Morsels Of Truth: For The People or Buy The People - West Virginia Strong

For The People or Buy The People

Morsels Of Truth

I could live anywhere. I’m fortunate that the nature of my job lets me pick where I want to live. And I want to live here.

West Virginians face a wide variety of hardships. From roads, to schools, to opioids, to quality jobs, to a college football team that always seems to lose the most important game. I mean, come on, we can beat Top 10 teams, and then lose to Southern Florida School for Knitters and Weavers. Life is hard here.

One of the toughest challenges West Virginian’s face is our own state government. Some folks in the legislature seem more interested in protecting the industries and lobbies that pay for their campaigns than looking out for the health and wellbeing of the average citizen. Our state government is presumably founded on the principles of For the People, By the People. But sometimes I think corporations look at West Virginia and think: Forget the People, Buy the People in Charge.

The legislature has, among other things, made it possible for companies to drill on private land whether the owners want drilling or not. They call that co-tenancy. As in, you and the gas company are both tenants of your land. It makes it sound nicer. Imagine your doctoring say, “Good news! You and your liver are now co-hosting cancer!”

So why do I stay? Why does anybody stay? Because, as my favorite t-shirt reads, “West Virginia, the Best Virginia since 1863.”

This is a beautiful place, with beautiful people. We have our problems, sure. Some have been brought to us, some we have created on our own. On a whole, this state and the people here are worth fighting for. So, Happy Birthday West Virginia. We’re here to fight for you.

Bil Lepp is a nationally renowned storyteller and a PEN Award winning author. To see more of Bil's WV Strong content click here.


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