Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced Monday his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination for 2016. I can't think of anything scarier than Cruz as our next president.
Cruz spoke at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, telling those young minds to stand up and fight for liberty.
He would do the same by repealing the Affordable Care Act, doing away with the Internal Revenue Service, securing our borders and denying same-sex marriages, he said.
I've heard similar points made by candidates in Kentucky running for governor.
Never miss a local story.
I can't help but wonder why these candidates aren't talking about raising the minimum wage. I'd bet if they did, they'd win in a landslide.
According to the Working Poor Families Project, which began in 2002 and partners with 22 states, including Kentucky, and the District of Columbia, increasing the minimum wage and enforcing equal pay provisions would go a long way toward reducing poverty in this country.
The report said that as of January, 29 states have set the minimum wage at more than the federal level of $7.25 an hour, which works out to about $15,000 a year. What family do you know of that can find housing, food, clothing, medical care and an occasional movie for that kind of money?
Talking about being a Christian and a conservative does not put food on those tables.
And could I please hear a few words about affordable housing, the positive results of the Affordable Care Act, the need for different educational opportunities, and the rising number of incidents of racial and sexual intolerance?
Three years ago, according to a recent report released by the WPFP, 38.8 percent of low-income working families in Kentucky had one parent without health insurance.
According to a Gallup poll, the state had 20.4 percent of its residents living without health insurance in 2013. By the middle of 2014, after the Affordable Care Act was made law, that number dropped to 11.9 percent.
Why would politicians want to kill that? Don't they want enough people in this state and this country healthy enough to vote for them?
Which of the politicians is talking about adult education?
That last recession knocked a lot of breadwinners to their knees. Many of the companies they worked for no longer exist. Is anyone talking about training programs to get those workers reintroduced to jobs that would provide the living wages they lost?
"Closing gaps in education is especially important to reduce disparities among working families," the WPFP report said. "Too many minority men and women become disconnected from career opportunities because they lack the necessary career opportunities, because they lack the necessary education and skills."
With that in mind, have you heard any politicians talking about closing the achievement gap?
"Between 2008 and 2012, 49 out of 50 states reduced per-student funding for higher education," according to the report. WPFP called for increasing need-based tuition assistance for non-traditional students and special populations.
Please talk to me about that.
Whether the IRS has put more pressure on conservative or Tea Party groups to prove their status, or whether the gay or lesbian couple down the street wants to get married, doesn't put food on the plates of low-income families. Patrolling our borders better, while offering a path to citizenship to the millions of brown people already living here, seems rather Christian to me. Shouldn't that idea have Christian conservatives shouting, "Praise the Lord"?
We have a lot of unmet needs in this country and in our state. We have people who have been ignored, left out or stepped on. Helping those people helps us all.
When politicians address those concerns publicly, suggesting programs or initiatives that improve our lives instead of trying to scare us or take away programs that work, I will consider them viable candidates.
I'm not seeing Ted Cruz as a viable candidate.