In this historic election, most of us agree, voters didn't suddenly fall in love with Republicans. They fell out of love with Democrats.
In fact, they fell out of love with both parties and worked to put in an entirely new breed of constitutional, fiscal conservatives through the Tea Party movement.
Kentucky voters are willing and prepared to do exactly the same Democrat excision to the Republicans in the next election cycle.
So, elected officials are all on high notice. None will get a free pass. We don't care about their party affiliations, their careers or their fiery speeches.
We care about what they do to restore our freedoms and our prosperity, both so deeply eroded by their reckless and unconscionable spending policies that are jeopardizing for generations to come so much of what we hold dear.
We are more informed, more plugged in, increasingly educated and more committed than ever to paying attention to every single thing elected officials do over the long haul.
We are here to stay, and we are growing. We have the good fortune of access to the most sophisticated grass-roots communication system in history.
We are now able to put all of them under a microscope in real time, a reality with which the ruling class has never had to contend. It's called transparency. It's called accountability.
The first test of the newly elected Senate will happen next week in a vote on two issues put forth by South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint which will tell us a lot about two Kentucky senators: Sen.-elect Rand Paul and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The first issue, a Senate Republican earmark ban, supported by Paul, is largely symbolic and, in my view, extremely important at this unique moment in history.
Why? Because those of us who worked so hard to elect the current class are now on red alert, studying every word, every gesture, scrutinizing for early indicators as to whether someone will succumb to that seemingly inexorable and heady tug of power that transforms newcomers into politics-as-usual thinkers — that class of fallible, power-seeking humans called politicians.
The country is in fiscal peril and cannot wait. There is no time for losing ground. The Senate vote on earmarks can only mean one thing to voters: Elected officials are either serious about cutting spending or they are not.
The other proposal is an amendment to make it the policy of the Republican conference to support a constitutional amendment that forces Congress to balance the budget without raising taxes.
These two reforms — a ban on earmarks and a balanced budget amendment — are critical to saving us from financial collapse.
We already know which way Paul will cast his votes. The big question for Kentuckians is how McConnell will vote on these two early and important bellwether issues of the new Senate.
McConnell will reveal to Kentucky citizens, loudly and clearly, whether he has a sincere understanding of what we have said we want. We will also find out if he cares.
The worry is that, given his checkered fiscal voting record (voting for TARP to aid the financial industry, for example), he sees the Tea Party as a tool for the Republican Party.
And although his current rhetoric shows support for the new Tea Party agenda, actions are the only things that matter. We'll find out for certain Wednesday when he casts his votes on DeMint's two proposals for reducing government spending.
This will be the signal we need to know how we will move forward in the next election cycle.
I sincerely hope McConnell does not underestimate the influence of the Tea Party as he did in the Kentucky Republican Senate primary race.
We are eager to hear if he has learned the lessons and heard the message of this last election.