Posted by: minnow | December 11, 2017

Dear Alabama Voters,

I’ve never been to Alabama. In fact, the farthest south I’ve been is Kentucky unless you count Southern California when I was five, which would probably make most true southerners jeer. I have, however, had the pleasure of meeting a few Alabamians via Facebook and those I’ve met give me hope. I hope in your goodness, your true family values, your neighborliness, and your personal integrity. Because I’ve gotten to know pieces of their stories–one’s a school teacher, another us a youth orchestra director, and another a Vietnam veteran–I feel I can relate a little because I hear from them the things I want for my own five children, my own circle of friends–safety, health, enough food to eat.

I come from Montana. We’re a red state, too, and we had a special election back in May. I’m grieved to say it, but we got it wrong when we went to the polls. The man we elected, Greg Gianforte, should never have won. The night before the election he assaulted a reporter, threw the man to the ground. That behavior should have cost him the election. It doesn’t belong in government and it sure as hell doesn’t represent Montana, not the Montana I love anyway. There were lots of reasons why Gianforte won but they don’t excuse the fact that it was a bad decision and I will do everything in my power to see that he doesn’t get a second term.

Tomorrow you have a serious decision to make, a decision that will impact our entire country, a decision the world will be watching you make. As a deeply red state I’ve heard it claimed about you that even electing a pedophile is better than electing a Democrat. I don’t believe that’s true about most Alabamians. I pray you prove me right tomorrow. I know this has been a contentious election. I know outsiders have called you names and made you feel small. And, I understand the temptation to tell us all to take a flying leap. I’ve felt that way a time or two myself, when outsiders thought they knew what was best for me and tried to tell me what to do without asking me how I saw things.

I am almost 60. Right up into my 50s I followed the fiscally conservative, family values thinking I’d been raised with and voted Republican. But then something started happening in the Republican party, something I couldn’t recognize. Threads started rising to the surface that I never knew were a part of the cloth. These threads turned their backs on those who were struggling, hard working men and women who just wanted to keep a roof over their children’s heads and food on the table. 46% of the population, according to the Republican presidential candidate at the time, could be ignored. They simply didn’t count. In his mind they didn’t pay taxes and so they shouldn’t have a voice.

But 46% of the American people do count and most of that 46% do pay taxes!

46% accounts for all the unemployed, even if they are unemployed due to disability or age (which by the way is less than 5%). 46% accounts for all the working poor and a portion of the middle class. 46% covers everyone who makes $40,000 a year or less. When the GOP candidate discounted 46% of the population, he was talking about me and nearly everyone in my family. And he was talking about an awful lot of Alabamians, too. That candidate lost his bid for the White House but his attitude toward the 46% remains deeply entrenched in the new Republican party.

I could go on about all the ways the GOP is no longer grand but that isn’t really what this post is about. Tomorrow, you, Alabama voters, have a chance to go to the polls. You have the opportunity to tell your party whether you think it’s heading in a good direction or whether it needs to readjust its course. When Democrats stayed home or voted for a third party in 2016 they told their party it was veering off in a direction they didn’t like. A low voter turn out cost the Democrats the presidency.

I believe Alabama actually cares about family values. I hope you have the courage to say as much with your vote. 59 Alabama pastors from several different denominations and non-denominations have joined together to state unequivocally they believe Roy Moore should not be elected to the US Senate because he doesn’t have the moral character to honestly represent Alabama.  As an accused pedophile he and his advocates have tried to use scripture to justify his lewd behavior toward underage girls. On the issues he doesn’t care that 150,000 Alabamian children are without healthcare because the Republicans have failed to renew CHIP. And, he’s okay with a tax plan that will give billions to the top 1% while taking tax deductions for school supplies away from teachers. And he will be okay with trying to fix the trillion dollar deficit the GOP tax plan creates by making changes to medicare and social security because he’s already said as much. Roy Moore does not represent the Grand Old Party which once was.

So please, Alabamians, truly take stock in the candidate Republicans are offering you and let them know how far off course they have gotten! Do not support Roy Moore.

PS: (Added 12/12/2017 9:33 mountain time) Thank you, Alabama! Your goodness is showing.

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