Today, the good people of Georgia will choose their Democratic and Republican nominees for the state’s upcoming gubernatorial election. On the left, there are two women named Stacey, who both seem very nice, but they are not the point of this article. On the right, meanwhile, are five men vying to be the Republican nominee. All five candidates are basically exaggerated caricatures of what a Republican looks like in 2018. In other words, the Republican gubernatorial primary is more or less a pissing contest in which bunch of men try to prove they hate immigrants and love guns more than the next guy. There’s a guy with a deportation truck, a guy with deportation bus, and a guy who made a campaign video where he points a gun at a teenager.
Read on to see which of these truly lovely men will get one step closer to becoming Georgia’s next governor.
Let’s get the likely winner out of the way first. You may remember Casey Cagle, the state’s Lieutenant Governor and current frontrunner, as the guy who threatened to get rid of Delta Air Lines’ tax exemption after the airline stopped offering discounts to NRA members — but he’s so much more than that, by which I mean he’s also a xenophobe who isn’t above lying, much like the president.
Last October, in an attempt to explain why sanctuary cities are dangerous, Cagle claimed that a Department of Homeland Security study "showed 120 murders took place that could have been prevented had communities been working with ICE.” No such study exists, according to a report by Politifact, and a recent study led by four universities found that as the number of immigrants has increased over the past few decades, crime rates have a actually gone down.
In a May campaign ad, Cagle proclaimed that “criminal illegal aliens are spreading across the country,” juxtaposing old stock photos of MS-13 members over more recent photos of pro-sanctuary city protests. His message is clear: All undocumented immigrants are criminals, and all criminal immigrants are MS-13 gangbangers. He was probably counting on the fact that no one would notice or care that the MS-13 stock photos used in his campaign ads look like they were taken in prisons in El Salvador, not Georgia, just like most other photos that are circulated of the gang.
Recent polls have projected that Cable will win between 35 and 41 percent of the vote — if he doesn’t get 50 percent, though, there will be a runoff election in July, where he’ll probably face off Georgia’s current Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, who’s currently in second place.
Much like Cagle, Kemp is stoking fears about violent crime. At a campaign event last month, he told a crowd full of supporters and reporters that “criminal illegal aliens” and gang members are “filling our homes with fear.” Kemp is running on what I’d call a MGGA (Make Georgia Great Again) platform, though he’s actually given it the more overtly racist name “Georgia First,” which is derived from Trump’s “America First” slogan (itself cribbed from white supremacists). Cool cool cool — all very regular stuff.
In addition to a campaign video where he points a gun at a teenager, Kemp recently released an ad called “So Conservative,” in which he appears setting off a small explosion (“I blow up government spending”), holding a gun (“I own guns — that no one’s taking away”), and using a chainsaw (“My chain saw’s ready to rip up regulations). In one scene, he also sits in “a big truck,” which he says he uses “just in case I want to take criminal illegals and round them up myself.” That is called kidnapping, and it’s illegal in all 50 states, including Georgia. I don’t think he’s actually rounding up people and deporting them himself, though; the truck is just for show.
Not to be outdone by Kemp and his big truck, State Sen. Michael Williams launched a “deportation bus tour” last week. That’s right: It’s like a deportation truck, but bigger, and it says “DEPORTATION BUS” on it. Leading up to today’s primary, Williams literally drove it around on the campaign trail — but not “one of those pansy political bus tours,” as he explained in a campaign ad. Instead, he parked the bus outside of Cracker Barrel restaurants, even though Cracker Barrel repeatedly told him to fuck off. “We’re going to implement my 287(g) deportation plan, that’s going to fill this bus with illegals and get them back where they came from,” he said in the a campaign ad. (The bus eventually broke down.)
287(g), by the way, is a federal partnership between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and local municipalities. It essentially turns local law enforcement officers into ICE’s foot soldiers, allowing them to arrest and detain people who they suspect are in violation of immigration law. The program, which the ACLU of Georgia says leads to “abuse and [racial] profiling,” is currently in place in some parts of Georgia, including Gwinnett and Cobb counties.
The good news is that Williams is last in the polls; the bad news is that none of his opponents are much better.
Clay Tippins is… a tech guy? He’s never served in any form of public office, but he was a Navy SEAL “a couple of times” His words, not mine). Though Tippins isn’t at “round up and deport the illegals” levels of race-baiting, he has pledged to “take down” criminal gang networks using data and analytics, which is just a technocratic way of doing racism.
According to Atlanta Magazine, Tippins won’t just be a “carbon copy of Trump” if he wins. But Tippins is currently next-to-last in the polls. The only person behind him is Williams, the deportation bus guy.
Then there’s former state Sen. Hunter Hill, who also has no chance of winning, and who for some reason thought it was important to include the fact that he was “a football player at the United States Military Academy at West Point” in one of his campaign ads. Like Tippins, he’s an ardent conservative who manages to look better than he really is, by virtue of being in a race against a bunch of guys who are having a dick-measuring contest about who can deport the most immigrants. But he was endorsed by Ted Cruz, which should give you a clue about his politics.
Hill has said he “stand[s] with President Trump” on the issue of sanctuary cities, and has said that states have encouraged “illegals to come to our country,” and that it's his job to “fix it.” (By “fix,” he probably means deport.) In true #DrainTheSwamp form, he describes himself as “NOT a CAREER POLITICIAN,” and rails against the “political class” — despite once being, you know, an elected official. Oh, and he’s also a real estate guy, just like the president.
Here’s where I’d normally say something like “May the best man win,” but none of these people seem to have any redeeming qualities.