We all have those people in our lives that are just not happy until they’re trying to make everybody else miserable. They incessantly complain about everything without offering any constructive solutions or ideas to make things better. Kyle Whitmire is the state of Alabama’s collective curmudgeon relative.
When he first joined the statewide news organization AL.com Kyle Whitmire started off with a very promising writing style. I can remember when I first started reading his columns that he was very informed any presented ideas and possible solutions to the problems he was talking about. Even if I didn’t necessarily agree with everything he proposed, I respected the fact that he tried to be a part of the solution and not just complain about the problem. Of late, that has not been the case. As time has gone along Whitmire’s work for Alabama Media Group and they’re affiliated organizations has just become a place for Kyle to opine about how bad everything is in Alabama, and the “Alabamafaction” of the United States. He no longer offers real solutions to the problems he pontificates about. That is why so many of the readers that take the time to respond to him either by email, social media, or directly on the platforms he writes for take the “Love it or leave it” stance that he’s so eloquently complains about very often.
Take it from somebody that has the same problem, people do not like to be lectured to in a manner they feel is condescending. They never have and they never will. In one of his recent columns about one of the activists that is trying to improve the public service commission, he made an aside comment about the fact that the PSC has secured outside counsel in their attempt to prevent people from live streaming there “hearings”. Instead of offering a common sense reasonable idea to ensure that state departments and boards and commissions are not wasting taxpayer money by needlessly securing outside counsel, he just complained in a snarky manner about it. He pointed out that the hearing in front of the Alabama Supreme Court about the matter was actually live streamed itself. In the column that prompted this response, he complains about the doldrums of the Alabama education system, and brings up former disgraced politicians that are no longer in office instead of offering the Whitmire 5-point plan on how to improve education in the state.
One of my flaws is I’m always harder on the people that I expect more from than the people that I don’t. That’s actually a sign of respect to Kyle. I expect better from you. The reason I expect better from you is because I’ve seen better from you. I won’t always agree with your opinions or your positions, but when I start to see solutions and suggestions that you think will make the problem that you are talking about better, I will at least respect the fact that you took the time to try to become a part of the solution instead of perpetuating the problem. As columnists in the media, I believe it is our responsibility to raise the level of political discourse and discussion above the fray and the mud that the politicians and political consultants try to drive the discussion into. In the coming days I will write several columns offering my solutions in my ideas to the problems you have complained about, and I hope this inspires you to do the same going forward. And maybe together between our two columns we can raise the level of political discussion in this state and actually move this state forward in a positive direction that way nobody has to “Love it or leave it”.