This is it. Today is Election Day.
Go to the polls today and vote to save our country from the lies not just of our GOP president, but also our country's Republican majority.
Vote Democratic for former two-term Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, who is running for the U.S. Senate against Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Vote for Democrat Dr. Danielle Mitchell, who is vying for the 3rd Congressional District seat held by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.
The Chattanooga Times opinion page recommends:
Tennessee Governor: Karl Dean
Georgia Governor: Stacey Abrams
U.S. Senate: Phil Bredesen
U.S. House, 3rd District: Dr. Danielle Mitchell
Tennessee Senate, 11th District: Randy Price
State House, 26th District: Jean-Marie Lawrence
State House, 27th District: Dr. Brent Morris
State House, 28th District: Yusuf Hakeem
State House, 29th District: Mike Carter (yes, he’s GOP)
State House, 30th District: Joda Thongnopnua
Vote Democratic for Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean or, if you're a Peach State resident, for Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams.
Don't be fooled by the endless lies that Trump has employed at his rallies here, in Georgia and everywhere to hype the migrant "caravan" into a national emergency. Don't be fooled by Republican ads that are blatant in their race-baiting directed at Democratic candidates like Abrams, who are nonwhite.
Don't be fooled by the baseless Republican claim that they are the ones who will protect the health care of people with preexisting conditions. Don't swallow the GOP bait-and-switch that Democrats want to cut Medicare and Social Security. No — those collective slights to America come fully from the GOP.
Don't believe for a minute the Trump fairy tale that if Republicans win today's elections, they'll immediately push through a massive tax cut for the middle class. No — they're still trying to figure out how to pay for their last giant tax break to the rich. Guess how? By cutting Medicare and Social Security.
Yet, on Sunday, there stood our deplorable president in Macon, Georgia, saying the "unqualified" Abrams is "one of the most extreme, far-left politicians in the entire country" who would take away the Second Amendment right to bear arms (never mind that as a state official, she would not have the power to change the Constitution) and "if you put Stacey in there, you're going to have Georgia turn into Venezuela."
Abrams is the former Democratic minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, a Yale Law School grad and the first African-American woman to be nominated by a major party for a governorship. She has long led efforts to mobilize new voters in a state undergoing rapid demographic changes, even while her Trumpite GOP opponent, Brian Kemp, used his current office as Secretary of State to discourage and suppress minority and Democratic voters.
Later in the day, our shameful president stood in Chattanooga to label Bredesen a "far left liberal," and "hand-picked candidate" of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York.
Bredesen served two terms as a popular Tennessee governor from 2003 to 2011. Earlier he was a Nashville mayor. He has long cast himself as a political moderate and pragmatist who will work with Republicans as well as Democrats to get things done in Washington, just as he did while governor: "I'm not running against the president. If he is for something that is good for Tennessee, I need to support him in that," Bredesen said. "If it's bad for Tennessee, I need to oppose him."
As for the Tennessee governor's race, the Democrat, Dean, has been a public defender and a successful, two-term Nashville mayor who steered the city through the national recession and a catastrophic flood. He also oversaw Nashville's amazing return and boom. You don't have success like that without leadership skills. Dean's GOP opponent, Bill Lee, has no government experience.
If Republicans won't let insurance companies rob you of coverage for pre-existing conditions, why then did they vote over and over to kill Obamacare? Why then did Blackburn and Fleischmann vote with a majority of the House of Representatives — including Phil Roe, John Duncan Jr., Scott DesJarlais, Diane Black and David Kustoff — to pass the so-called "American Health Care Act" that would have eliminated pre-existing condition protections for hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans? The GOP bill would have imposed an "age tax," letting insurers charge people over 50 five times more for coverage, and put the health of one in five Americans on Medicaid in jeopardy, including seniors, children and people with disabilities.
As if that wasn't insult-to-injury enough, the bill also would have given insurance and drug companies $600 billion in new tax breaks. And, yes, this is the same legislation that later in the Senate was tweaked, renamed and given a thumbs-down by Sen. John McCain.
For more information visit our voter guide at timesfreepress.com/vg2.
Today is the day to stay focused on your own health care and pocketbook issues. Vote for the candidates who have your needs in mind, not Trump's.
Tennessee and Georgia already have seen massive increases in voter turnout, which is good for Democrats and, no doubt, fuels Trump's frantic pace on the rally circuit, where he traditionally makes 35 to 45 suspect claims per appearance, according to fact checker analyses.
But here's another fact: Turnout in midterm elections has never exceeded 49 percent in the last 100 years. Experts say if turnout increases this year by 5 to 10 percentage points over 2014's record low of 36 percent, it would be substantial.
We need substantial. We need it to save our country.
Go vote. And vote Democratic.