The Sorry South


Paul Munnis

Walt Whitman, one of our greatest writers, described America and it’s States as “a poem in and of itself.” He was right then but the poem stopped rhyming ever since Conservatives, who do not know how to govern, dug their heels into Washington and began a reign of governing malpractice.

The South has always been poor when compared to the Northern States. When Conservatives arrived with mixed allegiances we split into Red and Blue States. Conservatives from the South do not agree among themselves on how to govern but have specialized in winning power at the election box. They try to use that power to siphon money from Blue States that tax themselves and direct the money as subsidy to Red States who brag about their low tax rates in order to attract companies and to create jobs in their State. There are 19 Red States and they have much power in Congress and create chaos and grid-lock as a result. Yet their strategy is a failure and most are poor of services and infrastructure thus unable to attract commerce. Making it even worse, Red States are stingy with support for public education thus they lack a skilled workforce, essential to attracting commerce.

At first, the Southern power brokers who brought a plantation owners mentality to Washington; displayed a culture of power brokering, prejudice, and bigotry. They are constanly sucking money out of Washington. The Space Race was the manna from heaven that permitted cities like Houston and areas like Cape-Canaverel to blossom as space companies and NASA investment pumped money into Southern coffers.. There was a sucking sound heard around the land and it was the sound of people moving to Red States where the weather was mild, the taxes low, and living was cheap. Now the sucking sound is one of pumps emitting flood waters.

GOP denial has reached a point of desperation as Red States cope with natural disaster that many see as an effect of climate change; something that Red States reject, possibly because it would require them to tax themselves in order to handle recovery from storm damage, aid fires, and drought. They didn’t do it and now they have lots of time to regret it.

Republican health-care is an example with block grants, ostensibly for health-care but able to be used anywhere that the State decides. You know it won’t be for healthcare for most Red States hover on the verge of bankruptcy.

Slowly but surely the GOP recognizes that it is poor at governing and that it’s a hard sell to convince others of their ideology. The ideology is plural and that means little to no inter-Party agreement thus inhibiting legislation. Yet even as the matter dawns upon them, they are pledged to do right by their Party often at the expense of constituents. This isn’t a minor matter as it is bringing their Party to the brink of extinction, something not experienced since the Whig Party disappeared.

The signals are all there: people want universal single payer healthcare but are offered trash legislation that is totally unacceptable. The same is happening with tax reform. People look at the GOP presidency and find a person at the helm who is unstable. Thus their Party is losing local and State elections, a harbinger of coming Federal elections. The GOP fix is to gerrymander district voting maps and deny people their right to vote.

As a result we are nine months into the legislative calendar and the GOP has passed no national legislation.