Two Alabama Republican senate candidates will have a runoff election on Sept. 26.
The incumbent, Luther Strange, was appointed by Governor Robert Bentley after Jeff Sessions’ ascension to attorney general.
Despite being appointed under suspicious circumstances — by the man he was supposed to be investigating — Sen. Strange has been promising Alabama he’ll try to flush out corruption in D.C.
On top of this usually ironic and often repeated vow of Alabama politicians, Strange has received President Donald Trump’s endorsement, which will play well with a state that gave Trump 63 percent of its vote.
His opponent is a man Alabamians know too well: Roy Moore, the Alabama Supreme Court justice who has been removed from the court once and then, after Alabamians gave him the seat again, discharged of his judicial power in a separate incident.
These two men may be opponents, but they’re both small cogs of the same brutal machine that’s holding Alabama down.
And that machine is the monopoly the Republican party has on our state.
Republican, democrat, libertarian, independent — none of these labels necessarily make a person good or bad.
Their respective parties, or lack thereof, aren’t intrinsically good or evil, despite what partisan hacks would claim.
But having one party almost completely in charge of government, whatever party and whatever form of government, proffers the same type of negative results you’d expect from any monopolistic situation.
There aren’t proper checks on power, the good ol’ boy system runs smoothly, and most damagingly, there aren’t challenges to thought.
Without attentive care from citizens, including open debate, societies can become stuck in time or even regressive with respect to advancing ideals like love, education and human dignity.
Alabama is evidence of this rule.
Unfortunately, Alabama still lags behind with respect to the aforementioned ideals, and it’s not because of a lack of southern hospitality.
Southern hospitality isn’t enough. More than treating people to warm waves and meals, we need to divorce ourselves from the idea that only one party is fit to help run Alabama.
Time and time again, our state has been let down, and a large part of that is due to the lack of challenges Republicans face in Alabama.
Three heads of our state government have been cut off, but the same foundational issue that created this confluence of corruption still has our state in its grips.
Until the people of Alabama are ready to challenge the monopolistic structure of our state’s politics, we won’t be freed of its effects.