Three songs about Alabama, but only if you really search for them.
Clue: They're not mentioned by title,
and one of them is NOT "Highway to Hell."
What happens to a nation whose leadership no longer reflects the wishes of its citizens? Well, in a democracy, the answer is easy: we vote the bastards out.
But what happens when the pillars of democracy fail and the escape hatches are welded shut?
When a minority president assumes power and bends the government to the will of that same small minority,
When redistricting, voting restrictions, and gerrymandering have skewed the voting results and ensured further minority rule.
When the antiquated Electoral College enhances the power of that same minority,
When a toothless Congress can hold no leader, even a treasonous one, to account,
And when the Supreme Court—its members holding lifetime appointments—no longer pronounces decisions based on merit but instead on the whims of the president.
Voting the bastards out is no longer a sure bet, not when the concentrated wealth of the country is responsible for voting them in.
And the glib answer—move to Canada—has really run its course, folks. You’re not moving to Yellowknife and Trump knows it...inasmuch as he knows where Yellowknife is...or Canada.
Finding a nice South Sea Island used to be an option before the the climate deniers made the future of these paradises more tenuous. Tenuous is probably too benign a word—submerged would be more accurate.
So we’re stuck here with a fool for a president, a warmonger as a National Security Advisor, and Alabama as a whatever. Ah yes, Alabama, where, that old song notwithstanding, stars no longer fall—or don't fall hard enough. Alabama—now with both wheels in the ditch.
Sweet home? Not for women these days.
🎶 🎶 🎶 🎶 🎶🎶
So again, what happens to a nation whose leadership no longer reflects the wishes of its citizens? History provides many answers, most of which closely rhyme with revolution. Or mirror it.
Of course, to ascribe the first American Revolution to some simple cause is facile at best, but at its root was a religious right cadre of Calvinists (remember The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, let’s stone the adulteress—then hang her—then stone her again? Yeah, those Calvinists) pitted against the more liberal, enlightened, and progressive Deists who comprised many different religions or no religion, but basically stood for individual freedom. Franklin. Paine. Adams.
Today we find ourselves being driven into the past by zealots who believe in the basic depravity of man and want to make sure all us degenerates don’t make God angry enough to smite us; and being pushed in the other direction by those who understand that there are good and evil in the world but that the basic goodness of man can be trusted. Paternalism vs. responsibility. Despair vs. hope. Theocracy vs. democracy. An angry God vs. a benevolent universe. The politicians in Montgomery vs. ...uh...earth?
Maybe the seeds of the second American Revolution are being sown in Alabama, or maybe in the Persian Gulf. When the pillars of democracy fail, there aren’t many other options.