Spring Editorial Board 2016
Back in 2010, Gov. Robert Bentley campaigned on the promise that he would cure Alabama of its problems, a herculean task.
In particular, he wanted to focus on cutting unemployment, even going as far as declining a salary until he accomplished this.
Being a dermatologist and a former general practitioner, Bentley seemed to be well-suited for handling a state that obviously has many woes.
To capitalize on his medical degree, Bentley bypassed a state election law stating candidates cannot put their titles on election ballots by legally changing his first name to “Doctor.”
We believe Bentley has shirked his metaphorical medical duty to Alabama.
Bentley has violated his oath of Primum non nocere (first, do no harm) by destroying the trust between himself and the people of Alabama.
Throughout recent years, Alabama has been continually embarrassed by some of its highest elected officials.
Just this week, John Oliver included a segment on his show “Last Week Tonight” that tore into the deficiencies of Chief Justice Roy Moore, Bentley and Auburn’s own: Speaker Mike Hubbard.
Alabama has been put into and embarrassed in the national spotlight yet again. Disenchantment lingers in any conversation in which state politics can butt its ugly, little head.
Alabama deserves better.
It does not deserve a governor who tells the state’s highest ranking law enforcement official to lie.
It does not deserve a governor who attempts to whitewash an obviously inappropriate relationship with a former staffer.
But it is not enough to say, “We deserve better!” Alabama has to decide collectively what action it wants to pursue.
We believe Bentley should be impeached and removed from office.
Bentley is the head of the Board of Trustees. Can Auburn students hold good faith in his appointments?
Dishonesty is a damning quality in a leader, and it is an unacceptable quality in a state’s highest administrator.
It’s been argued that impeaching Bentley would be silly because many politicians supposedly carry out affairs of their own, so essentially they should all just be ignored.
This belief is morally dubious and deserves the highest scrutiny.
If it were carried to its logical end, it would be OK if elected officials committed murder, so long as other elected officials were doing the same.
Obviously, this is a ridiculous and potentially chaotic sentiment to hold.
Bentley must answer for his moral ineptitude and his alleged illegal behavior.