The hand recount of ballots in the presidential race has begun and it’s a costly and pointless exercise.

The best potential use for the recount would be to determine the shade of purple the state has become. There’s no question that rural areas — like Floyd County — remain steadfastly deep red while urban Georgia — like metro-Atlanta — has turned a more robust shade of blue.

Refer to the 2018 gubernatorial race results for evidence to back up that assertion.

When Joe Biden won Arizona, Pennsylvania and Nevada he became our president-elect. We congratulate him and our vice president-elect Kamala Harris. She will become the first woman and first person of color to hold that position and that’s something worth recognizing.

Meanwhile, we’re inundated with falsehoods and bluster. That’s the kind of nonsense pushing moderate and independent voters away from the two largest political parties.

For an example of that type of behavior, look toward our two sitting senators this past week. Both Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Kelly Loeffler called for Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign, citing absolutely no evidence whatsoever.

The statement smacked of a desperate and dangerous attempt to discredit our elections process to no real benefit. But there is a very real danger. One thing that defines our country always has been that candidates respect the results of an election and a longstanding tradition of a peaceful transfer of power.

Other than conflated conspiracies, there has been no evidence of widespread or coordinated voter fraud. We still feel that most of us have faith in our system and the ability to discern convenient political falsehoods.

That’s something political parties should take note of.

A recent Gallup poll reported that a growing number of Americans now identify as independent voters rather than with a particular party. In 2019, 41% of adults in the U.S. said they identified as independents. Previous years showed a similar trend.

If that poll holds true, it should be a wakeup call for political strategists.

After last week’s editorial calling for our elected officials to be leaders, we would like to take a moment to point out an example of the kind of leadership we need.

Our state Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, ever the pragmatist, has been one of only a handful of Republicans in the state to openly say he believes Biden won the presidential election and voiced confidence in our election system.

“I would add that those who focus on a race that Trump won’t win, even if he were to win in Georgia, are putting the Senate runoff elections in January in grave danger,” he said Wednesday.

We need leadership that is reasonable and therefore effective. We need people willing and able to say what needs to be said — not someone who ducks into the safety of party lines.

Too often, political parties aren’t concerned with the good of the state or the nation, they’re concerned with gaining or holding onto power.

Many of our representatives who were elected or reelected with those same ballots have remained silent while this farce plays out. That’s a measure of integrity and people are watching.

Politics solely for the party’s sake offers nothing of benefit to our nation nor the State of Georgia.

Creating the appearance of a problem where none actually exists does nothing but sow more division in our country for absolutely no purpose.

Your neighbor who put that Trump or Biden sign in their yard was your neighbor before this election and remains your neighbor now. And referencing a source no less than the Bible provides clear guidance on how we should treat our neighbors.

Thank you for reading.

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