Voter apathy the key message from midterm election
Sen. Mitch McConnell did not receive a mandate. That's because the real elephant in the room was voter apathy.
The majority of registered voters found neither he nor his opponent compelling enough to even spend 30 minutes exercising their constitutional right to vote.
This is a sad and sobering moment. McConnell should do everything in his power to change the laws and the tenor of this great land so that next election cycle we won't have such a shameful showing at the polls.
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If he wants voter-ID laws, then institute a system that issues completely free and easily accessible IDs to all voters. Don't institute a system that discriminates against minorities and the poor.
We ought to look at a reverse poll tax that penalizes people for not voting for at least "none of the above." Of course we would need to first have that option.
It would need to be coupled with a 51 percent runoff threshold. Further, an actual paper ballot would protect votes in the event of a recount.
McConnell has again shown himself to be a consummate politician, now it's time to set his sights higher and become, instead, a consummate statesman.
Charles A. Bowsher
First of all, it seems beneath the governor of our state, or any state, to use such adolescent language as "Tweedledee and Tweedledum" to publicly address anyone.
This is especially true when the objects of the immature name-calling are the sitting United States senators representing the very state he governs.
Nonetheless, that was the case when Gov. Steve Beshear was in Owensboro 11th-hour campaigning.
Interestingly enough, it wasn't long ago that Beshear was in Owensboro for the ribbon cutting of the city's new convention center, a signature piece of an impressive riverfront development project.
I don't recall him referring to Mitch McConnell as "Tweedledee" or "Tweedledum" then.
What he did say was, "the only word that comes to my mind is wow." Beshear must have forgotten about the $40 million that McConnell secured for the city that jump-started the redevelopment.
Without that, the plans for the project would likely still be collecting dust while city leaders attempted to nickel and dime their way to the starting line.
Use the filibuster
Congratulations to the GOP on gaining control of the Senate, and for placing Sen. Mitch McConnell in line to be majority leader.
But to the remaining Senate Democrats, don't despair; you still have a powerful tool. It's called the filibuster. Please use it liberally (no pun intended).
Senate Democrats need to filibuster in the morning, filibuster at noontime, and filibuster when the evening comes. Filibuster until it hurts. Filibuster, even when it hurts the nation.
This may seem like an extreme strategy but, as they say, turnabout is fair play. And, I think all Democrats can agree, the single most important thing to achieve is for McConnell to be a one-term majority leader.
The Republicans did not win control of the Senate in the 2014 elections. Mitch McConnell raised the standard to 60 votes required to get anything done.
Now, the Democrats can filibuster him and he only has 52 votes — not enough to get anything done. McConnell will also have to ask the president to sign the laws that he passes — the same president whom he has been obstructing for the last six years. Why would the president sign anything he sends him? It is payback time.
So, let's not exaggerate McConnell's power, He has made a lot of enemies and burned a lot of bridges and it is now time for him to get burned by the filibuster trick that he used more than 400 times.
Paper out of touch
I would like to thank the editorial board for endorsing Alison Lundergan Grimes. It has shown that it sure knows how to pick a loser and be completely out of touch with the rest of the state.
The election was a deluxe horsewhipping and I'm proud, as a 40-year Democrat, to have helped it.
It's apparently OK to shut down the coal industry as long as you get to keep yours. How out of touch is that?
This universe is full of carbon, so reducing a footprint is nothing. I saw Robert Stivers on Hazard TV saying that the federal government has caused our depression.
Quite true. When the president has permits held up for five years that normally take 30 to 60 days, who's fooling who?
Ray E. Davis Jr.
So, in order to demonstrate our disgust with the lack of progress in Washington, we re-elected a prime architect of that very dysfunction.
Amazing. Surely a war on education is being won in the commonwealth.
Marijuana won big
Marijuana was the big winner of the 2014 elections. Voters legalized marijuana in Washington, D.C.; Portland, Maine; Alaska and Oregon for people over age 21.
It will be taxed and regulated under the existing alcohol laws. Voters in Guam and New Mexico legalized medical marijuana.
One bright spot in Kentucky is that in Lexington the voters rejected the police-state agenda of Anthany Beatty.
Half of the country has now legalized marijuana, why are people in Kentucky still being arrested and going to prison? It is time for our government to leave marijuana smokers alone and stop persecuting them.
We still have the world's largest prison population and 85 percent of all drug arrests are for marijuana. The majority of the public has not supported the war against marijuana for the last 20 years. When will our politicians catch up?
I would like to thank Anthany Beatty for running for mayor. I liked the other guy better but I would consider voting for Beatty if he ran again.
What about the vets?
It took less than two days before our politicians returned to the typical partisan politics: President Barack Obama pushing immigration reform and the GOP with the Keystone Pipeline and tax reform, among several issues.
Meanwhile, our hospitals for veterans remain a mess that is costing the lives of those who did nothing but defend this country. Veterans' suicide rates continue to climb, the luck for those with physical wounds hasn't improved, and the nation or its politicians don't seem to care.
I have seen more stories about a man eating at the Olive Garden recently than I have about the disgusting state of our Veterans Administration. I simply ask, can we please get our priorities in order, before we lose any more of these veterans to something that is preventable?
An education in service
My grandson Trey, 16, recently told me he wants to join the National Guard as soon as he is eligible. I have to admit, when he told me both pride and fear filled my thoughts.
Last Tuesday, schools were out for Election Day. This is a privilege and responsibility won by many who fought and died for it.
This Tuesday will be Veterans Day and school will go on as scheduled. I have a problem with that.
On that day, Trey will not be going to school, instead he will be attending the greatest history lesson he will ever have.
We will spend the day visiting the Veterans Administration Hospital, military cemeteries and monuments. We will seek out those who served and continue to serve. We will ask to hear their stories, respect those who do not wish to share and humbly thank them for their service.
The following day, I will send a note to school as required. I will not care if it is considered "unexcused," but that would be wrong.
I am always telling my grandchildren, "You have to know from where you came, to know where you are going."
On Nov.11, I am going to show them.
What a shame that Alison Grimes would not plainly concede the Senate election instead of saying only that the result was not what she had hoped for.
Could she have not been like Mayor Jim Gray, Chief Anthany Beatty, Congressman Andy Barr, and Elisabeth Jensen and acknowledged an effective campaign and good wishes for the future work of her opponent?
Such a response would have shown so much more grace and courtesy.
Bob G. Rogers
When it comes to federal elections in Central and Eastern Kentucky, is there any political currency more worthless than an endorsement by the Herald-Leader?
Don't worry. Be happy.
We just bought the best senator money (lots of it) can buy.