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Georgia editorial roundup

December 26, 2018

Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:

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Dec. 26

Valdosta Daily Times on avoiding deer danger:

It is deer season.

But we are not talking about the season where people go out into the woods with guns, camouflage and nearly freeze themselves to death to bag the elusive buck. We are talking about the time of year when deer most often collide with motorists causing a lot of damage, injuries and even death.

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There are about 1 million car accidents with deer each year that kill 200 Americans, cause more than 10,000 personal injuries and result in $1 billion in vehicle damage, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A Georgia driver has a 1-in-131 chance to be in a deer-related crash each year, behind Mississippi at 1-in-91, South Carolina’s 1-in-98 and Arkansas’ 1-in-106 among Southern states, according to State Farm.

During deer mating season, the danger in Georgia is well above the national average for deer collisions.

“Georgia’s rapid growth coupled with the whitetail deer’s amazing ability to adapt makes collisions all the more likely. Be alert, especially in these fall months when deer movement is at its highest. Just as important as the time of year and the time of day is the need to put down your phone and not be a distracted driver. In the split seconds you divert your eyes from the road to check Facebook, a 20-pound whitetail deer may step into the path of your vehicle,” said Justin Tomczak, a State Farm spokesman.

The insurance provider offered driver safety tips:

— Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn.

— If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road.

— Pay attention to deer crossing signs.

— Buckle up. Every trip, every time.

— Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.

— Brake if you can, but avoid swerving, which could result in a more severe crash.

— Remain focused on the road, scanning for hazards, including animals.

— Avoid distractions, such as devices or eating, which might cause you to miss seeing an animal.

— Do not rely on products such as deer whistles, which are not proven effective.

— If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear and keep focus on the road ahead.

There is also an increased risk of collision with deer around dawn and dusk, Tomczak said.

“Drivers should be engaged, alert and on the lookout at all times, because you never know when you may need to react to a deer or other obstacle that may cross your travel path,” he said.

We encourage our readers to be cautious drivers and hope everyone stays safe on the roadways.

Online: https://www.valdostadailytimes.com/

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Dec. 25

The Savannah Morning News on some GOP leadership hinting at the possibility of canceling or significantly altering the processes of their presidential primaries:

The 2018 midterm elections taught us that voter suppression, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Some look at voting processes and pending ballots and cry foul; others see unusually high turnout numbers and skinny jeans-tight races and roll their eyes. All refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the other side’s points.

Perplexingly enough, the Republicans seem willing to go all-Emeril Lagasse in 2020 and take it up a notch — on their own voters.

Tone-deaf GOP leadership in at least two of the earlier voting states, New Hampshire and South Carolina, have hinted at the possibility of canceling or significantly altering the processes of their presidential primaries. Such moves are thinly veiled attempts to discourage opposition to the incumbent, President Donald Trump.

No primary means no votes to count, no loss of delegates for Trump and no chance of early momentum for any would-be rivals. The GOP chairman in another pre-Super Tuesday voting state, Iowa, has said the party there will also consider taking action to protect the president’s re-election bid.

For those looking for a definitive explanation of voter suppression, this is it.

These threats beg several questions.

First, isn’t it time for a primary schedule overhaul? Every four years, voters in 45-plus states bemoan the fact that their fellow Americans in states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina get to set the tone for the election cycle. If the general election is contested in one day, the primaries should be too.

Second, what are the Trump backers afraid of? He topped a 16-candidate field in 2016. As the incumbent, he’ll likely face just a fraction of that many challengers in 2020. The president has a record to run on now, and the man loves to campaign and debate. If anything, he’ll need a dress rehearsal ahead of what promises to be a brutal general election test.

Third, what does this say about the Republican party? The party of individual liberty has been reduced to a cabal eager to trample on the Constitution they purport to hold dear. The base has embraced Trump so tightly they have buried their faces in his chest and are no longer able to see that their ranks are eroding.

Canceling primaries would all but guarantee the emergence of a serious third-party contender, and that candidate would likely siphon off enough votes to doom Trump’s re-election bid, much as Ross Perot did to George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Finally, would anointing Trump the GOP king destroy the integrity of the nomination process? Party insiders and special interests already hold tremendous sway over who gets the nod, with the people’s vote the only check on that power. Taking away that vote and rigging the process is unconscionable.

They say democracy dies in darkness. The inside of a sealed ballot box is pitch black.

Online: https://www.savannahnow.com/

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Dec. 22

The Brunswick News on keeping positivity going year-round:

Civility is sometimes seen as a dirty word in 2018. There is this notion that you can’t convince people you are right unless you do so in a demeaning way.

This is nothing new to politics. Negative campaign ads were so prevalent during the lead up to the midterm elections because they work — whether they are telling the truth or bending a microscopic amount of it to fit their bias. Candidates wouldn’t invest their money into something that hasn’t been proven to work on voters.

Negativity is prevalent in our politics and in our culture because we react strongly to it. If someone insults you, the natural emotion is to insult them back. Instead of having what may be a meaningful conversation about differences, we too often default to name-calling and arguing in order to prove a point.

This is a collective failure that goes across party lines, age groups and every other demographic you can list.

No one has the moral high ground when it comes to the negativity of our discourse.

Some of this is exacerbated by social media. Having the technology to instantly react to something makes it even easier to put your foot in your mouth.

We bring all of this up because right now is one of the most positive times of the year. The pages of The News for the past few weeks have been filled with photos and stories of people giving back during the holiday season.

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We ask that you find a way to keep that positivity going throughout the year. Leave the negativity in the past, and you might be surprised how better your life will be without that burden.

Online: https://thebrunswicknews.com/

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