The South rises again — and again is on the wrong side of history


An Alabama newspaper offers THIS EDITORIAL from another Alabama newspaper:

It has been said more than once that the South will rise again.

If Ol’ Dixie can just get Virginia and Tennessee to reject Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, the Confederate States of America will be intact with the exception of those turncoats in Arkansas.

Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama have elected not to help their poor and low-to-moderate wage earners receive health care through expanded Medicaid.

Decisions are pending in Virginia and Tennessee.

These are not the only states that have turned down the plan; 10 other states, mostly in the West and Midwest, have done the same.

But the fact that the Deep South has united in opposing the health care plan when the region is inhabited by so many poor and unhealthy people is worthy of further examination.

What — other than geographical proximity — unites us in this crusade to prolong the physical, mental and financial anguish of our people?

On an individual basis, the South is filled with generous individuals who are willing to help those who are less fortunate.

But providing affordable health care is well beyond the capabilities of generous individuals.

The fact that we live in the midst of the Bible Belt does not explain our collective lack of compassion. Didn’t the Son of Man encourage his followers to feed his sheep?

Even a Samaritan can understand the concept of treating, rather than ignoring, the sick.

One could argue that the Southern heat has baked the brains of our Republican governors, but their counterparts in states with equally warm climes have retained their mental acuity. They are willing to buck their own party for the good of their people.

It might appear that Southerners possess an aversion to federal funds, which would pay for almost all of the Medicaid expansion. But we are more than eager to take federal handouts for rural electrification, military bases, highways and just about everything else. In Alabama, we receive $1.66 for every $1 we send to Washington, ranking us seventh among deadbeat states.

So, what explains our failure to take advantage of expanded Medicaid for our people? Maybe we just don’t want anyone telling us what to do, even if it’s in our best interest.

Maybe we’ve been smarting for a rematch with the federal government ever since Gen. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. Maybe we’ve been spoiling for a fight ever since those liberal Kennedy brothers sent their federal men down here to remove our fine governor from the schoolhouse door.

Maybe we are determined to carry out a second wave of attacks against the feds through gerrymandered districts and rules that make it more difficult for certain people to vote.

Maybe we are simply marching back onto the same old battlefield.

The South keeps rising again and again to fight on the wrong side of history.

— Decatur Daily



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *