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Williams: Dems unified, GOP isn't
Midway state rep back from DNC
Rep Al Williams

Recently returned from the Democratic Nation convention in Philadelphia, State Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, said the political event was "absolutely fantastic."

Recently returned from the Democratic Nation convention in Philadelphia, State Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, said the political event was "absolutely fantastic."

Williams was asked by the Hillary Clinton campaign to serve on the rules committee the Saturday before the start of the convention. He said that the committee worked from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

"The Bernie Sanders people had 32 amendments to the proposed rules, so we had to discuss each one of them. And it was very interesting," he said.

One of the changes that was made was reducing superdelegates by two-thirds. Superdelegates can vote for whichever candidate they like.

"So no longer will you go in with such a huge lead if you’re part of the establishment," he said.

Williams said the convention "was all about unity," however there were supporters of candidate Bernie Sanders who protested during the event.

"There were a lot of people that were not happy with some things and they voiced their concerns quite admirably I thought, loudly," he said.

The actions of the Sanders supporters made him reflect on his past at prior conventions.

"In 1972, I was in their shoes because me along with some others, we fought the whole time in ’72 because we had to crack the establishment," he said.

William’s youngest son reminded him a few months ago, he said, that Williams is now part of the establishment.

"Brought me to reality," he said. "But I walked in their shoes, so I don’t have a problem with protests. I will defend the First Amendment to the end. Everybody’s got the right. Thank God for a country that allows protest. We can disagree."

By the end, the convention came together, according to Williams.

"Because overwhelmingly the convention left there unified," he said. "The Republican convention ended with talk of unity. But its proven every day since then far from unified."

For Williams, one of the high moments for him during the convention was listening to the speech by Khizr Khan, the father of Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim U.S. soldier who was killed in Iraq in 2004. Khan denounced Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his previous words against the immigration of Muslims to the United States and said that Trump has "sacrificed nothing and no one."

"But the next day, Donald Trump’s response, man he brought the heavens down on his head," Williams said. "But that’s what happens when you shoot from the hip, you tend to say how you really feel instead of what was written for you."

Williams added that he "was shocked because I’ve never heard a national or local candidate make a statement like he made as he tried to respond to" what was said.

What made the conventions different to Williams was not just the politics or the messages.

"The convention was completely different, but the most profound difference in the two conventions was that the Democratic convention looked like America," he said. "The Republican convention looked like white America."

"America does not look like Cleveland looked," he added. "Whether the folk resent it or not, the fact is that’s not how America looks, that’s not how Liberty County looks. So I thought the differences were profound."

During the convention, Williams was able to converse with other Georgia politicians including Congressman John Lewis, Congressman Hank Johnson, and Congressman Sanford Bishop, about the future of America, he said.

"Where we going, what can we do to even make it better. There was no doom and gloom but great optimism, great confidence in Hillary Clinton’s ability and her temperament," he said. "She’s ready to be president tomorrow."

Williams added that Trump lacked both those qualities and that government is not run like a business.

"You can’t just jump up and fire the president of Mexico," Williams said.

Williams called Clinton’s nomination by the Democratic Party historic.

"I’ve lived—God has blessed me to see the first African-American nominated and subsequently elected," he said. "And now to see the first woman nominated and soon to be elected. We’re one of the last countries in the industrialized world to move toward female leadership."

Williams also discussed how he wants to see Trump go over his policies in more detail as well as release his tax returns to show transparency.

Several news articles and commentaries have recently discussed whether Georgia will become an important state in the upcoming election.

"Georgia is one of the most popular southern states, probably the most popular southern state for raising money in Atlanta," Williams said. "But it’s so close now we could be in play," he added.

"I think there’ll be some voting here. I want to see Georgia go from red to fuchsia, at least," he said about how Georgians will vote. "I don’t see us going blue this year, but we could go fuchsia."

Now that the conventions are over, Williams will soon start campaigning for Clinton by speaking at local events from South Carolina down to Florida.

"I’ll be at civic organizations, I’ll go to churches, I’ll go to whatever’s available," he said.

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