“Little wonder that this autumn, many Tiger alumni will be following the football season from other states where they’ve gone in search of opportunities Louisiana has failed to provide.”
This remarkable statement was buried away deep in an Advocate editorial commenting on LSU fans’ penchant for choosing athletics over academics. This one sentence alone justifies so much of what I have written over the years. Our misplaced priorities are much deeper than outrage over a fancy new locker room.
Let’s consider this, it has been said that the largest group of LSU alumni isn’t in any Louisiana city, it is in Houston. That is not a new characterization of the failure of our state, it goes back for decades. In my career alone I have watched New Orleans lose first its place as the international commerce hub of the South and then, a few years later, the regional headquarters of the majority of the major oil and gas corporations along with all the support businesses that followed them.
Just imagine, since I graduated from LSU alone we have lost thousands of businesses and all those opportunities that they represented. And with them we have lost thousands of the best and brightest Louisianans who now live, lend their leadership skills to, and pay taxes in states where economic growth is the foremost priority.
But now, The Advocate may have offered a glimmer of hope that they actually get it. Maybe they will challenge Louisiana’s acceptance of a political philosophy that has led us to just assume that our place is defined by low expectations. Maybe they will elevate the significance of political leadership characterized by vision, priority, commitment, and emphasis upon a growing economy.
As a new football season looms so does a gubernatorial election. History will tell our kids if LSU won a championship and whether Louisiana’s citizens had finally had enough of the status quo and finally demanded a change. History will tell if the election of 2019 was the low point of Louisiana’s prospects and marked the time when we actually attracted our children back home.
The Advocate can only report on football scores but they will play a significant role during this election season in changing Louisiana’s destiny. I can only hope that their editorial sentence that I quoted represents a significant commitment to elevating as our goal the concept of economic success. I can only hope that The Advocate actually meant what they said!