By Marty Russell
If the governor of this state, not just the current one but whoever he or (God forbid) she might be, wanted to be really truthful with voters, their annual State of the State address would probably go something like this:
“My fellow Mississippians, we stink in just about every indicator of progress and well-being compared to all the other states. But that’s fine. Why? Because that’s what you, the voters, want. Your votes over the decades have made it perfectly clear that what you really want from your elected officials is to maintain the status quo. Now I know that’s big terminology, even has some foreign language in it, I don’t know Greek or Latin or one of those ferrin words, but all it really means is that you like things to stay the way they are. What you’ve told us time and time again is that, if it was good enough for your mamas and daddies, then it’s good enough for you and your children and your children’s children, and we’re working hard here in Jackson to give you what you want.
“You’ve told us you don’t want any brain drain, that you want your children to stay right here at home and not flee to some other state for a better job and better pay. So we’re doing everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen by making our public education system the worst in the nation. No brain, no drain. Even now we’re working to expand our education system with new schools so our education dollars are spread so thin it’s ensured that no one gets an adequate education, and we won’t stop until there’s a separate school district on every block.
“You’ve told us that you don’t want more health care, that we don’t need more doctors or to expand Medicaid. Here in Mississippi we believe in letting nature take its course, so if you’re dying, just accept it, and make way for all those new babies being born every day so they can enjoy a short, obese life just like you did. At least they’ll get to live it here in the great state of Mississippi!
“You’ve told us you don’t want the federal government telling us what we can and can’t do and to keep their hands off your guns so you can hunt any way you want, even if that deer you shot was inedible because of lead poisoning after you pumped 30 rounds into it in less than 30 seconds. Just keep sending us $2 for every $1 we send to Washington in taxes and leave us alone.
“So let all those other states laugh and make jokes about us all they want. I’m happy to report to you that the state of the state of Mississippi is excellent. It’s just the way you want it, and we’ll keep working hard to keep it that way.”
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org