CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Editorials

June 8, 2014

A new Confederate state or improve Alabama?

CULLMAN — The political leadership in Alabama has some accomplishments to tout during this election year.

Efforts to create more accountability in state government are always worth recognition. Looking for ways to make the best use of available tax dollars and end duplication in government are deserving of praise. The administration of Gov. Robert Bentley and many legislators are wanting Alabama’s job growth to come about with a strong private business and industrial base. No one disagrees with that notion.

Looking across the state, there are success stories that have occurred in the last four years and others with roots belong before the current administration’s tenure. Cullman's own Democrat Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. created a pivotal moment for the state when he successfully opened the door to Mercedes-Benz bringing a major automobile production plant to Alabama. Everyone, Democrats and Republicans, play off the Folsom success as the spinoff effect multiplies with various suppliers and manufacturers in the auto trade.

Nevertheless, in some corners, Alabama’s political environment has descended into the same landfill-mentality that infects Washington with wasted potential. The hypocrisy and dangers of overheated partisan politics has plunged the state and the nation into some of the worst demagoguery in recent memory.

In recent years, a heavy concentration of Republican leadership in Montgomery created an opportunity to accomplish a lot of good for the state. The opportunity is not so much because of party affiliation, it was the prospect that the themes of accountability, trimming waste and creating a business friendly state would be embraced widely by the majority. Accomplishments in these areas would also open the door to a more compassionate government caring for its widely impoverished or financially struggling population.

Instead, lawmakers have spent too much time hatching rotten eggs such as poorly crafted immigration legislation and a ridiculous gun law that finds good old boys strapping on firearms in the grocery stores and voting places. The length some people will go to gain a political office is sometimes revolting.

The players in Montgomery are unlikely to change a lot after this election year. Whether they spend the next four years trying to create a new Confederate state or actually realize the population is diverse and deserves compassionate leadership is anyone’s guess.

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