So Kentucky, let’s talk

Feb 3, 2016 at 3:10 pm
So Kentucky, let’s talk

You left a lot of your voters at home and accidentally elected Matt Bevin. It’s not OK, but I understand the apathy. Unfortunately, the rate of destruction to the state economy and government is certainly astounding. Bevin seems to be, at the very least, a man of his word. He promised to dismantle your healthcare, your childcare and your education system, and all you had to do to stop it was take a 20-minute trip to the voting booth.

So, on one hand, it’s your mistake to own. On the other, it is still your mistake to fix.

That Americans care so little about their electoral process is unbelievable. Growing up, my parents were adamant that we voted when we came of age. They talked to us about our history as African Americans and showed us how blacks were treated when we tried to vote. For me, not voting is not an option. My grandparents did not suffer the indignities of voting exams and worse for me to willfully ignore the process that allows me a voice in the outcome of the political process.  

I look at the candidates, the discontentment with the political process, and I’m struck that we don’t see the connection. The majority of candidates on either side have the same party message. One side wants to undo what President Obama has done. The other side seems to want to elect another Clinton at all costs. When we begin to see candidates with the same coating, we need to walk away. Be brave America. Grow a pair.

We have a couple of candidates who are “wild” cards. On the right side, the leading candidate is so popular because he is finally giving voice to the insecurities and prejudices of older, poor and lower middle class white Americans, and though these views are what the majority of Americans consider extreme, they expose a certain ignorance we’ve had of the intensity of the unhappiness of this group with a system they feel ignores their needs.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, where I sit firmly, we have a candidate whose ideas are so progressive that milquetoast Democrats are nervous. This fear is what keeps Democrats from sweeping every election. Don’t be scared, you bastards. Get to the polls.

We are so accustomed to the status quo that it is easy to understand why people on both sides are frightened. It’s cozy, comfortable, and it keeps us in a state of medicated acceptance.

This is the crux of my argument. We are a country due for something to shift, and we need to face that shift head on. Shit, what I am saying is that we need to make that shift happen. Stare it in the face.

As crazy as the militia standoff in Oregon seems, at the very least they truly believed the only way to make their beliefs known and to change what they thought was happening was to take action. And while I think they are fools, ultimately I’m happy to see they had some follow through.

Here’s where I am: I’m decidedly liberal, decidedly pro-taxation and pro-publicly funded education and healthcare because I know that when executed properly those programs create a healthier and stronger nation. Look around the world. We are lagging behind.

On the Republican side, I am seeing the same fear and division that created Nazi Germany. It is the same fear that gave us Joseph McCarthy and his communist witch hunts. It is fear of the collective power of people and the fear that people may actualize to a point in which they refute the authority people like McCarthy and now Trump hold so close. When Trump’s dollar means the same as yours and mine, what power does he have?

I want to see America move into the future. I want Kentucky and Indiana to move with it. We took steps with President Obama but basically we’ve had more of the same.

I’d like to see our country move in the direction of equity. I would like Americans at all economic levels to have similar opportunities. I don’t think having money should be the measure by which basic human needs are met. Of course this means we deal with economic disparity and attack the politics of prejudice and dismantle systems of oppression. We are worthy to self-actualize and that starts with the basics: food, shelter, healthcare and education. Basically, we deserve, America deserves, to become its promise. Voters?