From Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed’s hot mic moment, to Mac McCutcheon and his suspicious business relations, to the issues with Prattville schools, it feels like the people we elect to serve our communities are only in office to serve themselves.

These recent news stories made me wonder why our leaders can’t be more like my scrawny, three-legged cat, Rue.

It was an unfortunate accident when Rue lost that leg, coming on top of a rescue from a Homewood, AL, parking lot before she could even walk or eat on her own. But we’re sure that she’s forgotten her missing leg by now, because recently she bowed up to a fluffy backyard interloper.

The cat invading our yard looked like Garfield, with weird eyes and bushy eyebrows. It felt like he could see right through me.

But Rue, weighing a meaty five pounds, refused to allow that fat cat—three times her size—near our flagstone patio. It looked like Rue was trying to protect us, which is laughable because she's a tiny tortoiseshell, while we are her much taller people.

Sensing that she needed help, my husband Chris opened the door and stood while she went to the fight. But that tiny cat didn’t need his help. She bowed right up and fended off the random, intruding cat. Skittering toward the house, she stopped and bowed up again, finally leaping inside when she completed her duty.

“That’s it!” I thought. That’s what we want our leaders to do, to fend off the interlopers and keep the fat cats—with their selfish and self-serving priorities—away. And while they’re at it, they can also fight for us!

But that’s not what’s happening.

Consider Montgomery Mayor Reed's hot mic moment and his instant claims of victimhood. “I'm a victim! I'm suing!” is such a tired stance.

Even if some of what the Mayor said about the audio was true, his words still appear to insult his voters and the community who put their faith in him. And we’re all wondering where the humility is, for as of this writing, there's been zero ownership of what he said. Only blame-shifting. And more self-preservation.

That isn't leadership. But at least we know how he feels.

Or consider the former Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives, Mac McCutcheon.

“The McCutcheons have not been charged or accused of any wrongdoing by federal authorities,” 1819 News recently reported. “But their influence was used to help with regulatory and legal issues the company faced at the state level.”

1819 News also “uncovered documents showing that Mac McCutcheon intervened in the legislative process by sponsoring a resolution directly related to QBR’s core business, neuropathy testing.” McCutcheon and his son have thus far gone scott-free, while “numerous others associated with the company have been either convicted or pleaded guilty to healthcare-related charges in 2022. All of them are currently awaiting sentencing.”

But rest assured, McCutcheon has a new position, for Gov. Kay Ivey appointed him the chairman of the Madison County Commission.

Finally, I'm sure you've heard about Prattville schools, a place that feels a lot like a dumpster fire right now. Not because things never happen in school. They do. A lot. And not because we aren’t thankful for our teachers. We are.

But the Prattville issues flared up because school leadership didn't dare speak of what happened. They weren't honest.

Instead, it was kids who told their parents what was going on. Things like a kid masturbating in class. Or the woke lesson handed out in English class last fall.

At least they talked about it. But it was after the fact, of course, and parents weren't notified. And then parents weren’t allowed to speak at a recent board meeting.

Sure, there's procedures. And those procedures might have been followed if parents were given the courtesy of information, horrifying though it may have been.

But now? Many parents have joined the chorus of people questioning school leaders about why they weren’t honest with parents, or why they won't fight for our kids.

And where is the Alabama Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey? What does he think?

The bottom line is that our leaders aren’t interested in our welfare. But they’re very much interested in their own. Which means we can’t count on them.

So it is on us to stay alert, to make each other aware of what’s really going on. And like our scrappy, three-legged cat Rue, to fend off danger.

Because no one is coming to save us. Not even in Alabama.

Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House District 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].