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The results are in. Georgia’s voters of color have delivered the two Georgia U.S. Senate seats to the Democrats, giving them the Senate majority. Biden especially owes the Black community for his election to the presidency and for providing him the Senate majority so that he can govern. As noted in an earlier column, African Americans, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, the Latinx population, and Native Americans pushed the Democratic candidates over the top.

None of this would have happened without the exemplary leadership of women who organized voters on the ground and turned them out in record numbers for a run-off race: Stacey Abrams, Founder of the New Georgia Project; Nse Ufot, CEO of New Georgia Project; Latosha Brown, Co-Founder of Black Voters Matter; Lauren Groh-Wargo, CEO of Fair Fight Action, Rep. Nikema Williams who now holds the Congressional seat of the late John Lewis and chairs the Georgia Democratic Party, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms; and many other voting rights activists from Georgia and throughout the nation.

As a consequence of their efforts, Georgia is sending its first African American (Raphael Warnock) and the first person of Jewish descent (John Ossoff) to the U.S. Senate. Both of their vote totals exceeded that of President-Elect Joe Biden’s 12,000 vote margin over Donald Trump on November 3, 2020. This is an historic achievement for a state in the Deep South and a sign of the state’s changing demographics.

It reinforces a quote used by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that “The Arc of the Moral Universe is Long, But it Bends Toward Justice.” It is also socially conscious, and it has led us as Americans to continue working toward forming a more perfect union.

The narcissistic and childish antics of soon-to-be departed President Donald J. Trump significantly aided these multi-racial and multi-generational efforts. His continued promotions of false allegations of voter fraud, which have been dismissed by more than 50 judges across the nation, have not deterred his madness.

More than half of Republican House members and thirteen Republican Senators led by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), who hope to endear themselves to the Trump voter base as they prepare to run for President in 2024, joined with him. With these latest outcomes, their presidential aspirations appear to be going up in smoke.

Trump appears to be in a state of political delirium as he called Georgia’s Secretary of State last Saturday to pressure him to re-calculate the vote count and find him an additional 11,780 votes to enable him to win the state. He also demanded that Vice President Mike Pence refuse to certify last Wednesday’s electoral vote count, and Pence had to tell him he lacked the authority to do so.

The Republican Party is now in disarray and may provide the Democrats with a greater incentive to heal the rifts between the progressives and moderates as they prepare for the 2022 midterms. If the Democrats do not use this situation as a teachable and learning moment, after their loss of House seats in 2020, they will deserve to lose their majority.

Democrats must repair their breaches quickly if they are to govern effectively for their constituencies. Since they will control all three branches of the elected federal government, it is imperative that they take immediate advantage of the opportunity that Trump and their voters have provided them.

Biden is on target in his desire to reconcile the nation’s divisions, but he must do so in a way that satisfies the political hunger of the progressives, and they likewise must realize that with the slim Democratic majority in the House and the Senate that they will have to compromise. Democrats must use this period to bulk up their majority status in Congress so they will not repeat the political mistakes of 2010 when their larger majorities in the House and the Senate were wiped out.

It is now time for a laser-like focus on the coronavirus to get vaccine shots in the arms of the most vulnerable minorities - Native Americans, African Americans, Latinx Americans, and Asian and Pacific Islander Americans - who are the most victimized by COVID-19. Biden must also move quickly to fill all the open federal judicial seats while he has the Senate majority.

The ground-breaking political transformation in Georgia should serve as an important guidepost for where we are headed as a nation. As the nation becomes more demographically diverse, it is incumbent among our political leaders that they forge a new kind of politics that is respectful of all of the nation’s racial and ethnic groups. Columnist, Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has written widely on vouchers, charter schools, and public school privatization. He has served as Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Dr. Farrell and BC.

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is published  Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
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Nancy Littlefield, MBA
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