By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
At any other time, in any other State, the events of Wednesday in Alabama would have been big news.
The State’s Supreme Court Chief Justice was officially suspended from office for the remainder of his term. The Court of the Judiciary had already suspended Roy Moore, but he had appealed that decision to a special Alabama Supreme Court, which upheld the suspension.
That’s big news, right?
The Ten Commandments Judge, as Moore is known nationally, getting the boot again. For again ignoring Federal law.
We’ve just spent a week reading gag-worthy “love sexts” between our 74-year-old former governor and his alleged mistress. And that was after a day-long Ethics Commission hearing, in which witnesses were sneaking in and out of backdoors and secret stairwells.
And all of that followed a wild year that has seen the former House Speaker and most powerful man in State politics be convicted of a dozen felony charges, the Governor admit to an inappropriate relationship as his sex tapes played on national TV and the Governor and Attorney General apparently conspire to stop a criminal investigation.
At this point, if Roy Moore wants to lead the news, he needs to start punching somebody.
It’s time to have a little talk, Alabama voters.
And I’m going to start with a pretty basic question: What are we doing?
Take a hard look around you.
For decades upon decades, the majority of this State’s voters have followed the same MO. They have voted for “conservative Christian” candidates. They have been swayed by misconceptions and falsehoods about those of different races, religions and nationalities. And they have often voted against ideas and candidates that would have directly helped them.
You can argue with me if you’d like, but you know all of that is true.
Y’all have been fooled by these people over and over.
When jobs started drying up because the people you elected have done a poor job funding training programs and providing resources that would prepare students for the changing job market, they blamed it on “Obama’s war on coal” or the “liberal EPA” or the unions.
When hospitals started to close and insurance premiums continued to climb because those politicians refused to have a serious conversation about the nearly 50 million uninsured driving those costs, they blamed Obamacare, “socialism” and poor people and never once offered a solution that might held real people working real jobs and trying to survive.
When our school systems falter again and again in our poorest communities because of the racist funding system that was built to prevent blacks from ever receiving a decent education, instead of creating a funding system that’s based more on need, they blame teachers and unions and the children themselves.
The economy they’ve been in charge of has been one of the worst in the country over the last seven years. The court system they operate is on the verge of total collapse. The prisons they’ve packed with non-violent offenders will cost us millions soon – likely many times more than it would have cost to send every State prisoner to boarding school when they were kids.
And yet, despite this – despite all of these failures and embarrassment on top of embarrassment – y’all keep falling for it.
Not an hour after the disgraced Chief Justice stood under a portrait of Robert E. Lee in our State Capitol building, just across the street, a group of Republican lawmakers voted to do away with marriage licenses so we could avoid performing same-sex marriages.
Because that ridiculous, judgmental, sanctimonious nonsense – pushed by some who are on their second and third marriages – keeps on mattering to you.
More than the economy. More than your own health. More than the education of your children. More than the welfare of your neighbors.
It is apparent that if a politician will put a gun in every pocket and disenfranchise someone who looks, acts or believes differently, voters in Alabama will excuse the outright greed and hatefulness with which conservatives govern. They will excuse those politicians’ embarrassing failures and their complete lack of compassion for common voters.
And I have to wonder: Don’t you ever wonder what it would be like if you didn’t do what you’ve always done?
What if you voted for a candidate with more compassion? One who wasn’t trying to convince you that the most important thing is how many times he goes to church? One who doesn’t denigrate the poor or take cheap shots at anyone? One who wants to give you a tax break, improve your kids’ schools and improve your neighborhoods?
I think it’s time to try something else. Because doing what you’ve always done and voting for who you’ve always voted for has left us with a mess.