MLB All-Star Game Jerk From Georgia Proves There Will Be No Unity Without Freedom

MLB All-Star Game Jerk From Georgia Proves There Will Be No Unity Without Freedom

Given the depth of the cultural and political divide, there is only one hope for healing our nation: A return to our foundational principles—for if there is no federalism, there will be no unity.
Margot Cleveland
By

Last week’s decision by Major League Baseball to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to the passage of the Election Integrity Act, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s defiant response, provides but the latest proof that our country is no longer the “United” States of America. Given the depth of the cultural and political divide, there is only one hope for healing our nation: A return to our foundational principles—for if there is no federalism, there will be no unity.

On Friday, Robert Manfred, the Major League Baseball commissioner, announced that the 2021 All-Star Game will be moved from Atlanta to retaliate against Georgia’s passage of a law aimed to better secure elections. The move followed condemnation—without specification—of the statute by several Georgia-based corporations, such as Delta and Coca-Cola.

Our commander-in-chief also encouraged the move, telling ESPN in a Wednesday interview that he believes “today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly” and that he “would strongly support them” pulling the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later tried to walk back Biden’s pronouncement, saying the president “did not dictate that Major League Baseball move their game out of Georgia. He was conveying that if that was a decision that was made, that he would certainly support that.” Psaki’s spin fell flat, however, as Twitter commentators highlighted the inconsistency.

Psaki could also not explain why Biden was willing to put pressure on duly elected state lawmakers in Georgia over their prudential political choices, when he has not been willing to put pressure on Beijing in relation to the Olympics despite China’s use of concentration camps.

Following Friday’s announcement, rather than cower or cave, Kemp defended his state’s recently passed Election Integrity Act. The law “expands access to the polls and ensures the integrity of the ballot box, Kemp said at a Saturday press conference. “Then, why did MLB move the All-Star Game yesterday?” the Georgia governor rhetorically asked: “Because Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams have spent days lying to Georgians and the American people,” Kemp stressed.

“The truth is that Joe Biden hasn’t read the bill,” Kemp continued, adding that “Even The Washington Post has given President Biden four Pinocchios for his false attacks on our new law.”

Kemp then moved to offense, highlighting that both Delaware (Biden’s home state) and New York (the headquarters of MLB) restrict voting more than Georgia now does under the new law. Delaware does not allow “early voting and requires an excuse to vote absentee,” Kemp noted. Georgia offers “17 days for early voting versus New York’s 10 days,” while “New York requires an excuse for absentee voting while Georgia does not,” Kemp added.

These zingers exposed the problem MLB bought itself by reportedly caving to the company man: No matter the state selected to host the All-Star Game, there will be some objectionable election law provision.

Or, as I quipped after the announcement, MLB’s election lawyers have their work cut out for them.

Of course, Biden and the other Democrats pushing falsehoods about Georgia’s election law will use Kemp’s response and the disparity in voting regulations among the states to push for passage of H.R. 1, the so-called “For The People Act of 2021,” in Congress.

Biden and a corrupt media already branded Georgia’s voting provisions as the second coming of Jim Crow, with Big Business and the MLB willingly accepting that characterization. How then can anyone play, work, operate, or sell in New York, Delaware, or any other state with similar “racist” laws?

So, H.R. 1 is on deck, and the pressure will soon build for the Senate to pass this radical bill that, among other things, would require states to accept absentee ballots received up to ten days after an election, restrict election officials from verifying voter identification and eligibility, and “prohibits witness notarization or signatures requirements for all absentee ballots.”

Fighting passage of H.R. 1, which will destroy election integrity if signed into law, is a must-do for conservatives. Likewise, the right must support Kemp’s defense of Georgia’s moderate law while making MLB and corporate interests understand they do not hold a veto right over state legislative actions, whether by boycott or otherwise.

But none of that will solve the problem facing America—that we are a divided country with vastly different cultural and political views. Refusing to buckle and boycotting will further splinter our nation, but surrender is no longer an option.

What is an option, though, is a return to our first principles: to federalism, to a federal government of limited and enumerated powers (and in turn limited spending so frugal states aren’t bailing out socialist states), to state’s rights, to a free press that acts like one, and to corporations that don’t act like Big Brother.

Really, this Red States Accord is the only option if we wish to achieve unity again. And the events of the last week prove it.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

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