Chris Bridges is a columnist and former sports editor for The Walton Tribune.

Clinton, Trump Debate

Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump take part in their second presidential debate Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, at Washington University in St. Louis.

We’ve been building to this moment for more than a year.

In reality, it could be said the moment is four years in the making. Ever since President Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the 2016 election, many detractors have been saying “wait until the 2020 election.”

In less than a week that date with destiny arrives.

It’s hard to truly gauge how this contest will turn out. The polls in 2016 showed Trump was going to lose. In the end, he won.

Trump has been proving the political experts wrong since he entered the 2016 Republican primary. With numerous GOP candidates to deal with, Trump exceeded all of the expectations of the so-called experts.

Many remember there were conservative pundits who said Trump would quit the 2016 race before the first primary was held. After he did not win Iowa four years ago in the state’s caucus, that surely was the end of his campaign, the same experts told us on the opinionated talk shows.

Oh, how wrong they were. Trump remained in the race and began winning. Various Republican Party insiders were stunned.

“How is he continuing to win?” the insiders wondered.

Democrats were actually thrilled. While their party insiders helped throw the primary in favor of Hillary Clinton, those who vote blue wanted Trump to be the nominee because they truly believed he had no chance to win.

Even as the 2016 election day arrived, the polls favored Clinton. We all know what happened.

With four years to ponder their mistakes, many political “experts” are not taking President Trump as lightly now. Even with polls in key states showing Joe Biden leading, the Democrats cannot be comfortable leading into the final days and hours before election day.

President Trump’s supporters are extremely loyal. Even as popular as Republican icon Ronald Reagan was, it doesn’t seem even he had such diehard support.

Supporters of President Trump are very vocal about him. They don’t mind letting anyone and everyone know he is their candidate and they will accept nothing less than another victory.

Early voting in Georgia and across the nation has taken place at a record-setting pace. One has to expect long lines on Nov. 3.

On one hand it is great to see people actually interested in an election. It should always be this way and not just when we have a presidential race.

Campaigns for local city council and country commission seats as well as positions on your local boards of education are just as important. Those are the positions which have the most direct impact on your life and your wallet.

In Georgia, interest is also extremely high for two U.S. Senate races. We have a unique “jungle primary” in one as all candidates of all parties will be on the ballot at once with the eventual winner to finish the term of Johnny Isakson.

With our state and country so evenly divided right now all of these contests will likely be decided by razor thin margins. It goes without saying many people are going to be very upset and even angry with who wins.

We all need to look in the mirror and realize they we are all Americans. Our diversity is what makes up strong. It’s fine to disagree with a candidate and to have different views for those who vote differently.

However, violence does not solve any problem. One can only hope everyone remembers that after the final vote has been cast and counted for the 2020 general election.

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