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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Jerry Jackson: What's wrong with Arkansas

  • For the last several presidential elections Arkansans have given overwhelming support to the Republican candidate
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  • For the last several presidential elections Arkansans have given overwhelming support to the Republican candidate – the exception being when philanderer Billy was the home grown favorite.
                What is surprising is how long it is taking Arkansas to get rid of the machine that elects Democrats to the senate and congressional offices and the myriad offices throughout the state.  The “solid South” is now exclusively in the hands of the GOP except for the reluctant Razorbacks.
                In 2010 the Alabama legislature went Republican for the first time in 136 years.  In 2011 Republicans won the Mississippi statehouse and the Louisiana’s legislature – for both, a first since reconstruction.  That leaves Arkansas as the holdout state throughout the South.
                So why are our neighbors now in such agreement on GOP policies as compared to the liberal alternative?  Lots of reasons.  Let’s deal first with the obvious argument that is put forth by our elitists and super educated friends in the Northeast.  They would say the answer is simple – the South consists mostly of white racists.  If you believe this, there is little that can be said for reasonable debate or discussion.  Just remember back in the days when segregation and discrimination were common practice south of the Mason Dixon Line it was the congressional Democrats who had a hold on the South and fought their darnedest to keep African Americans in their place.
                Let’s consider the real reasons why the South is a solid block of red.  Probably the most important reason is economic.  The southern tier of states is awash with right-to-work status.  This means the companies planning to expand their operations want to be free of the unions who have demonstrated their propensity to ruin not only companies but entire industries.  The railroads, airline companies, steel, construction and manufacturing lead the list of decimated operations.
                During the last 25 years the auto industry, both domestic and foreign, has opened new facilities throughout the South.  Study a map of the southern states and you will find plant after plant in the auto industry opened in Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas, Louisiana and others.  The one state that stands as an island in this sea of activity is Arkansas.  Could the reason be the relative high tax rate and the yellow-dog hold on the political structure here?  Oh, surely not!
    Page 2 of 3 -             The social and religious beliefs of the South are another big reason why the GOP is dominant.  Remember President Obama on a fund raising tour in California chiding us in rural America and pitying us because we stick to our Bibles and our guns? 
                Studies show that America is becoming more pro-life with each passing year.  The abortion crowd is getting pinched more and more with the South solidly in the belief that killing unborn children is a sin.  Planned Parenthood is key for allowing this killing to continue.  Proponents of this organization claim that this is only a small part of their operations but an analysis of their finances will show a large part of their profits come from abortion activities.
                Certainly the South can be rightly labeled the Bible belt.  To most of us this is a label we hold proudly not one to be ashamed of.  Southern Christians are more likely to be Republican partly because it coincides with the belief we as individuals need to take care of our fellow man – not so much the government.  A study released August 21 by a Boston non-profit shows the states with residents giving the highest percent of their income to charity are those that are the most religious and most of those are in the South.  The stingiest group were the least religious states and most of those were located in the Northeastern U.S. 
                What is further evidence that Arkansas is being held back by one-party Democrat rule?  In order to increase economic interest in this state, Republican legislators in 2011 tried to reduce the Capital Gains Tax.  The narrow minded Democrat majority in the legislature quickly rejected this meager attempt to make us more competitive.
                More evidence that Democrat control can be found in scandals that have occurred in our governor’s team that are dismissed as just politicians being politicians.
                For example our governor appointed his political buddy, who ran on the 2010 ticket for Lt.Governor, as Director of Education.  This “buddy: was clearly unqualified and his appointment would not be lawful.  Similarly our governor ignored the wishes of about 70 percent of Arkansans who oppose Obamacare and failed to join 26 other states in opposing Obamacare implementation – his reason – he didn’t want to spend taxpayer money in spending an emissary to Florida.
    Page 3 of 3 -             Don’t forget the Dem-Gaz revelation that most of the Democrat political hierarchy in the state were using state autos for personal use and many were not reporting this personal use of autos as personal income.
                The good news – many signs indicate that this November we can remove this yoke of centuries long one-party control.  On a national basis we accomplished much in the 2010 election.  We now have 4 of 6 Republican senators and congressmen.  In October 2010 Arkansas shamefully had 5 of 6 Democrats in those positions.  We have an opportunity now to join the rest of the solid South and get on board polices to advance economic progress and to respect and proliferate the religious and social principles that most of us adhere to.
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