John Archibald, a very talented columnist for the Birmingham News, published an excellent column today’s Sunday addition of the paper. It is entitled, “State of the nation? I worry over the state of the people”. Archibald’s column decries the efforts of Republican politicians to try to convince Americans that our country is in terrible shape in order score the political points necessary to win upcoming elections. While Archibald generally attempts to stay politically neutral in his writings (Alabama after all is the reddest of red states), in this column he harshly criticizes those who would distort the truth for political gain by trying to convince us that our economy is weak, crime is rampant and our military is not capable of the tasks set before it.
I think that this column is well worth reading so I am providing excerpts and a link to the full column below:
“I’m not worried about the state of the union. Or the state of our cities.
We’ve seen worse. Believe me we’ve seen worse.
More troubling is the state the people, the state of our minds and our … discontent.
The President said it in his speech this week. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said much the same in her GOP response.
Resist the urge to “fall back into tribes,” Barack Obama said. Resist the “siren call of the angriest voices,” Haley said.
And as if on cue both were blasted with the tribal disapproval of angry political voices. That proved them both right.
Because we’ve chosen sides, picked politics over patriotism, anger and cynicism over hope. Division over unity. It’s as if we no longer wave the same flag, share the same values or science or … facts.”
“….the U.S. unemployment rate of 5 percent in December was down from 7.3 percent in December of 2008, in George W. Bush’s last year. December’s rate was lower than in December of Ronald Reagan’s last year, lower by 2.4 points than December of George H.W. Bush’s final year,….”
“And saying the U.S. “lost our spot as a defense superpower in this world” is absurd. A report by Credit Swisse analyzed military power and spending across the world, finding the U.S. has by far the most powerful military. It has almost twice the personnel of second-place Russia, and the U.S.‘ $601 billion spent on defense is more than every other country in the top 10 combined.”
“Crime, according to FBI statistics, is lower than it has been in decades. In 2014 — the last year available — overall crime in the U.S. was 22 percent lower than the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency, 28 percent lower than the last year of Clinton’s, 47 percent lower than the last year of Bush senior and 48 percent lower than 1988, the last year of Reagan’s presidency.”
As I said earlier, this is an excellent read: You can access John Archibald entire column here: Obama and Haley are right; and why our union is in a state