Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:


Sept. 30

The Daily Citizen-News on the presidential debate between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden:

President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger former Vice President Joe Biden sparred over a plethora of topics during their first presidential debate on Tuesday night.

They argued over the future of the Supreme Court. They argued over healthcare. They argued over their response to the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

During the hour and a half debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, both Biden and Trump leveled plenty of accusations and made bold claims. How many of these assertions are true? That remains to be determined, as moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News -- nor anyone else at the debate -- was not tasked with fact-checking the candidates in real time. Many news organizations -- including NPR and CNN -- provided real-time fact-checking, but viewers must seek out those avenues to decide which candidate is being truthful.

If Biden made an assertion about Trump, the only person who could question that claim was Trump, and vice versa. So both Biden and Trump were free to say whatever they wished, whether their claims had any veracity, and let the media sort it all out later.

Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, we should all want the same outcome: the truth.

The falsities were flying before the debate even started. Just hours before the debate, rumors began to flood social media that Biden received the debate questions in advance and would be wearing an earpiece to prompt his responses. Your friends on social media may have shared these false claims.

During a time when both candidates should have been discussing their plans for our country’s future, and how they would help guide us through the dark times of COVID-19, we allowed outside agitators to distract us. That’s a shame.

In the days after Tuesday night’s debate, we urge voters to seek out the truth on their own. Go to trusted, reputable news sources. Don’t just log on to one website; don’t read only one newspaper; don’t tune in to one television news network. Resist depending on news organizations that align with your political views.

As the presidential race heats up even more over the next 35 days, expect the disinformation machines to be working overtime. Think before you hit that share button on Facebook, or retweet that tweet.

This was the first of three scheduled presidential candidates, with the next two planned for Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.

One debate between the vice presidential candidates - Vice President Mike Pence and Democrat Kamala Harris - is Oct. 7.

In a perfect world, these debates would espouse truth and help us decide on Nov. 3 who the best person is to lead our country for the next four years.

But in our imperfect world, we must seek out the truth.



Sept. 29

The Valdosta Daily Times on the peaceful transfer of power between presidents in the United States:

Agree or disagree with the President — whether it is this president, a past president, or one in the future, we should all feel more secure by the ideals of the American presidency.

If you don’t think so, look at the rest of the world — the violence or overwhelming intimidation in bringing or keeping a leader in power.

As much as our government riles us and irritates us, Americans have been blessed with a government that regularly experiences a peaceful transfer of power from president to president.

Even when it is a president of one party replacing a president from another party, there are no bloody coups, or hunkering down in the White House.

The president whose term has come to a close peacefully leaves the White House, while the incoming president, who may have been the sitting president’s opponent, assumes power.

This tradition should not be be threatened. Nor should the public indulge any threats to the peaceful transfer of power.

From its earliest days, our nation has been blessed.

We were blessed with having a George Washington as our first president rather than a Hosni Mubarak, or a Fidel Castro, or a Vladmir Putin, or any number of other leaders throughout history who have refused to relinquish power.

Given his success in defeating the British, his command of the nation’s military, the esteem in which his countrymen held him, Washington could have been president for life, a new king or dictator.

Instead, he surrendered his sword at war’s end. He stepped aside after being elected to two terms as president.

Washington attended the peaceful transfer of power to John Adams as the second president. Adams did not stick around to see his political rival Thomas Jefferson inaugurated as the third president. But Adams peacefully allowed the transfer of power to an opposing party’s president-elect.

So, the precedent had been established.

We have had bloody conflicts in our nation’s history, but we have not had one because a president refused to leave office.

In the American Revolution, we were blessed with a Washington. In France, revolution ushered in the guillotine and Napoleon.

If we ever encounter a president who refuses to step down after being elected out of office, revolution may well be the recourse.

Otherwise, people should think long and hard about the ramifications of toppling a freely elected government.

History has revealed there are far more Mubaraks than Washingtons.



Sept. 28

The Brunswick News on traffic accidents in a Georgia county:

Brunswick and Glynn County police, as well as the Georgia State Patrol, may want to consider beefing up their presence on the community’s busiest highways. Two deaths within just two months on the F.J. Torras Causeway alone is alarming enough and a call for action.

Although COVID-19 has reduced the volume of traffic somewhat, it’s becoming increasingly evident that the roads and highways cutting through Glynn County and crisscrossing the Golden Isles are not any safer than they were prior to the pandemic, though through no fault of police. Some motorists are just too indifferent to how potentially deadly the steering wheel and gas pedal in their control can be.

It is a crying shame that discourteous motorists need babysitting, but the fact remains that they do. A greater police presence would encourage them to slow down and drive like they have some sense.

Of course, it goes without saying that more police will require more funding. City and county commissioners, as well as state legislators, ought to give this serious consideration. Every dollar channeled to public safety is well worth the investment. Who knows, the life they save by strengthening law enforcement may very well be their own or that of a loved one.

Hardly a day goes by without observing motorists speeding, darting dangerously in and out of traffic and running red traffic signals with reckless abandon. It’s almost to the point where drivers who fail to pause and look both ways before proceeding across an intersection after a red traffic signal switches to green are gambling with their lives. It only takes one careless individual behind the wheel of a fast-moving vehicle to take a life or alter a future.

No one likes receiving traffic citations, but there’s a way to prevent being pulled over by police and ticketed. Follow the rules and posted speed limits.

Leave early enough from home to arrive at work or school on time without feeling rushed or compelled to exceed the speed limit. Stay off cell phones. Distractions minimize the ability to drive defensively, and in this day and time, motorists who fail to heed this warning are risking their own lives and the safety of everyone else in their vehicle.