I’m just now getting around to replying to your column “A pessimistic case for the lottery” (Hidden Agenda, Feb. 21, 2018).
I’ve said in previous letters that I supported Democrat gubernatorial candidates Don Siegelman (the first time when he ran for re-election I voted Libertarian), Ron Sparks and Parker Griffith over the single issue of legalized gambling — which made me extremely unpopular among my fellow conservatives on local talk radio.
I just can’t see “we know better than you do how to spend your money and live your private life” as anything even remotely resembling a conservative idea. It’s in the same category as banning 16-ounce or larger sodas.
Jefferson said it best, “governments were not set up to protect us from ourselves.” In 2012 I was living in Chickasaw, a very likable town. I rode my bike to the polls to vote “yes” on a referendum to “just this one time” borrow from the state’s “rainy day fund” to keep from hiking taxes on the poor.
Two years later Bentley ran for re-election on a platform of “everything’s fine, it’s stopped raining , read my lips, no new taxes,” all the while planning a massive tax hike for his second term.
I knew it was going to be either one or the other, which is why I supported Griffith. Amazingly, even Bentley ended up supporting a lottery when tax hikes didn’t go far enough. It’s amazing and infuriating to me that it didn’t pass even with Bentley’s support. I’d hate to think my Creek cousins in Atmore killed it.
I’ve supported them every step of the way, opposing former Attorney General Luther Strange at every opportunity (and planning to vote to give Troy King his old job back in this summer’s primaries).
I wish we could get past petty feudal politics and turf wars, and the “everything I perceive as a sin should be a crime” mentality and get another vote. Everytime I’ve played a gig in a lottery state I’ve bought a few Quick Picks.
As a Medicaid recipient with no kids, I admit it’s impossible for me to be impartial about where the money should go. Maybe a lottery would bring in enough to meet all needs.
I can’t see the need for more prisons. Publicly hang every violent felon for the first offense, immediately after conviction, and there’d be plenty of room for non-violent offenders in our existing prisons.
Roads? It’s also infuriating to me to see Mississippi put in so may four-lanes in areas where Alabama would be lucky to have two, but I’ve heard that has less to do with casino revenue than the aptitude of Mississippi’s senators in steering federal funds their way.
Fat lot of good it’s done us to keep Richard Shelby in office all these years!
I also can’t be impartial about public schools, since I’ve been at war with them since I was one of their students.
The “International Women’s Day” walkout last year (cafeteria workers had to stay on the job, of course) sums up perfectly what’s wrong with the public schools.
Now public school students are being punished for refusing to protest against the Second Amendment. These walkouts have nothing to do with school safety. They’re election-year fire-up-the-base politics orchestrated by George Soros.
Using teachers’ coercive authority to enforce politically-correct viewpoints is Hitler youth fascism, plain and simple.
I do agree, however, that the safety of schools and other public places dictates that one of the first few amendments be repealed.
Not the Second, but the Eighth.
Then mass shooters like Jared Loughman, James Holmes and Nikolas Cruz could be put to the indescribably slow, agonizing death that they’ve earned.
But back to the lottery. I’ve supported Kay Ivey on everything she’s done to undo Bentleyism. But if Cobb or Maddox wins the Democrat nomination on a platform of a state lottery, and Ivey’s forced to publicly and definitively oppose it, I reckon I’ll have to vote Democrat for the third time in a row.
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