Lower the voting age
Voting rights, gerrymandering, vulnerable voting machines; the worries multiply. Now’s the time for expanding the age limits. The vote should be granted to all citizens over the age of 15 (or 12 or 7?). It’s probably unconstitutional, but that doesn’t seem to matter much anymore.
The future of this nation, the future of our species, is of far greater consequence to our children and grandchildren than it is to grumpy old geezers. I’m 86 and white amid the macho cohort that thinks it elected John Wayne. For a lifetime after our passing generations will have to contend with the mess we’ve ignored or helped create: the deficit, climate change, gun violence, the wealth gap, opioid addiction, infrastructure decay, white nationalism, student debt, public education under attack, hate-spewing political division, truth, reason and science mocked.
For us to be determining the future for those who follow makes no sense. Age does not guarantee wisdom. And if we call this proposal outlandish, what do we call the madness going on now?
Elrod P. Hayes, Harrodsburg
Who will UMW support?
Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath hit Sen. Mitch McConnell hard with a campaign ad about his inaction on extending black lung healthcare benefits for miners. McConnell counterpunched with an ad touting support from the United Mine Workers.
But here’s the thing: In 2014 the UMW endorsed McConnell’s opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes. Also, according to Courier-Journal writer Tom Loftus, as far back as 2009 there was only one small $2,500 contribution from UMW to McConnell. The contribution came in 2017 when the UMW wanted McConnell to support legislation to fund miners’ pensions and healthcare. I guess technically donations indicate support but this case is misleading if you don’t know all the facts.
It will be interesting to see whom the UMW will support in 2020, especially now when miners are asking for McConnell to help them get millions of dollars in back wages and pension contributions from Blackjewel coal company, which declared bankruptcy. So far that support has been slow in coming.
Purdue Pharma not at fault
Purdue Pharma has filed for bankruptcy due to all the lawsuits blaming the manufacturer for the opioid epidemic. It’s a blatant shakedown.
Purdue Pharma’s drugs are designed to alleviate pain and suffering. The manufacturer should not be held responsible for the actions of individuals who misuse drugs. Society has lost perspective. The opioid epidemic is due to individuals seeking out drugs that give them a euphoric feeling. There would be no drug epidemic if it weren’t for people misusing prescription drugs and seeking out illegal drugs. They aren’t victims; they’re the criminals.
Society transposes the problem to makers and suppliers of the drugs, skipping over and discounting the huge influence of social factors.
The entertainment industry is never mentioned as a factor that promotes a drug lifestyle mixed with sex and violence; or families that fail to instill the moral and ethical values that give young people the self-worth and confidence that allows them to resist the social pressures of conformity in a permissive environment.
The pharmaceutical industry does not deserve this bad rap.
George Tomaich, Lexington
Boot McConnell out
Sen. Mitch McConnell’s only relevance to anyone is that he is making democracy and Congress irrelevant and enabling totalitarianism. Like President Donald Trump, he has been undermining democracy at every turn.
It’s just that McConnell has been doing it much longer by normalizing and nurturing a culture of corruption. Money manipulation of our government, no matter the source, is McConnell’s main goal, not freedom, not equality, not justice,and certainly not our collective best interest or even the interest of those that pay taxes for his representation.
A Congress that is not relevant means that we are also; we are not represented. McConnell is a tyrant’s petty tyrant. The only reason Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t come out and back McConnell directly for president is that he could have never won. We need to take this brick from the dam of our politics and crush it out of existence as a lesson to any other person who would attempt to block democracy. Remove McConnell; the sooner the better.
Robert Moreland, Lexington