Mississippi Politics

Liberalism: A fallacy of my unconstrained vision

Note: This item is an op-ed submitted by the writer and may not reflect the opinion of this website.

By Shuwaski Young

Throughout my political and professional career, I have embraced an unrestrained view of American liberal idealism — a belief that liberalism itself would move the poor out of an impoverished existence into a more sought-after affluent reality — the Middle Class.

Today, I am convinced that increased taxation and the redistribution of wealth as a tool to uplift the poor into the middle class is indeed a fallacious political ideology. In criterion, I recognize that government programs alone do not serve as a situational solution to problems presented by poverty. Additionally, I submit that laissez-faire capitalism is not an accomplice to poverty and somehow solely responsible for the socio-economic realities that plague so many in Mississippi.

The pursuit of individual interest, education and a strong focus on the family must be part of the much-needed solution in eradicating poverty.

It is no secret that wealth is created when an environment is produced for its growth. Throughout history we have seen this notion again and again proven as fact. Mississippians are not the exception to this rule.

Therefore, in order to expand economic markets into Mississippi, and improve our economic existence, we must have an environment that is conducive to attracting large international companies thereby creating a pathway to higher earning jobs. And, we must be ready for these jobs. Conversely, our leaders are not cultivating attraction from said companies, especially STEM related companies. Additionally, these companies are not finding interest in Mississippi and because of this reality, living in Mississippi is becoming untenable for many of our residents.

Half-witted, outdated policies and the long-standing cultural belief to persist in the so-called “Mississippi way of life” has no doubt continued to contribute to the now well-known “brain-drain” that is spreading throughout our state like a cancerous plague. Because of these policies and cultural beliefs systems, young people don’t want to stay in a place where they cannot prosper.

But, there is something more sinister about Mississippi.

No, it’s not voting. It’s not just one-party rule. It’s statewide economic and health deprivation: a place where more children live in extreme poverty than anywhere else in the nation. A place where mothers and infants meet their demise more than anywhere in the nation. It’s a place where more murders happen than anywhere in the nation. A place where poverty comes to make a home in perpetuity.

Our current leaders have disregarded the sacred and timeless standard set forth by one of the most famous Republicans and my favorite President, Abraham Lincoln, who described the Democratic standard intended by the Founders in his Gettysburg Address — a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. I find that those words are ever-more needed today than ever.

Conventional wisdom would suggest, and rightfully so, that Democrats can not win statewide in Mississippi. After all, one party holds every statewide office, a super majority in the state legislature, both U.S. senatorial seats and three out of four congressional districts. Additionally, Republicans voting for any Democratic candidate is literally asking for too much, especially in this Trump era.

But, I believe Mississippi is still better than what our voting results suggest. I believe our future can be as bright as we allow. I believe leadership and trust are the critical catalysts absent in so many communities and what we need the most. I am not talking about political leadership or even community leadership, but personal and family leadership — leadership for our children’s future and our own economic prosperity regardless of our political leaders.

An existence where mom is proud of dad because he’s a father. And, children are proud of their parents because they are warm, happy, and safe from harm with a full belly. A leadership where dad is proud because he is gainfully employed with benefits that serve his family.

We cannot save democracy in Mississippi alone with a two-party system that offers solutions to our problems via government programs or simply through tax cuts. We can only try to raise strong communities that are educated and active in the political process. The only way to achieve that goal is with an informed, selfless electorate ― for some that may mean breaking away from one’s political party. For others, it may mean voting for a different political party.

Ultimately, that’s how we change the economic and health deprivation we now hold in perpetuity in Mississippi. That’s how we become better while we hope that Medicaid will be expanded — not with political leadership alone, but with self responsibility. After all, Medicaid expansion is a function of the Mississippi State Legislature, a branch of government where one-party holds a super majority with no real intention to help those in need and no real solution to eradicating poverty. Yet, the poor remain among us and it must be addressed holistically.

Therefore, I’ve arrived at the following social policy and ideological conclusion: A constrained societal vision focused on the unification of family, a firm focus on education — both skilled and unskilled and the individual relentless pursuit of self-interests serves best for the advancement of impoverished communities in Mississippi and the nation — a conservative socio-political philosophy I now embrace.

Shuwaski Young is a former Democratic Party candidate in statewide elections.

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