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Wed Dec 27, 2017, 02:45 PM

2017: The Year of Peak Alabamafication

Source: AL.com, by Kyle Whitmire

Familiar faces: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, "Luv Guv" Bentley, Roy Moore, and "Big Luther" Strange


Alabamafication is a political doom loop (to borrow from "Good to Great" author Jim Collins), a vicious, self-sustaining, self-reinforcing cycle of destruction.

Stage One is the anxiety, insecurity and self-loathing that comes from seeing your state near the bottom of nearly every objective measurement of quality of life.

Stage Two is exploitation
-- political, religious and economic. Too many preachers here have learned that it's easier to tell their flocks that they're better than other people than it is to help them become better people. Too many politicians scapegoat minorities and blame Washington for our state's failures when, without federal dollars, we'd be left to eat pine cones and dirt. And too many business elites support those fools in the hopes that their followers won't notice who's picking their pockets.

Stage Three is ridicule and stereotyping
, when late night talk show hosts, popular culture and Sunday morning TV pundits give our tinhorn demagogues the kindling they need to keep our resentment burning.


If Alabama's political influence seems to be outgrowing its borders, it's because a lot of America is beginning to look more like Alabama. Manufacturing moves overseas. Agriculture is gobbled up by corporations. White collar, STEM and "knowledge economy" jobs crowd into a dozen or so major cities where most folks can't afford to move.


What's left behind are people -- people who are scared, people who are angry, people who are ripe for exploitation.

But if you're a corporate executive, a public official or a minister of faith, beware. Take a good look at the sad dermatologist in Tuscaloosa, the once- and the almost-Senators in DC, and the rotten old jurist in Alabama. If you're not any of those, you look, too.


Read it all at: http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/12/2017_the_year_of_peak_alabamaf.html#incart_river_home

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