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Opinion | We have to be smarter than this

We continue to elect people based on nothing more than party affiliation, and the resulting stupidity is absolutely killing us.

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It was at the point that Marjorie Taylor Greene started talking about powering electric airplanes with slave labor – an analogy that made rather clear that she thinks electric vehicles need to be plugged in in order to work – that I began to wonder just what in the ever lovin’ hell is going on. 

Is this the world we’re choosing to live in? A world in which all the information known to man is a simple internet search away, and yet we still have leaders of our country who don’t understand how batteries work? 

I have to confess that it wasn’t Greene’s verbal lobotomy – delivered, amazingly enough, at the Texas Youth Summit, where educating the future generation is the goal – that brought me to these basic questions. I’ve been asking them for quite some time now. But it was her spiel that pushed me to the edge of sanity. 

That wasn’t her intention, of course. No, this woman who Georgians elected to Congress and who Alabamians have invited to various political events as a speaker, thought she was being clever, as she took shots at the “president” of Canada and wondered aloud how electric planes would stay in the air without being plugged in.

And some people laughed with her. 

That’s what got me. That’s what pushed me over the edge. 

Because, dammit, despite our differences and our partisan hostility, there are still a few things all Americans should be able to agree on, and one of those things is that Marjorie Taylor Greene is an imbecile. An unfunny, hateful, racist, superficial, mean-spirited bigot who has no place in our government. 

It’s sad to me that we can’t agree on such an obvious thing. That team politics – where voters pick a side and defend that side to the death, believing that R or D election wins somehow translate into them winning – has become so prevalent and encompassing that it can overshadow even Greene’s level of buffoonery. 

But really, I shouldn’t pick on Georgians. Lord knows Alabama has its own issues with team politics. 

Take Tommy Tuberville, for example. No, seriously, Florida, take him back. 

Tuberville has no business in the U.S. Senate. Absolutely none. You know it. I know it. I’d bet if you poured truth serum into him, even Tuberville would admit that he knows it – that he can’t believe he pulled it off. 

He never once offered Alabamians a reason to vote for him, except that he loved Trump more than Jeff Sessions and that Trump loved him back and definitely did not love Sessions. That was enough. 

There was never any promise to do anything to help this state. No specific plans for health care, education, the economy – nothing. 

Tuberville just happened to play on the right team. So people lined up and voted for him. 

The result: he has managed to get just nine of his sponsored bills passed out of the Senate and only one enacted.  

In the meantime, for the second time, his stock trading has come under scrutiny. Last year, it was reported that Tuberville failed to disclose more than 100 trades on time. Last week, the New York Times reported that a review of his recent transactions found at least 20 that were possible conflicts of interest because those companies could either be influenced by Tuberville as a senator or had business before a committee on which he served. 

Tuberville claimed that there was nothing nefarious about the trades – that he received no inside info and never passed along info to his financial advisors. He also said he had no personal involvement in the trades. 

Whatever happened, here’s the reality: Tuberville is getting richer while the mostly poor voting base that sent him to D.C. to work for them is getting diddly squat. 

But here’s the killer – if tomorrow a highly qualified Democratic candidate announced his/her intentions to run against Tuberville, and offered up detailed plans of how they would address health care issues plaguing rural communities and laid out exactly how they’d bring down inflation – both things that would put more money in the pockets of those working class voters – the working class voters would mostly still vote for Tuberville. 

Because politics has been turned into something it was never intended to be – a team sport. And politicians have been turned into stars. 

That’s not how any of this is supposed to work. 

You don’t go around voting for the rich guys to get more money. You don’t make up weird, Hitler-like hand gestures to show your loyalty. You don’t laugh at the crazy lady who’s making dumb jokes about electricity. And you don’t elect people based on their party affiliation. 

If we don’t get smarter about all of this soon, we’re doomed.

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 jmoon@alreporter.com or follow him on Twitter.

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