My fellow Louisianians, it’s time someone spoke honestly about where our state stands and why we’re in such deep distress.
It would be easy to keep telling you that everything wrong is the fault of Gov. Bobby Jindal. Sure, his eight years were a disaster. Instead of moving us forward, he moved to Iowa. Jindal cared only about using his office as a steppingstone. Our wellbeing was never his concern. Still, Jindal did not create our state’s deep, chronic problems. He just ignored them or made them worse.
For the past year, my opponents and I have been campaigning for governor, promising to change the state dramatically for the better. We don’t say it will all be ice cream and puppies, but the implication is clear: We’re selling the phony and cruel notion that one person can fundamentally reform our politics.
Well, that’s bunk, and it’s time someone leveled with you about it. If you elect me, all I can promise is incremental change. To suggest anything else would be a lie.
You know why Louisiana won’t make huge strides anytime soon? It’s because we, the voters, don’t want fundamental change. Oh, sure, we pretend we do. But, judging by the people we send to Baton Rouge, we really don’t.
Do you think Jindal slashed higher education funding by himself? How did these disastrous budgets come about? Legislators – the ones you and I elected – passed them. Our lawmakers could have stopped the damage to higher education, but they just went along. And we keep reelecting them.
Do you want more proof that the people really don’t care about fundamental change? More than half the Legislature was elected last month because no one bothered to run against them. Yes, we are that apathetic.
We say we want better roads, but we’re not willing to pay an extra 10 cents per gallon on gasoline – with prices at historic lows – to pay for them.
Many of us call ourselves Christian and say we’re bothered by poverty, but we cheer on the politicians who slander our working poor as losers. We nod in agreement to their TV spots that imply the poor could easily make it if only they’d clean up their acts, muster some initiative and work a little harder.
If you’ve ever been poor, you know that’s an ugly lie. So let’s be honest: We couldn’t care any less about the poor among us.
Continue reading on NOLA.com at this link.