Republicans and conservatives should consider rediscovering common ground with organized labor and embrace smart bipartisan positions about trades as a national security issue. There is a real risk that we fail to increase the number of professionals that contribute not only to our economic and civic well-being, but also to critical areas of national defense in skilled labor positions. A strong union job with the associated benefits and pay is much more appealing as an alternative to student loans than the same work without.
Workers who engage in collective bargaining are at a distinct advantage compared to those who do not. It is also, in my opinion, an essential step on the path of re-embracing trade schools and blue collar work as an alternative to what is often seen as a mandatory secondary education at a university.
A vibrant labor movement can serve as a check against excessive government intervention and provide mentorship and fraternity to new workers. By enabling workers to negotiate collectively, unions contribute to a more efficient labor market, promote skilled workers, and can prevent exploitation.
Robert Owens, Lexington
Bait and switch
The Kentucky GOP leaders say they are now “open to” Kentucky abortion exceptions given the recent off-year election drubbing they experienced. When I read the article recently in the Herald Leader, I immediately thought, “ when elephants fly.” The “open to” or “seriously consider” phrases are ploys to draw attention away from the near total control the old Frankfort men want to place on reproductive rights for all women in Kentucky.
Before the recent election, the Kentucky GOP voice was centered on “what more can we do to completely restrict women’s reproductive rights?” and that’s still the GOP real plan moving forward. Being “open to” is a conceptual “bait and switch” tactic to prevent too many people from voting Democratic in 2024. Being “open to” really means “forget it, no way, take a hike. We aren’t changing!” The old men simply cannot let their near total control of Kentucky government slip away in the next election. Between then and now, “the men” will be “open to consider” adding abortion exceptions, but come the day after the 2024 elections, it will be back to a full frontal attack on the remaining women’s reproductive rights in Kentucky. Make no mistake about that.
Gene Lockhart, Lexington
I hope every sane adult in this country see’s what I see. People can pretend that it’s not happening, and that it’s all in our heads, but optimists like myself aren’t blind to the reality of it all.
Our country, the United States, has morphed into something many Americans no longer recognize. Nobody could have told us that the racial and ethnic issues would divide this country into several pieces. A piece for every race and religion. Pieces that were once joined together like a puzzle, right beside each other, and seemingly getting along with each other as if we always have. Sure, we’ve had our disagreements, but we’ve always managed to make it through a healing process, no matter how slowly it progressed. Many Americans realized early in their lives that we are all stronger together than we are apart.
And then one mean and evil, hate-filled individual became president of the United States and changed all of that. It’s as though former President Donald Trump stood on top of a mountain with a giant bullhorn and told Americans that it’s okay not to like other human beings for no good reason. I fear we may never fully recover from this.
Yolanda Averette, Lexington
Over the past several weeks, since Israel’s version of 9/11 took place on Oct. 7, dozens of mega-donors have rescinded their support for today’s Democratic Party. After years of contributing billions of dollars, these very rich donors have finally become “WOKE” to the fact that they have spent decades supporting a party whose far-left, progressive base is anti-Semitic and Jew-hating while actively advocating the destruction of Israel.
Over the years some Democrat Congressional members have openly voiced and displayed their disdain for Jews and Israel, while their entire party condones such behavior. The etiology of today’s college student-based, anti-Israeli protests supporting Hamas’ atrocities of October 7th can be traced back more than 30 years of progressive/liberal indoctrination of our education system. Watching naive, spoiled, propagandized college students engaging in such protests eerily reminds me of similar protests in 1979 by Iranian college students that precipitated the infamous Iranian Hostage Crisis.
Voting for the “ideals” of the progressive far-left will result in more anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews and Israel. These attitudes and behaviors are as anti-American as possible. To paraphrase the worst, most racist U.S. President in American history, Donald Trump, “If you vote Democrat, you ain’t Jewish!”
Steve Nussbaum, Nicholasville
Current national riots, protests and insurrections by anti-America zealots, who support terrorism, are nothing new but simply now run under a new name, “From the River to the Sea” – the pro-Palestinian protest cry. This time they support hideous HAMAS murderers, but don’t be fooled, it’s propelled by a historic “hate America” philosophy prevalent over the last 50 years.
We’ve seen them before on the national stage and the actors are no different ... rich, white students; a lying media; university professors; anti-capitalists; the deep state; and anti-free speech liberals. During Vietnam they were called the “Weather Underground” and “Students for A Democratic Society,” etc. In the 80s ,these groups supported Communist Sandinistas. In the 90s, they supported climate clowns. And following 9/11, it was back to anti-war crowds: Code Pink and the Southern Poverty Law Center. More recently, America has suffered Occupy Wall Street, Antifa, Black Lives Matter and now pro-terrorists yelling “From the River to the Sea.”
These historic groups have the same mindset: they hate America, oppose free speech, detest democracy, suppress liberty and deny individual rights. Look at their rabid nature as they violently agitate. After Nam they spit on me, now they spit on you!
To paraphrase Shakespeare, “The Persons(sic) doth protest too much, methinks.
Robert Adams, Lexington
These are not coincidences.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) tactic: Attack the economy (with shutdown), paralyze congress
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) tactic: Delegitimize the judiciary, prosecution, federal law enforcement agencies and intelligence community
Rep. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tactic: Attack our diplomatic structure by blocking diplomatic appointments
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) tactic: Make a mockery of democracy, and yes the GOP itself.
Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Co.) tactic: Attack unity with cultural wedge issues and even suggest secession, engage in aimless theater with constant meaningless impeachment efforts
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) tactic: Attack our national readiness and defense by blocking promotions.
All of these are supported by “Dark Money” political action committees of globalized billionaires forwarding a white-supremacist, bible-thumping, nationalistic, fascist agenda and doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s work for him here in our country. They are infiltrators weakening our nation to divert, distract, divide, dismantle, and destroy democracy, and to dominate with autocracy.
These are features of an attack on our nation.
Robert Moreland, Lexington
In any contest, including elections, there will be a winner and a loser. The etiquette of defeat is to be gracious and accept it with dignity and decorum. In the recent gubernatorial race between Gov. Andy Beshear and Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the concession speech given by Cameron was dignified and well-spoken.
Beshear ran his campaign on the idea that we are all Kentuckians and there is no “red” or “blue.” He said he would work for and represent all of the people of the Commonwealth. What a breath of fresh air in a divided nation!
Sadly, Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) threw down the gauntlet saying, “It will not be a good 4 years for him, I can tell you right now… and I will lead the way in that irrelevancy.” I wonder if he is aware of the motto on the Kentucky state flag: “United We Stand Divided We Fall”?
The people re-elected Beshear. Thayer needs to act like an adult. He should check his ego and partisanship at the door and work to make Kentucky a better place for all.
Cheryl Keenan, Lexington
Thanks to Roger Guffey for the history lesson on the U.S. economy. A few points from the here and now under President Joe Biden. Mortgage rates when Biden took office were under 3 percent. Now? Around eight percent. A gallon of gas when Biden took office was $2.46 a gallon. Now? A dollar more than that. Inflation has ranged from 4 to 9 percent during Biden’s three years in office. Toss in over five million unknown people crossing our southern border and you have a witches’ brew of misery in America.
Doug Reed, Lexington
Compiled by Liz Carey