Only a couple of days after the Tennessee Democratic Party ousted one of their own – a Memphis lawmaker who had a record of voting for pro-life legislation – it seems that Democrats in Georgia have a rogue player of their own. State Rep. Vernon Jones announced this week that he is endorsing President Donald Trump for a second term in office, angering his colleagues and the state party at a time when they are trying to unite support for the bumbling presumptive nominee, Joe Biden.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jones is one of those Democrats who doesn’t hesitate to break with the party’s dominant ideology. He’s been a fan of Trump for years and, as an African-American, has recognized that this president has done far more for the black community than any Democrat in recent memory – including the nation’s first black president.
“It’s very simple to me. President Trump’s handling of the economy, his support for historically black colleges and his criminal justice initiatives drew me to endorse his campaign,” said Jones. “There are a lot of African Americans who clearly see and appreciate he’s doing something that’s never been done before. When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That’s just a fact.”
Even though Jones made it clear that he won’t be switching parties anytime soon, his endorsement drew sharp anger from Georgia Democrats like State Sen. Nikema Williams. In an interview with the AJC, she called Jones an “embarrassment” to the party.
“Never has that been clearer than this moment, when he chose to stand with the racist president who has made an all-out assault on black Americans, who has tried to rip away American health care and who has failed our country in its greatest time of need,” she said.
The AJC apparently did not ask Williams to elaborate on how Trump launched an “all-out assault on black Americans,” presumably because they knew she would not be able to come up with an answer.
The criticism doesn’t bother Rep. Jones in the slightest.
“A philosopher once said, ‘One courageous man in the crowd is a majority.’ I’ve got the courage to express my convictions,” Jones said. “I believe that Donald Trump is the best person to lead this country going forward.”
Polls have shown that Trump’s popularity among black voters has only grown since his election in 2016. While he will undoubtedly lose – and lose badly – among African-Americans in November, if he can improve significantly in that demographic from the last election, it will be curtains for Joe Biden. Just a few percentage points’ worth of growth would be enough to put the nail in Biden’s coffin. Is it worth counting on? Maybe not. But keep an eye on this factor, because it could wind up being decisive.