Letter to the Editor

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OPINION —

Do Alabama Republicans Understand the Stakes?

As primary voters head back to the polls on Tuesday to determine various runoff winners, there is a prevailing sense among some engaged conservatives that the results in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate are likely to disappoint once again. Corporate lobbyist Katie Britt received former President Trump’s endorsement after he rescinded his initial support for Congressman Mo Brooks. The former president dropped support for Brooks after the Freedom Caucus stalwart committed the unforgiveable sin of suggesting it’s time for Republicans to move on from the 2020 election and instead focus on taking back both houses of Congress from an increasingly radical Democratic Party.

That’s the kind of rational, totally-not-insane steadiness we have all come to expect from the former president.

After all, it’s not like Trump’s support for failed and highly flawed candidate Roy Moore cost Republicans a Senate seat in 2018. And it’s not as if the former president’s post-election rantings kept Georgia conservatives at home in that critical runoff, propelling radical leftists Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the Senate from a state that, contrary to desperate wish casting from Democratic strategists, remains red. No, certainly not.

Apologies—allow me a moment to wipe the sarcasm off my keyboard.

The reality is that Alabama Republican voters are on the precipice of sending a big-spending moderate to the U.S. Senate to replace another big-spending moderate. But Britt, who cheerily lobbied to successfully increase our gas taxes by $300 million, has convinced large swaths of voters that she is a conservative because she wears a cross around her neck and cut a campaign ad holding a shotgun.

She, like her former boss, retiring senator Richard Shelby, is a diehard supporter of spending all our money and handing it out to her corporatist, big business friends. That is the entirety of her very thin professional resume: shilling for big business and spending working people’s tax money to grease the skids for her next career move. If elected—and it appears likely following the Trump endorsement—she will disappear in the D.C. swamp for roughly five years and then come back to Alabama and run the same cross-wearing, gun-toting playbook to convince everyone that she is one of us.

Republican voters will likely go along with it, underscoring the state’s biggest political problem: voter behavior.

If that sounds a bit condescending, so be it. No apologies will be offered.

Deep blue states like Vermont and Massachusetts send far left radicals like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to Washington for life. And the response from a deep red state like Alabama is to send former Democrat-turned-moderate Republican Richard Shelby to the Appropriations Committee for life to cut deals with them and explode our national debt.

If you ever wonder why things never seem to improve in Washington D.C., this is a good place to start.

It’s not just Shelby, either. Congressman Mike Rogers is consistently one of the least conservative Republicans. He is a reliable vote to increase the debt ceiling and pass multi-trillion-dollar spending bills. And he, like Senator Tommy Tuberville, voted to draft our daughters in the defense authorization mark-up last year.

After all, there’s nothing more conservative than drafting 18-year-old girls to potential frontline combat duty against battle-hardened Russians, communist Chinese, and fanatical jihadists, am I right?

Even here in Lee County, the low expectations and voter lethargy play out. It took 12 years for Republicans to oust longtime Democrat Tom Whatley from the state senate. Whatley consistently raised our taxes, spent our hard-earned money, donated thousands to Barack Obama and Al Gore, and was among the most corrupt hacks in the state legislature.

He lost by only one vote.

Do better. Demand better. Pay attention. The hour is late in our republic. It is imperative that the good people in Alabama elect principled and genuine fighters to defend the values that will keep us free.

Katie Britt will not do that.

Alabamans still quaintly prioritize a candidate’s demeanor whereas Texans, for example, prioritize a candidate’s spirit. Candidly, it’s why Texas often sends better people—actual fighters—to Washington. And as the left’s woke radicalism metastasizes throughout every facet of our society, Alabama voters must adjust their behavior and what they value in a candidate. The nation needs us to do our part to stop this radicalism before it’s too late.

My hope is that one day Alabama will be capable of sending a Ted Cruz, a Chip Roy, or even a Jim Jordan freedom warrior to Washington. Sadly, that day is unlikely to come soon enough.

Drew White is a federal policy analyst and former U.S. Senate staffer. He lives in Auburn with his wife and two kids.

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