Editorial Board Endorsement: John Bel Edwards is the Best Choice for Further Progress

July 8, 2019- Governor Edwards speaks with supporters at the opening of his New Orleans campaign office, at 1516 Thalia Street. Photo Courtesy John Bel For Louisiana

In such a deeply divisive partisan political era, Governor John Bel Edwards deserves a lot of credit for working across the aisle to achieve considerable progress over the last four years. While we understand the concerns from progressives about some troublesome bills signed into law, we also believe that it’s important to not allow a single issue you may not agree with to be the reason you stay home and witness all the progress we’ve made unravel.

Voltaire once said “perfect is the enemy of the good,” and Confucius said “better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”

The point is often times ideological purity can stymie progress. When you say you’re not going to vote for someone because of one or two issues, but agree with that person on several other issues, then you are allowing perfect to be the enemy of the good. It’s important to understand how politics works before jumping to conclusions about a particular candidate.

For instance, in a red state like Louisiana, under no circumstance that one can ever imagine, will a Democrat be elected who is pro-choice. It would be wonderful for that to happen, but it’s not realistic. Voters are overwhelmingly pro-life in this state. That’s not even in question. In fact, they are so adamant about their pro-life positions that they will do anything they can to destroy a pro-choice candidate. So, in other words, if John Bel Edwards would have not signed the so-called fetal heartbeat abortion ban, there would be no question that Republicans would be spending tons of money in this state labeling John Bel as a baby killer and so on.

What would the results be ? John Bel, a Governor who has done so many positive things for the state, expanding Medicaid, balancing the budget and reinvesting into education, health care and infrastructure, would be soundly defeated by someone who would implement draconian Jindal-esque fiscal policies that would turn a budget surplus into a deficit again. In addition, the next Governor, whoever it may be would reverse John Bel Edwards executive order banning discrimination against LGBT state contract workers. Finally, massive tax cuts to the wealthy would devastate our budget, resulting in cuts to essential government services, and Medicaid Expansion would be nullified. This would leave tens of thousands of people without health insurance and increase the poverty rate. We could go on and on and on, but the point is, staying home because you are angry about one important issue, is not worth erasing all the progress that we have achieved over the years, and if the Governor had not signed that abortion bill, then all the progress we would have made in the last four years would be reversed.

Now just because we are encouraging you to get out and vote to give the Governor another term doesn’t mean we are saying that he should get a pass on troublesome bills such as the abortion ban. We should absolutely continue to hold the legislature’s feet to the fire, and continue to hold the Governor accountable because we fully believe that women’s reproductive health issues are central to any progressive healthcare policy. We feel the same way about gun control and pushing back against the gun lobby.

However, because we don’t want to see all the progress we have attained over the last four years be negated, we wholeheartedly endorse John Bel Edwards for re-election. He’s the best choice we have to achieve any further progress at all.

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