eye on anything?"
Our current governor is Sonny Perdue, the ass-backwards mofo I just described. This year the election for governor pits Nathan Deal, the guy I described above, and Roy Barnes, a former governor and also the guy I described above (he looks like the Pappy O'Daniel character in O Brother, Where Art Thou?). In 2006, running against Sonny Perdue was Mark Taylor, that same paunchy fart bag I described above. One of Georgia's Senators is Saxby Chambliss, same fucker as I mentioned, just a crazier name. This year, the other Senator, Johnny Isakson, is cruising to reelection. He's not as beefy as some of the other guys, but he's the exact same guy. You may wonder are these politicians Democrats or Republicans? The ones who win are Republicans, but it hardly matters as the Republicans skew toward the hard right, while the Democrats are spongy Republicans. The only other choice on the ballot is the Libertarian Party, who are trying to eliminate the income tax in favor of Wall Street controlling the country (a very timely idea).
More locally, Atlanta has plenty of black people running for and holding public office, quite a few women and there's even a stray gay or lesbian who makes it as a State Representative from Atlanta. Of course, some are fine, while others are not that great like normal politicians. I'm glad that I can occasionally vote for someone that I don't despise and someone who doesn't remind me of bacon.
But otherwise voting in Georgia harkens back to the state's inglorious past. The recent Voter ID law helps to exclude anyone who might not have a driver's license or other suitable State ID with them, such as a teenager voting for the first time, a blind person, a religious sect or some other unlucky non-ID-holding person who might not vote Republican.
For elections in California, registered voters receive a sample ballot and a thick booklet from the State with information on every candidate and initiative. In Georgia, registered voters receive nothing in the mail from the State. This also seems to me to be an example of Georgia discouraging voting among the poor or minorities who might not have easy Internet access, though I don't know how it works in most states. I do know that states in the South such as Georgia have a long history of discouraging or banning minorities from voting and it would be nice if they genuinely tried to turn things around and actually encouraged people to vote. Though, that appears unlikely if the state is run by a squad of good ol' boys, who spill Coors beer on their dress shirts and smell like roasted hams.