West Virginia is at or near the bottom in most public health categories, ranked number 50 in drug abuse, number 50 in smoking, number 49 in obesity, number 49 in alcoholism and number 42 in suicide.
The corporate Democrats blame the corporate Republicans.
And the corporate Republicans blame the corporate Democrats.
This game was being played last night at a town hall meeting in Augusta, West Virginia.
It was a meeting held at Augusta Elementary School featuring four of our elected officials – Senate President Craig Blair (R-Berkeley County), Senator Charles Trump (R-Morgan County), Delegate Elect Rick Hillebrand (R-Mineral) and Delegate Elect Darren Thorne (R-Hampshire).
In the crowd were about fifty citizens, many of whom drove more than an hour from Berkeley Springs and other parts of Morgan County to attend the meeting.
The usual issues that split most West Virginia communities were raised and debated – guns, vaccines, abortion and school choice.
But so was the underlying issue of public health.
Given that the Republicans have been in control of the legislature for eight years now, given that Blair, as the Senate President, presides over a chamber that has 31 Republicans out of 34 Senators, what’s being done to reverse the curse?
Blair said the horrid state of public health wasn’t the Republican’s doing – the Democrats were in control for 80 years. It’s their responsibility.
Well, what can be done now?
Blair and Trump said that the number one way to improve public health is to bring jobs to West Virginia.
“Job opportunities will make it so that you have less obesity,” Blair told the crowd. “Trying to pass laws and saying you’ve gotta be thin doesn’t work.”
Trump agreed with Blair.
“Prosperity is the key,” Trump said. “We need jobs, high paying jobs, we need to attract people to the state and that will help solve a lot of these problems.”
Why not, as a baby step, start by prohibiting the West Virginia University School of Public Health from taking money from the merchants of death – like Coca-Cola? (See Gregory Hand Forced Out As Dean of West Virginia School of Public Health Amid Controversy Over Coca-Cola Funding, Corporate Crime Reporter, August 2, 2016)
Blair said that “all of those companies, Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola – they give money to the Democrats right now, right?”
Yes they do.
Exactly our point. We remember well Democratic Congressional candidate Talley Sargent, who lost to Congressman Alex Mooney, being a public relations executive for Coca Cola. (Talley Sergent and the Failure of Democrats in West Virginia, Morgan County USA, October 18, 2017).
Both the Democratic and Republican parties in West Virginia are corrupt to the core.
Strip away the social issues that split the Democrats and Republicans, and that’s what you have – two corrupt parties doing the bidding of giant, mostly out of state corporations.
When Senator Trump rose to answer the public health question last night, he stood in front of a sign that read – Think Positive, Act Positive, Be Positive.
Okay, let’s try that.
We can think positive and know that we can move to bring West Virginia out of poverty and improve the state of our public health.
We can act positive by starting a new political movement, outside the two corrupt political parties, that sidesteps the divisive social issues and focuses on the well being of our fellow citizens.
Call it mutual aid.
And we can be positive to make sure that we start moving up the public health ladder.
If the West Virginia University football program was failing the way the state is failing when it comes to public health, the athletic director would be fired and the coach would be on the hot seat.
Craig Blair was right last night when he pointed out that it wasn’t just the Republicans that were taking money from the merchants of death – the Democrats were taking money from the merchants of death too.
But now, the Republicans have 31 out of 34 seats in the West Virginia Senate.
“Now if you are not happy with that, go and get candidates that can win,” Blair said.