The following guest editorial was sent to us by its author, Eric Gray, on behalf of the Democratic Party Of Georgia:
With Ray Boyd’s refusal to sign a loyalty oath for the Georgia Republican Party, Georgia has witnessed another one of the fundamental differences between our two political parties.
The Democratic Party of Georgia does not require our candidates to take an oath of party loyalty. Our focus has been on expanding diversity, allowing voices of debate from all viewpoints, and moving forward with a positive vision for the state.
Requiring an oath of loyalty to a political party is a top-down management style that wouldn’t work with our diverse caucus in Georgia. While we may sacrifice unanimity at times, we encourage original thought and bold ideas. Our strength is in individuality; not conformity.
The Georgia Republican Party feels differently. Their lawmakers are already more similar by race and gender, yet require a loyalty oath to strengthen this solidarity and enforce party discipline. Similar candidates are forced to become identical. The Republican State Senate Caucus, already void of a single African-American member, is evidence of this pressure to conform.
Dissenting voices such as Preston Smith and Mitch Seabaugh lose leadership positions. Dissenting candidates such as Ray Boyd lose ballot access.
Boyd’s candidacy has shone a light on our political system, and it has been found lacking. Blind loyalty to party discipline instead of thoughtful leadership is not the answer to our problems. Diverse viewpoints shouldn’t be shunned, and party discipline shouldn’t transcend smart policy.
Neither party is perfect. But until Georgia Republicans make an effort to include all of our citizens, we’ll still see less-than-ideal decisions from a lockstep GOP leadership.