All the politicking that has been going on for the last year-and-a-half has started to bring back some unique memories for this Alabama-raised child of the 60’s.
One thought that occurred recently as I listened to mutual bashing by national candidates is how the much politics is the same in basic ways.
We talk a lot now about negative campaigning in the last 18 months. Memories of George Wallace campaigning against the dreaded northern aggression, holding their foot on the neck of the poor common man, argue against an increase in negative campaigning in recent days.
Maybe it is just a more public form of campaigning across the airwaves and Internet than it is about the message. My understanding of Gov. Wallace came from listening to his fiery rhetoric from the back of a truck or inside the Madison County Coliseum accompanied by 2,000 fired-up Wallace supporters.
Southern backroom politics could be downright crooked. Probably it still is.
A friend who lived in Louisiana as late as the 1980s recounts how she observed delivery of payments to country churches prior to the Sunday sermon delivered in advance of election day. The pastor had and ability to deliver voters. One back scratched the other.
During a 1960s election I stood on a back street of Arab, AL awaiting the arrival of “The governor.” He was on a tour of towns in north Alabama that Saturday morning and was running a bit behind. To encourage support of the crowd, a local organizer stepped out on a flatbed trailer set up as a stage. He pulled a wad of money from his pocket and said, “I’m about to do something most of you have never seen before.” He then let fly with the dollar bills, and we scurried about capturing the loose greenbacks.
At less than 10 years of age, I had not seen that before. My father did not comment. I have not seen it since in decades of covering political events for newspapers. Or maybe the payments are just delivered in a more technologically sophisticated manner.
I believe that the people we have selected to serve us are good, honest people.
State Sen. Larry Martin strikes me as one of the good guys. I wonder about the practices of those who tried to defeat him however. He makes a decent argument that outside forces were really motivated at a power grab of leadership roles that he holds.
Pickens voters decided against letting go of the years of experience they have invested in Martin. He’ll give us a loud voice.