Gubernatorial candidate Scott Dawson is shaking up politics in Alabama by bringing his ministerial background to the campaign trail on his way to the 2018 gubernatorial election. Dawson is looking at politics from the perspective of a minister rather than that of a typical career politician. I had the opportunity of listening to Dawson address some of his major viewpoints when he came to Samford this past week and was able to better understand how a minister could go straight to politician and be able to make the transformation seamless. By looking at the world as a citizen and a minister, Dawson saw problems that were facing his own family and facing the thousands of people to which has preached. He has spoken to 8,000-12,000 students a year at his conferences and has spoken in every Alabama county, which made him jokingly mention, “the only one who knows more backroads than me is probably James Spann.” He is firm on having consistent principles and consequences in our judicial system and points to early signs of this forming in the Bible itself. An example of this would be when Adam and Eve faced a consequence after disobeying God and eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. Throughout his speech, he included his positions on the economy, education, healthcare, immigration, and education.
The first major position Scott referenced were his views on the education systems in Alabama. Currently we are spending $6.4 billion on education in Alabama, so we are investing the money but don’t have the correct leadership. We need to fix this, because education is critical for our future and the next generation. He instructed that we need a three-step approach to the education systems in order to prepare our children to have a successful future. These three steps include leadership, attitude, and economics. You must believe in yourself and your capabilities in order to lead anyone else, you must have an appropriate attitude, and you must utilize your money properly. A policy Scott believes should be implemented in the education systems is requiring drug tests for those involved in extracurricular activities beginning in 9th grade. This would help us to find those struggling with addiction and allow us to offer them help before the drug addiction becomes an unsolvable lifelong problem. Fixing this in the early stages of one’s life will prevent them from ending up in the judicial system or being hindered further down the line. He proposed that we bring ROTC training to every high school to implement discipline and structure in the student’s life if they have behavioral issues. Misbehavior in class distracts all students from learning, so bringing back the ROTC to schools with benefit every student. This will also contribute to the student’s entrance into society after graduating high school. If this kind of ROTC training and drug monitoring is brought to the schools of Alabama, it will allow for high school graduates to come out of school with necessary life skills and be able to succeed in society regardless if they choose to go to college or not.
Economy was the next thing Scott turned his focus on. He not only wants to bring more jobs to Alabama, but he wants to have more jobs and businesses to originate in this great state. If you are staying in Alabama after you receive your education and having success, forming a family, or even creating a business of your own, that means you are bringing more success and revenue to the state of Alabama. He wants to make Alabama business friendly so that entrepreneurs and businesses don’t feel the need to leave the state to benefit their business. Current business regulations aren’t easy to follow, there are many unnecessary fees and regulations that are put on businesses. Taxes on businesses isn’t the problem, because Alabama has a low tax rate for businesses. He suggests having an independent council. This council would make the department issuing the regulation or fee justify their actions, if they cant do this its called “cut the tape.” Doing this would not only allow for new businesses to come into Alabama, but it would also provide a reason for Alabamians to create new business here. This would in turn create more revenue for the state and would boost Alabama’s economy.
Immigration is another point Scott spoke about. He says he is supportive of Trump’s policies and the idea of a wall. He feels immigration is a federal issue, so something that we need should instead focus on is preventing the spread of the MS-13 gang. Alabama is sitting is a critical area for this gang and it is already in certain parts of our state right now. This gang posing a large threat to our citizens and they have committed gruesome acts in the past, so they must be stopped. We must take a stand against them.
Scott acknowledged healthcare as a very important issue in Alabama. Some counties are having hospitals close down, making the drives to the nearest hospitals in Alabama for some residents be up to 45 minutes away. While residents of Birmingham have many options within a 20 minute drive. We must serve the public and create more healthcare opportunities by opening up more clinics around the state.
An opportunity we need to offer is medical resources in the poor neighborhoods. Churches often offer medical resources to meet the need because government wasn’t designed to meet all of our needs. Church is something very important to Scott, but he understands the separation of church and state is needed. However, government shouldn’t be expected to show compassion but should empower the church to do that. The government is designed to do some things like keep us safe but not designed to meet its citizen’s needs. We have to have people in these four areas to fulfil the needs of the people, those four areas being teachers, the medical field, first responders, and pastors. The church has a place in our state but that must be streamlined.
It was evident throughout Scott Dawson’s speech that he was focusing on the future of the state and not just what needs to happen in this exact moment. He is a minister running for governor of Alabama, not a politician that has people guiding his direction and his policies. He wants what is best for the state of Alabama. He has studied ministry for 30 years of his life and wants to apply that knowledge, but does not want to create a theocracy. We need to find the right balance of laws and government intrusion so we don’t have a system of anarchy or communism. He makes it clear that he is not perfect, he is going to make mistakes; but he has his eyes set on Montgomery and his focus isn’t moving from it. He believes the children are our future and we must start their path to success early. When you elect a governor, you are saying you trust that governor to lead your children to a better future and he believes he can be that governor.
Photo retrieved from https://www.scottdawson.com/about Used under fair use doctrine of the United States.