The statewide media is making a big deal over the verbal clashes last week in Montgomery during pro- and anti- gambling rallies. For some reason the people in the state of Alabama are being depicted as “a bunch of crazies” for actually caring about an issue, not matter what side they are on.
The media (which used to be on the side of the common man), state lawmakers and other powers that be, need to wake up.
I certainly would not condone some of the actions of the two factions that faced off on the gambling issue last week, but I do not blame them. Case in point.
A lot of people in this state are die-hard University of Alabama football fans. In early 2009, after the Crimson Tide got whipped in the Sugar Bowl, Alabama head coach Nick Saben lashed out at the fans for lack of support … as if that would have changed the outcome of the game. Maybe, the coach was deflecting for his own shortcomings.
That is the same for the Governor, Attorney General, elected officials and the media. Let’s beat up the people for our failings on the gambling issue and maybe we can shut them up.
Granted, Coach Saben shut up the disgruntled by winning a national championship in college football … but by no means should we expect the same for our politicians and media. They have already “dropped the ball” so many times it will be hard for them to recover.
All the people of the state of Alabama want is for a chance for their voice to be heard. What they want is a simple question on the ballot that asks “Do you want to allow the State of Alabama to create a commission to create a framework for the gaming industry including regulation, taxation and oversight of such activity.” Once the electorate has made a decision, those in power would have a clear direction of how to proceed.
But, no. We have an Attorney General who got in the game too little, too late. We have a Governor who thinks it is okay to spend taxpayer money on over-the-top-task forces to intimidate his adversaries. And we have lawmakers who are perplexed because they have to actually read and understand several different bills on the issue during an election year where PAC to PAC transfers will be rampant. What is worse is that many running for office will gladly accept campaign contributions with no regard whatsoever as to the origins of such funds.
Just like on the national level, state and local voters are getting very, very frustrated. The economy is bad, jobs are scarce and both national and state politicians continue to function under their usual karma of ”What’s in it for me?”
Just like Coach Saben made the mistake of blaming his fans, politicians need to take heed and quit blaming the voters and do something for them. Voters want a voice. If they don’t get that, then they will take control at the polls. If at that point voters don’t make changes, then they get what they deserve. Same old, same old.