Undo The Alabamization Of America!

Undo The Alabamization Of America!

Why I’m A Liberal

The Democrats have now won both houses of Congress.

Let me go back to the basics and explain. I’m far from a “proud Democrat,” but let’s be real here; it’s an unavoidable truth that what the GOP has done is incredibly damaging to our future. When President Clinton was writing and sending budgets to the Congress, we had surpluses; in contrast, THIS is what Republican presidents have done with the budget.

Bush spent the surplus on tax cuts before 9/11 hit; in April 2001 gigantic rebate checks were going out to billionaires.

In Alabama, there are nearly no taxes, lowest taxation in the 50 states, and in 2003 the citizens voted down a ballot amendment to bring sanity to tax policy. And the GOP keeps cutting taxes further, which has led to roads in third-world condition, schools falling apart, and teachers, police officers and many college graduates leaving the state in droves for a living wage. The cuts to law enforcement mean we only have three Alabama state troopers on the roads at night, for the entire state, which is a clear and present danger to the public safety. The mean-spirited slashing of social programs here, that devastated the most vulnerable people — we had a whole group of disabled people here cut off of Medicaid, and I witnessed the death of my oldest friend as a result — is just unconscionable. I encourage everyone to click here and watch the 40-minute documentary “323,000,” about what happened when Tennessee cut 323,000 people off their Medicaid program. Your soul will be revolted at how dire these consequences are.

These kind of extremely conservative policy choices are morally unjustifiable, and Alabama shows what this means to real people. Alabama proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the underpinning mythology of the conservative movement, that low taxes on the rich means wealth trickling down to the working poor, is false, because if that were true, the state with the lowest taxes in the union, Alabama, would be a very wealthy state. In fact, it’s the poorest. The story is similar in Latin America, where there’s little government and massive wealth by a few noblemen at the top not trickling down to a country of peasants. This is what happens when the government does not have a safety net and furthers a policy tilted entirely toward the wealthy. Republicans have been headed this way for years, voting for policies that ignore the human nature toward consolidation of wealth (huge tax rebates to billionaires, repealing the estate tax) and I want to shriek out “NO!!” The great trust-buster, Teddy Roosevelt would be furious. Thomas Jefferson, who was very angry about the British companies, wanted a ban on monopolies put in the Constitution, and explicitly favored an estate tax. A Sixteenth Article to the Pennsylvania Bill of Rights (that was only “narrowly defeated”) declared: “an enormous proportion of property vested in a few individuals is dangerous to the rights, and destructive of the common happiness of mankind, and, therefore, every free state hath a right by its laws to discourage the possession of such property.” Where Jesus stands on this is clear. In Matthew 19, he tells a guy that in order to be perfect, he has to sell all his stuff, give the money to the poor and follow him. In Matthew 25, Jesus goes as far as to say people will go to Hell because they did not feed him when he was hungry, give him drink when he was thirsty, welcome him when he was a stranger, visit him when he was sick, etc. and that “as you did it not to one of the least of these (the poor), you did it not to me.” So the Christians leading the charge for the extreme consolidation of wealth are hypocritical.

In Deut. 15:7-8 Jews are told they must give to the poor; a commandment, not optional. If I was in Israel, I’d have no problem voting for the United Torah Judaism party, because I know their purpose is to give halacha a strong voice at the table, the same halacha that would never allow reducing aid and harming the poor and disabled. In America, I have no choice but to vote liberal for the rest of my life. Because of my life experiences, seeing what ultra-conservative policies have done to Alabama, I could never in good conscience support their authors.

The Republicans want to (and to a large degree, have) spread these Alabama policies (low taxes starving funding to a crumbling infrastructure, health care and school system) nationwide, Alabamized the country. We can’t close our eyes to the consequences of voting for Alabamization anymore.

I hope with all my heart the new Democratic Congress can reverse the policies of inhumanity and begin to undo the Alabamization of America. But with Alabamizer in chief, George W., holding the veto pen, I don’t expect much.

One can only hope in the long-run, the humanity of the American public will win out.

Never give up,