By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Our State will never reach its potential until we elect leaders who care more about doing what is right than winning the next election.
We will never see greatness until men and women of integrity are willing to do the very thing that might cost them their next campaign.
Of course, it could be that if politicians did risk it all to make our State a better place to live, they may find that the people would reward them in greater measure than they could ever imagine.
The other day, a man who was making his first run for the legislature told me that he was running because he wanted to represent the people of his district. I had to say “You’ve come to the wrong place,” because the current leadership of the Alabama State House will not let him place his district above their singular agenda.
The Republican supermajority, under the leadership of Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, is only interested in doing what is best for themselves and the moneyed class. These self-proclaimed, pro-business Republicans are little more than money changers in the Temple of State. They have turned the State House into a den of thieves and put a “FOR SALE” sign on the Capitol lawn.
There is nothing wrong with being pro-business, but government is supposed to be about the business of the people, not the people of business.
We hear the refrain of “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” But, what the people need are good paying jobs.
The very people that many of our politicos complain about—being burdens on the State—are the working poor.
They try to feed their children, pay their rent and live on meager wages paid by the worst of the big box stores and fast food restaurants.
Many of those receiving food stamps SANP are the working poor.
Our leaders decry the culture of dependency, yet continue to give big tax breaks to the companies that will not pay our people a living wage.
Wal-Mart will not leave the State if they are made to be good corporate citizens.
Our state is filled with many smart, honest, and patriotic individuals. However, we have too many citizens that are poor, undereducated and unhealthy. These too are smart, honest and patriotic Alabamians. But, too often the State’s political class doesn’t see them at all. And if they do see them they see them as a drain on State resources or another needed vote.
A few years ago, I watched as a poor family celebrate the Fourth of July. They had built a bonfire outside of their mobile home and their kids were running around the fire waving tiny American Flags shouting, “USA! USA! USA!”
As I spoke with the mother and father, I learned that the father had lost his job due to a construction accident and he was not receiving compensation because he had been an independent contractor. His wife had left school at sixteen and could not find a job beyond house cleaning for cash.
The kids received Medicaid benefits and his wife had applied for food stamps. They both told me of their hatred for the Liberals in the Federal government and they were afraid of the Communist/Muslim running for president. They said they were Conservatives and were hoping that change would come to the State House.
I never saw those people again. I heard things had gotten worse for them and they were living with family.
I wonder if they know what kind of change actually occurred when Mike Hubbard and his people stormed the State House. I wonder if they know about the corruption of Hubbard, Marsh and their friends.
Those people deserved better than what they got. They were not poor because they deserved it, they were not lazy or drug users or wanting the State to give them womb-to-tomb aid. They wanted honest government, but what their vote got them was a Republican leadership that only cares if you are one of them.
The people of Alabama deserve better.
I am not a bleeding heart liberal, but our hearts should bleed for those less fortunate.
Our leaders have trampled the Gospel of Christ under the heels of their fine Gucci loafers and custom cowboy boots. They have corrupted the teaching of “do unto others,” by turning it into “what’s in it for me?”
Not all of our men and women at the State House are bad; most are very good people.
But the leadership stinks like a rotting corpse.
I voted for many of the Republicans who now run the State, I will vote for some of them again. But we need to find men and women who will come to the aid of our State, not just for the rich, not just for themselves, but for every man, woman and child who lives in the State.
Alabama was once known as the Heart of Dixie, a term that has fallen into ill repute because of our racist past.
Dixie is gone and now it appears the heart has gone from the State House as well.