Universal pre-K, which was once considered a pipedream for liberal Democrats, is coming closer to reality — because predominantly white conservatives in the deep red state of Alabama have decided to dream along with liberals. After decades of lobbying by early childhood advocates, local businessmen agreed to fund individual programs and initiatives, and used their influence with the staunchly Republican legislature to increase state spending on pre-K in 2012 by $9 million, up 47 percent from the year before. In…