By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
America’s celebration of idiocy is wearing thin.
Since November’s election of Trump, the leadership of this country has quickly devolved into a tangled mess of bumbling idiots who have managed to get nearly everything wrong all the time.
It has truly been the Alabamization of America, and at a record pace.
We’re 145 days into Trump’s presidency and we’ve got must-see Congressional hearings every other week and every day brings a new scandal or embarrassment.
But what’s most troubling about it is the celebration of this idiocy – the photo-op after attempting to block 23 million from receiving health care, the celebration after backing out of a voluntary treaty meant only to better the planet for everyone, the pats on the back after rolling back protections for consumers and borrowers.
We have moved from a country that not so long ago valued inclusion and intelligence, that thought it important to lead the world, to one that’s hellbent on isolation and that belittles intellect and facts.
In this new, dumber country, there is apparently no end to the laws, rights and dignity that many on the right, especially the far right, will sell out in exchange for the ignorant belief that America can best succeed by isolating ourselves and pandering to white, Christian males.
It will never work.
Trust me. Alabama has been trying this white, Christian pandering thing for its entire existence. And we have resisted every change to anything forever.
We wrote our constitution to ensure whites have a leg up. We cater to the rich in every way imaginable. We shun the poor and minorities at every turn. We have turned our backs on migrant children fleeing drug war-fueled genocide (a genocide that US policies and US weapons aided).
We have implemented education policy that makes it easier to force minorities into subpar schools while we divert public money into the pockets of wealthier people and their private schools. Before that policy, unfair (and often flat-out illegal) housing loan policies and discriminatory realtors made it impossible for minorities to attend suburb school districts. And when those failed, the good ol’ boys turned to the old standbys of intimidation and fear to keep the blacks (and now the Mexicans) in their place.
Let me tell you where all of that got us – and where it will eventually land the rest of the US if we don’t put a stop to this hateful bigotry and discrimination.
Tuesday morning, the Governor of this State and a bunch of lawmakers and State officials came together on a task force to discuss how to better address our issues with juvenile justice. It seems we have many such issues.
During the first meeting of that group, several members with firsthand experience – Montgomery DA Daryl Bailey and Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham were two of the most outspoken – talked about the real-life problems they see every day.
Grade school children living alone in rundown motels. Homeless middle schoolers. Pre-teen murderers and rapists. Kids selling dope at 11, fathers by 13, with no concept of adult aspirations.
“We are on the cusp of losing an entire generation of children – I truly believe that,” Bailey said. “It breaks my heart, what I see.”
Most of those children are minority kids. Primarily black children now, but Alabama’s now-dead immigration law that sent Hispanic families running into the shadows will ensure the black kids have company soon.
This is what happens when you legitimize and legislate discrimination.
It’s what happens when greed and selfishness become your driving governing force.
But mostly, it’s what happens when you shun intelligence and facts in favor of feelings and fear.
Idiocy sets in.