Deplorables in Georgia will probably make some noise when the General Assembly convenes. Deplorables, remember, are the unwashed who voted for Donald Trump. Unwashed, uneducated, unthinking … all of these fit, of course.

The deplorable-elite divide has another context besides the Trump-Clinton presidential race. That context is the religious freedom and transgender issue that still simmers across the heartland. The 80 percent of evangelicals who voted for Trump are sure to be emailing and ringing up their state legislators in a matter of days. They still believe it’s indecorous and dangerous for a man to enter a women’s restroom simply because he “identifies” as a woman.

Watch and see where deplorables and elites stand when these issues are resurrected in state legislatures across the country. Gov. Nathan Deal already stands with the elites, in this case the corporations. Some state-level leaders like Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are standing firm with the deplorables. “Transgender bathrooms are a public-safety issue,” Patrick says. “It’s about common courtesy and privacy, particularly for women.”

The elites in the religious freedom and transgender debate are, among others, the Chamber of Commerce, corporate heads, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and The National Collegiate Athletic Association. The deplorables are ordinary citizens who believe pastors should not be punished for preaching what they believe Scripture teaches — that pastors, bakers and florists shouldn’t be required to violate their religious convictions by participating in homosexual weddings, and that parents and husbands shouldn’t have to be fearful when their daughters or wives are in a public restroom.

It appears that Sen. Josh McKoon from Columbus will again front the religious freedom cause in the Georgia Senate. Most likely he will be aided in the House by Rep. Sam Teasley from Marietta. Both of these men are heroes to deplorables like me. McKoon is a lawyer, Teasley a clear-headed thinker and businessman.

Striding confidently toward these two good men and loaded with cash will be the groups named above. Just how representative of regular folks, who have neither time nor money to lobby, do you suppose corporate CEOs and lobbyists are? Regarding pastor protection legislation, just how out of touch is the Georgia Chamber with Georgians who carried the state for Trump? How is it the NCAA considers itself the nation’s moral arbiter, having pulled all 2016-17 national championship events out of North Carolina because North Carolinians didn’t want men in women’s restrooms?

There is evidence that the Democratic Party has learned a lesson about identity politics. Not so the NCAA, the NFL or the NBA. These three economic powers are still pushing gender identity politics. They will be ready for McKoon and Teasley, though I suspect McKoon, Teasley and their comrades will be fired up and prayed up as well. Besides, no silver-tongued devil can convince me that a majority of Georgian men who love and watch sports are supportive of the aims of the LGBT lobby. Real men don’t like being bullied by corporations and their sycophant politicians.

The NCAA is a huge apparatus that draws its yearly multi-billion-dollar paycheck from the sweat and injuries of poor minority athletes, many of whom have trouble passing college courses. Yet it moralizes on gender equality. Google Father John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, if you would like to see the NCAA properly chastised on this issue.

Georgia’s corporations will be geared up for the legislative session, against pastor protection and for transgender rights. No need to name them, but one is an airline, another a home improvement store. Another delivers packages. Like other corporations, they like to threaten governors and legislators with “Our way or we’re leaving the state.” They bluff.

Time is not on the side of those who oppose the legislature’s religious freedom bills. Ordinary people are emboldened. As in America, the populist movement is upending Britain, France, Germany and, most recently, Italy. Moral, fiscal and immigration issues are all involved in the emerging populism. Joe Lunch Box, Eli the electrician, and Paul the plumber are registering to vote across America and Europe. They want common sense and freedom from the intelligentsia so long in power.

The world order is in flux. Across the industrialized world populist trends are moving. Amazingly, America’s Rust Belt is now Republican gold. Her Bible Belt is politically energized.

Georgia legislators know this. I predict they will stand with McKoon and Teasley and withstand the bullying corporations and sports titans. If so, then bully for them.

Roger Hines is a retired high school English teacher and state legislator in Kennesaw.

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