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For Better or Worse

HottyToddy.com commentary by William Fowler
Regardless of the outcome of today’s run-off election, I am encouraged by the political science misfits of Thad Cochran supporters who have privately and outspokenly endorsed the candidate for reelection to represent the state of Mississippi in Washington.
In the past few months, I have witnessed a coalition formed of unlikely frenemies that breaks social, racial, economic and party lines to come out (less) in support for Cochran and (more) to protect the sanctity of the state from a radical conservative backed by the tea party, fueled with anger. While this may not be the first for Mississippi voters to put differences aside, we have come a long way from demagogues like Vardaman, Bilbo and Barnett.
The Cochran-McDaniel primary run-off stands as a test to the state’s progress; A Chris McDaniel election would be a step backwards. Nonetheless, these partnerships have already been established in the late dates of the Cochran campaign.
College professors, African American preachers, white liberals, moderate conservatives, entrepreneurs and even Delta farmers are finding something new they can all agree on – not the blues, not barbecue, but politics – during one of the most divided times in American political history. That should make us proud.
While the broadness of Cochran’s support and his outreach to Black Mississippians is considered “desperate,” I cannot help but to stand back and think: is this not exactly what a politician should do? Balance common grounds and present them in a way that attracts swing voters.
Certainly not ostracizing one sector of a much greater general population just to roll around in the dirt for another. There was once a time in Mississippi history when these traits – compromise, dignity, respectfulness – made a candidate unfit for office. Why should we resort back to this line of thought?
Now, Cochran is no Mother Theresa – he received a zero-percent rating from the ACLU on Civil Rights Legislation, and sticks to his conservative values against the rights of the LGBTQ community – though as a Christian man, he holds a spot in his heart for the impoverished, and has the voting record to show it. Simply put, he is viewed by most as a decent man, with decent morals. No better or worse than the average Mississippian.
So regardless of the outcome, take pride in the number of Mississippians who will band together this Tuesday in support for Cochran, for a cause they find better for all people of this state. Extend a hand of friendship to those who show their support, because in the end we are all here together.
William Fowler is a student at the University of Mississippi. He is not associated with any politician, campaign, or political action committee. You can contact William about this article at  (850) 376-4576 or wdfowle1@go.olemiss.edu

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