Wednesday, November 3, 2010

659. Get Right With God - Point/Counterpoint

My friend Tim Havrilek has been mentioned here in the blog before. He operates The Underground Rooster blog, a blog which is subtitled Politics and Life in Western Kentucky. This morning Tim's entry was called West Kentucky Results and My Take on General Election. I felt at least parts of it deserved a response. Below is Tim's entry (in italics) and following that is my response. Tim's blog, should you wish to read it for yourself, and I suggest you doing so as it, like mine, wanders from time-to-time away from politics can be accessed at But, this entry, and my response, are commentary on a subject Tim and I wholly agree upon - electing Democrats to office.

Tim Havrilek wrote:

It's early Wednesday morning and I'm still reviewing the results from across the state. First, I'm pleased that two of our clients were victorious that being Dennis Parrott in the 10th Senate District and Rep. Carl Rollins who chairs the House Education Committee. I'm sick about Will Cox Jr. losing his re-election bid for Mayor of Madisonville. The Republicans swept through Hopkins County. Sen. Jerry Rhoads retained his seat but lost his home county of Hopkins. Muhlenberg County provided Rhoads enough of a margin to win. The Republicans also picked up Eddie Ballards seat with the help of most big name Democrats in Hopkins. Republican Ben Waide won Eddie Ballard's seat with 56.59% of the vote (6,887 to Mike Duncan's 5,284. Rand Paul carried Hopkins County with 59% of the vote. Will Cox lost the mayor's race by 72 votes. It would appear that the African-American precincts in Madisonville decided to vote for Republicans this year.

Republicans did well in Trigg and Todd County. The Republicans retained the County Judge Executive position while picking up the Sheriff's office. Rand Pual carried Trigg by 19%. In Todd County Paul won also by 19% and Republicans picked up the County Judge Executive's seat.

Rex Smith waged a campaign that appeared to be very one-sided. Smith invested a lot of his own money and it seemed to have paid off. Bob Leeper's campaign was non-existent on the air waves. Smith ran very good commercials promoting his Christian and traditional West Kentucky values by using his Sunday School Class and pictures of himself with his shotgun as a backdrop. Former Governor Julian Carroll was also heavily involved in the Smith Campaign. Leeper did in fact pull the race out in the end with by a small margin from McCracken County losing Marshall and Ballard Counties.

It would appear that the Senate Democrats have lost two seats with Boswell and Reynolds losing and have picked up one Conservative Democrat by gaining Dennis Parrett . It would also appear the Republicans have gained a net 7 seats in the Kentucky House.

So what's the lesson. Well it's the same as its been for the last 26 years. Simply put there has never been nor will there ever be a future for a progressive/liberal agenda in Kentucky. Kentucky should have divorced itself years ago in a public manner from the National Democratic Party. Kentucky Democrats must embrace and promote only the issues important to the majority of Kentuckians. Jack Conway gave away a U.S Senate seat by not focusing and prioritising the federal issues important to Kentuckians that being agriculture, military,veterans, coal & fiscal conservatism. Until Democrats can prove that they are 100% committed to these issues then winning federal races will remain a futile effort in Rural Kentucky.

Democrats like Rex Smith, Will Coursey, and Martha Jane King were all smart enough to champion Christian values, guns, agriculture and veterans. In short, you don't get to hold office and talk about jobs and education until you get right with God and Rural Kentucky. Athough Smith lost his race he ran a very effective camapaine.

The lesson- There is no future in supporting or promoting the left wing platforms of the National Democratic Party. It's time for Conservative Democrats to rule the roost. The alternative-keep losing.

Below is my response:

Tim -- I tried to comment on your blog, as I have done many times in the past, but was restricted from doing so. Thus, I have copied below my comments in response to your most recent post. They take, as you might expect, an opposing view of some of what you said. Having said that, I otherwise hope all is well with you and yours.

Greetings from a tiny but bright Blue spot in a sea of Red, Louisville. I fully understand there are social issues which create a large gulf between how we vote up here and y'all vote down there. But I also believe that some of the "progressive/liberal" values we promote and support also offer and create a better way of life for many people, including your readership in rural and west Kentucky.

Serving the poor and the needy aren't geographic or ideologic issues. Providing healthcare - not the Obamacare which has many people upset, but the healthcare known as Medicare and Medicaid at the federal level, and K-chip and other programs at the state level, again, aren't geographic or ideologic issues - they are issues of importance to people in all of Kentucky's 120 counties.

I know that we on the left do an absolutely horrible job of communicating why these issues are important, irrespective of one's place on the political spectrum or the address and zip code on one's mailbox. The fact remains that these and many other tenets of the National Democratic Party serve well the hopes, dreams, and importantly, the needs of rural and west Kentuckians, as well as the rest of us.

If we as a country continue on a path of less government, continued lower and lower taxes, and widening the chasm of civility between people on the left and people on the right, and all of those in the middle, sooner or later there will be no government left to serve any one at any level for any purpose. That is the slippery slide of which we should all have a measure of concern. And, once down that slide which we've already begun, will be catastrophic for all Americans.

There is a reason that the founding fathers began the words of our Republic's guiding document, the United States Constitution, with the single word "We" - a word of simultaneous plurality and oneness. They understood that for America to succeed and thrive, which it has, there must be a social contract and construct among us. Since the election of Ronald Reagan, who successfully taught us the fallacy that the government is bad, our country has become less and less a citizenry of "We the people" and more and more a citizenry of "Everyman for himself and to hell with those who can't keep up."

I do not believe that "survival of the fittest" is in the best interests of the great many of us who, collectively [a word which I know I should not have used but there is no other which fully suggests its definition], are called Americans. And in the end, I hope that voters who feel this way will see the error of their ways and return towards Jesus' teachings in the gospels of "feed my sheep, tend to the poor, care for the elderly, the homeless, the orphaned, and the widowed." He also said to "render unto God and to render unto Caesar." Neither God (religion) nor Caesar (government) can do their respective works of grace, mercy, and justice, without sufficient support from the people.

It is wrong to believe that people who think as I do have not "gotten right with God" nor are not "championing Christian values" as you suggest. Most of us take very strongly our belief in God, our various denominational religious teachings, and fully believe we are in fact "right with God" and are working assiduously to "champion our Christian values."


Your thoughts?


Daniel S. said...

If someone is going to bring religious values into the discussion, they have to recognize that there is more than one religion.

Across the nation, it was a very bad year for the blue dogs. I'm center-left myself.

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oamfuchs said...

I agree with the analysis Jeff offered. As my candidates won and lost on Tuesday I had an overwhelming sadness at how much wider the void now is than it was even on Monday. I see no path back to "We" and that saddens and scares me.
Olivia Anne

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Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.