Commentary: Vote for the candidate with ‘belief factor’ in 2020

Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

Commentary: Vote for the candidate with ‘belief factor’ in 2020
June 26
23:10 2019

Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

Campaigns are a bit like winning streaks. It’s always easier to win the first time. The challenge is to keep winning. Professional teams like the Miami Dolphins and the Golden State Warriors have both had significant winning streaks. The key is to sustain the winning under different conditions and circumstances.

As political campaigns go, there are some politicians like John Lewis, Democrat from Georgia in the House, and Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina in the Senate, who have enjoyed great success at winning reelection bids. They have been responsive to the needs of their constituents and have produced tangible results. Their states have been made better by their presence.

Representative Lewis and Senator Graham have what I call a “belief factor.” When they speak, you believe them. There is a level of confidence that exudes from them when they talk to the American people. They are reasonable, rational and resilient. It is my thinking that both will hold their seats until they retire.

Senator Graham started out in the House of Representatives in 1995 and won a Senate seat in 2003 and he is the current chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. His longevity suggests he has great relationships on both sides of the aisle.

Representative Lewis is a Civil Rights icon. He is in his 17th term in the House. His initial year of service was 1987. He is the dean of the Georgia Congressional Delegation. Mr. Lewis became chairman of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee in 1963. History shows Representative Lewis and Hosea Williams leading the march from Selma to Montgomery on March 7, 1965. After crossing the Edmund Pettis Bridge, Lewis was severely beaten and almost lost his life. This series of events, called Bloody Sunday, later moved up the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

My wife and I had the privilege of meeting Representative Lewis upon one of his trips to Kentucky. This was a defining moment for us because of his stature and status. While our politics may be different, these men deserve our respect and admiration. Hard work, competence and humility served them well in their climb to some of the highest elected offices in America.

Representative Lewis and Senator Graham are skilled orators and have displayed great political civility. These are days and times when political civility is at an all-time low. It could be that maybe they could lead us back to the days when discussions were held without meanness and deadlocks on policy could be unlocked with compassion.

Reports indicate the overall leader in the presidential race so far is Joe Biden. Already the sitting president has demeaned the former vice president. As we know, that is a key strategy in his effort to steer people away from the pressing issues of the day. He just calls everybody a bad name, says it enough and makes it stick.

Will that work this time? I don’t think so. Too many Americans took him lightly last time and thought he had no chance of winning the White House. We were wrong. He fooled us the last time, but he won’t fool us this time.

There is only one proven elixir to winning the White House and that is to vote. Persons of all persuasions and political wills must cast their ballot for change. We cannot go into another of his terms where his appointees are fired, walked away or jailed. We can no longer take incompetence and masquerade it for right.

There is a new day on the horizon. America, let’s get ready to make this happen.

What must we do in record numbers? Vote.

James B. Ewers Jr., Ed.D., is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator and can be reached at

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