Every morning I search for something in the news to completely depress me. Not hard to find these days. Today it was actually two items, both concerning the state of Alabama, which taken together define the hypocrisy that is rampant in the land.
First comes the quote from Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions on CNN two nights ago. . ."I think the Tea Party movement represented a spontaneous American expression of shock and concern over the spending that was going on in Washington."
Then comes the news this morning that Alabama leads the nation in the percentage of citizens who recieve "government nutritional assistance." I believe that is newspeak for food stamps. That number is a staggering 36%.
If there is any better evidence of the disconnect between what people say they believe and what they do in real life, I've yet to see it.
There is no redder state than Alabama. Senators Shelby and Sessions are two of the most hard line conservatives there today. The Alabama House delegation of seven features six Republicans, at least one of which is a card-carrying Tea Party member. All six Republicans are white, five of them men. The lone Democrat is a black woman. Republican Governor Bentley spoke at a church right after his inauguration in January and said that those who have not accepted Christ as their personal Savior "are not my brothers and sisters." Later, on advice of PR
staff, he apologized, said he meant no harm. He said he was governor of all the people (but he didn't say they were all his brothers and sisters).
And yet, in this cradle of conservatism, 36% of the citizens are on government nutritional assistance.
There are some obvious questions here, and I'm sure Venice will ask at least one of them. But there is also the amazing level of willful blindness that leads us into our comfortable, low-tax world despite what's happening to the people next door.
That is disturbing.