Saturday, March 14, 2009

We need a St. Patrick now

Legend has it that a man named Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland and into the sea. For his efforts, he was canonized by the Pope as a saint. Every March 17, we honor that legend by celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

I wonder if there is a St. Patrick in Jackson, or Mississippi that matter. I say that because we have a lot of "snakes" here in Mississippi, especially in politics. I have said that if certain people went on home to meet their maker, our politics, especially on the progressive side would be much better off here.

There are only 2.9 million people in Mississippi, so when anybody offers themselves for public office, it is welcome. However, with such a small pool to choose from, we end up getting folks who would not be worthy of being in the political process in more populated areas. In other words, those snakes would be driven out.

Unfortunately, we don't seem to have that luxury, and the voters seem content to allow those folks to continue to influence the process, whether in elective office or not. I have always been a believer in God's word and he has said that vengeance is His. All we have to do is apply justice for all those that need it fairly and let Him work His will. Therefore, we must be His instruments in driving these snakes out.

Poverty seems to be the catalyst for our snake problem in Mississippi politics. Whether it is the hustler's mentality that many have to get over, the lethargic mentality just to make do and get by with mediocrity, or the pimp mentality, taking advantage of our impoverished state and not seeking any real change, poverty seems to be the common connection. As a point of reference, poverty in our state is not just economic, but also we collectively seem to suffer from a lack of enlightenment. For us to do better, poverty must end, in all its forms.

It has been my goal to challenge these snakes and sometimes I have won, but many times I have lost. Yet I still fight. I am not a St. Patrick by any means, but I don't like snakes, political or otherwise, so I will do my part to drive them out of Mississippi.

I believe that if we can end poverty as we know it now in Mississippi, maybe that can charm those snakes out of existence. It is a struggle that is worth fighting for, because as we all know, the reward for struggle is progress. The progress of Mississippi depends on how successful we are in driving the political snakes out.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.