Award-winning columnist speaks to Hoover Chamber

Published 4:05 pm Monday, October 22, 2018

HOOVER – John Archibald has seen the bad people are capable of, but the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist with Alabama Media Group encouraged those attending the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 18, to look for the good.

Archibald began his column in 2004, and his work—focused on crime, government and more—has appeared in The Birmingham News, and the social media brand Reckon.

Politics is too often “tainted” by partisanship,” he said.

“That’s what is so tough in national politics right now—it’s like we’re in election mode all the time,” Archibald said and added that politics has become a “battle of insults” and both parties are to blame. “Here we are rooting for sides instead of rooting for America.”

Archibald referenced a Pew Poll that found fewer than 50 percent of both Republicans and Democrats like for their elected officials to compromise with the opposite party.

“So we stare across the aisle and make enemies of each other,” he said.

Archibald said he agreed to write about “reason in an unreasonable world” but almost abandoned the effort because of the political climate in the United States.

But one day, a lady at the Birmingham YMCA gave up her swimming lane, and then a man in the whirlpool entertained him by playing a harmonica.

A visitor to his office was down on his luck but still showed Archibald some magic tricks, and while he walked his dog, he took notice of the drivers who waved, slowed down and veered to the other side of the street to avoid him more so than the speeders that annoy him so often.

“All these things are tiny little things you don’t notice—things that happen every single day,” Archibald said. “It’s not on CNN or Fox or Twitter or Facebook or on the anonymous comments, but if you look around you, it’s right there all the time.

“I would urge you to look at real people every time you stop to worry about the state of our world. Real people, I promise you, are good, and I’m going to stick to that.”