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Opinion | What exactly did you win?

There was no blue wave in Alabama.

There was no blue ripple in Alabama.

There were only a lot of blue Democrats left wondering just what the hell happened. For some reason, a bunch of us progressive types apparently believed that simply wanting something to happen — without putting in the time and effort to make it happen — would be enough.

It wasn’t.

Not by a mile.

Republicans took this state and others several years ago through shrewd planning and a ruthless plan of attack. It took them years and several elections to build a base and a financial plan, and to put in place the judges and other lower-level office-holders that make successful takeovers happen.

The GOP had leadership and intelligent thought.

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The Alabama Democratic Party has dysfunction and infighting. Those things don’t typically lead to successful political takeovers.

And so, during a mild Democratic uprising nationally, Alabama’s Dems got steamrolled. Bigly.

There were a few bright spots, I guess. There were more Democratic candidates on the ballot, and maybe in a few years the name recognition gained by this election could help. But … eh.

Mostly, it was just a tail-kickin’.

Progressives in this state will take their lumps. We’re all used to it by now, and we’ll fight on.

In the meantime, while we all certainly have no issue admitting defeat, I would like to ask one simple question: What did you win?

If you live and work in Alabama, if your children attend school in Alabama, if you get sick in Alabama, if you drive or swim or fish or hunt or go to the beach in Alabama, what did you win on Tuesday?

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I mean, I know what I won on Tuesday. I won a House of Representatives that will serve as a check to the president, and when that Mueller report drops will have subpoena power to carry out a proper investigation. I won protection for people with pre-existing conditions, the guarantee that there will be no more tax gifts to billionaires and a subpoena of Trump’s tax returns so we all will know just how badly he’s sold out America for his personal gain.

Those are specific things that I wanted. Those are things I won on Tuesday.

But what did you win here in Alabama?

Before you answer, let’s put a few facts out there.

Alabama has a half-billion dollar budget deficit projected for the 2019 legislative session. Right now, there are conservative estimates that put our infrastructure requirements at over $1 billion. More than half of our school kids can’t attend pre-K. Thousands of people can’t drink their contaminated tap water or swim in some of the state’s largest bodies of water because of pollution. And on top of the 11 rural hospitals to close in the past three years, at least five more are teetering on the edge of financial collapse.

These are all true things. You can look them up.

And here’s one more true thing that you can look up: Not one single person who you elected on Tuesday has a plan to fix any of that.

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That’s no joke. Or exaggeration. Or bitterness.

They literally have no plans to fix any of that.

The Democrats who were soundly defeated did have plans for all of those things. And mostly, aside from a gas tax to fix infrastructure, those plans didn’t include raising your taxes.

But those people, and their plans, lost.

And the people who didn’t have plans, but who were wearing the right jersey, they won. And please, do me a favor and don’t pretend that the majority of this state didn’t simply vote for the people with big Rs on their jersey. When virtually every statewide candidate has nearly the same percentage, it’s sort of a giveaway that y’all are just voting straight ticket.

While it’s true that that does “stick it to the libs,” it also sticks it to you.

Because you just voted for a state political party that has watched so many of its members be indicted the last four years it could field a prison football team by now. That same party has governed the state for eight years, and in that time, a state that wasn’t in great shape to start with has gotten progressively worse.

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Your wages are still stagnant. Your hospitals are still closing. The infant mortality rate is still third-world. Public education is still under-funded. Our roads and bridges are still crumbling. There are rumors of more investigations and potential indictments floating around. And there’s still no plan to address any of those things.

But hey, congrats on the big wins Tuesday.

I just wish I knew what you won.


Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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