What we can learn from Alabama

Published 9:20 am Monday, December 18, 2017

Dear Editor,

To quote President Trump in a situation where it actually makes sense: “There is blame on both sides.” Our nation is suffering in its current political division and both sides are to blame.

But what happened in Alabama Tuesday night can serve as a testament to all Americans for how we can put aside our differences to protect the moral integrity of the nation.

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Alabamans chose to place morals and ethics above political beliefs. Because no matter who we are and what we believe, none of us want our daughters in a world where predators get to make our laws. 

Putting party aside is something many Americans struggle with, perhaps moreso now than at any other point in my life. But all that’s done is box us in.

I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Although I’m a registered Democrat, there is no party to which I can fully align my own pragmatic philosophies. Oftentimes, in voting seasons, I’m stuck between a rock and hard place. And I have to sacrifice one portion of my beliefs in order to bring to fruition the other. 

A Reuters article cited a citizen of Alabama who had to “hold her nose and vote Democrat.” And people need to know that that’s OK. That sometimes, we need to sacrifice our social values to pursue our fiscal responsibilities to the nation, and vice versa. 

America is built on argumentation and discourse. We pride ourselves, nationally, on our forefathers’ initial strategies for discourse and compromise, yet we struggle to uphold those strategies and values. 

What Alabama showed me this week is that an entire state can fight the struggle that I fight every time I step into a voting booth. This gives me both pause and hope. Pause, because there is still finger pointing going on, and hope because some Americans did put ethics over party. 

What we can learn from Alabama is that the values that we share outweigh the beliefs that separate us. I love Kentucky and its people. I would not choose to live in any other place. And I know that socially, I am a blue dot in a red sea, but instead of that knowledge dividing me from my neighbors and friends, I use it to incite conversation and participate in real, authentic discourse, which I hope our forefathers would be proud of.

Megan Berketis