Nationally, this is the most important midterm election in our lifetimes.
In Georgia, it's perhaps the most historic.
Voters in Tuesday's election will decide whether to finish the conservative revolution begun here in 2002.
Georgia has been considered a red state since Republicans captured the governorship in 2002 and both houses of the General Assembly in 2004 for the first time since Reconstruction. In truth, though, a number of entrenched Democrats have held high offices in Atlanta until now -- including the attorney general, agriculture commissioner and labor commissioner.
This could be the year Georgia really turns red.
With an anti-Democrat rebellion on across the country, the chances are pretty good.
But if Republicans sweep the state's highest offices this year -- and we heartily endorse Casey Cagle for lieutenant governor, Gary Black for agriculture commissioner, Sam Olens for attorney general, Brian Kemp for secretary of state, Mark Butler for labor commissioner, Ralph Hudgens for insurance commissioner, Tim Echols for the Public Service Commission and John D. Barge for school superintendent -- the most important race will be to retain the governor's office.
Oddly enough, considering the momentum the GOP has nationally, Republican voters here have been less than enthusiastic about their choice for governor, due to candidate Nathan Deal's financial and disclosure issues. Voters will need to get over that, and quickly, for two incredibly important reasons.
First, the next governor will appoint judges. Given history, you can be certain a Republican governor will install conservative, tough-on-crime, easy-on-individual-liberties jurists.
Second, the 2010 Census means redistricting -- simply put, that means Georgia leaders will redraw political lines based on population changes and political exigencies. It needs to be done by officials who represent and reflect the new political realities in Georgia -- and the reality is that it's a Republican-majority state.
In addition, it will be vital in the near future for Georgia to fight hard to overturn the federal health-care law in the courts. While Democratic candidate Roy Barnes has pledged to do so, it's obvious a Republican governor would approach the battle against an overreaching Democratic law with more gusto.
This country gets too caught up in personalities at election time. A lot of folks hold it up as a badge of honor that they "vote for the person, not the party." How's that working out for you? It's the cult of personality that causes massive swings in public policy every time a pretty face shows up -- and it sure wasn't his politics or his record or experience that got Barack Obama in the White House and the economy further into a ditch.
The two major parties don't distinguish themselves from each other nearly enough. They both go to Washington, fall in love with the sweet aroma of power and the delicacies of incumbency and do whatever they can to cling to it all -- using our money to bribe us in the process.
Not since 1994, though, has there been such daylight between the parties. It's primarily because Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have lurched the government to the far left -- but we hope it's also because Republicans are moving back to the right, helped along no doubt by the grass-roots Tea Party movement.
Whatever the personal peccadilloes, we need the rock-solid conservative Nathan Deal as governor.
Deal is committed to adding jobs in the private sector, and to that end has pledged to veto any tax increase that comes to his desk. Businesses, like individual citizens, can't be taxed into prosperity.
He wants genuinely innovative change in state education. He knows that charter schools and other measures, such as offering vouchers, empower citizens with true school choice. And that can be encouraged while fostering steady improvement in state-funded public schools without completely wresting away local control.
He supports public-private partnerships on transportation projects, which will ease the state's tax burden and will help literally pave the way for enhanced economic prosperity for Georgia.
Deal wants less government intrusion that gums up efforts to grow business. And he wants more government participation in enforcing the rule of law on illegal immigration, including allowing local law enforcement to assist federal agents.
Most important, he wants our government to shrink, and that the government that's left should run at peak efficiency.
If you want all of that for Georgia, Deal vows to deliver it.
America, a majority-conservative country led to the left cliff in the past two years, is returning to its true nature. Georgia can, and must, lead the way.