On Sesame Street Kermit the Frog sang “It’s Not Easy Being Green” long before the word green was used to describe sustainable environmental practices. He was only complaining about how hard it was to be different than other, more popular colors.
In West Kentucky, it is not easy being Blue when so many of our neighbors are Red.
Local, state, and national Republicans tell us that our President is not only incompetent, but also mentally deficient. (Some were willing to say that about Biden’s predecessor but most of them changed their mind once he was elected.)
They also say that Democrats want to spend too much, especially when the Dems want to spend it on people instead of wars in the Middle East.
Republicans also complain loudly about “deficit spending” that will “burden our grandchildren,” but only when Dems control the government.
They call Democrats “socialists,” when we want to spend money helping the poor, but they are happy to subsidize the very rich with tax breaks – socialism for the rich.
Many Republicans say that wearing masks to limit the spread of COVID limits their freedom to choose, yet many of these same people want to limit the right of voters to choose by making it harder to vote, especially in cities where many Democrats live.
They say that Democrats are “baby-killers” but oppose adequate child care and parental leave to help keep children and their families physically and mentally healthy after the babies are born.
Republicans believe we will all be safer if we carry guns, even though the second amendment to the Constitution pretty clearly refers to arming “a well-regulated militia.”
Many of our Republican friends seem to think that poverty is a moral issue (a matter of character) but not a political and economic one that government should address.
These distortions must be addressed – but even more serious is the current Trumpist practice of replacing governing and policy with angry polemical attacks on real and imagined enemies.
We must “set the record straight” because the future of our democracy is at stake. A recent Facebook post by a Murray State alumni and former student whom I met in 2007 while teaching in Regensburg, Germany, explains what Democrats do and don’t want:
• “I don’t want free healthcare. I want my taxes to pay for it, not for war.
• I don’t want money for nothing. I want a job that pays for my basic needs.
• I don’t want a free place to live. I want affordable housing that costs no more than 30% of my income.
• I don’t want corporations to be unprofitable. I want them out of the regulatory, policy-making, and political election processes.
• I don’t expect [require?] elections to deliver the result I want. I want my vote to count [and to be counted].
• I don’t want the wealthy to pay for everything. I want them to pay their fair share.”
And here at home, Republicans in Calloway County continue to mislead by saying Democrats want to “deny history” by moving the statue of Robert E. Lee from the courthouse lawn. We actually want to preserve history by moving the statute to a safe, public place where it can be protected and studied as an example of the “Lost Cause” myth that the Civil War wasn’t really about slavery but only a bid for states-rights.
It was put where it is today a century ago as a whites-only drinking fountain, a symbol of white supremacy to keep blacks in their place.
Republican leaders who control our county government have also imitated their leaders in Congress by refusing to solve real problems. They ignored opportunities to repair or replace our worn-out swimming pool before turning it over to the city of Murray.
Some Republicans fought long and hard to keep our county library from being expanded. Fortunately, common sense (and some new Board members) finally prevailed.
As a fifty-two year resident of Murray, I have seen many improvements. This is a plea to my non-Trumpist Republican and Independent friends and neighbors to assist local Democrats in making further progress and freeing Calloway County from the non-governing GOP, which complains but doesn’t create.
Written by Ken Wolf
Forward Kentucky Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.
– Only real names and email addresses allowed for sign-ups and comments.
– Vigorous discussion is encouraged, but comments that go over the line will be deleted.
Sign in or become a Forward Kentucky Subscriber to join the conversation. Just enter your email below to get a log in link.