(Fancy Farm, KY. August 4, 2012) -Speeding along a two lane country back road, past large fields of burnt corn and soybeans, an aging school bus with fading yellow paint flaking off races past by a solitary figure.
A tall man, hands crossed before him, dressed in a black suit with a thin 1950’s style black tie, he watches sadly as the school bus, letters down its side spelling out “Kentucky’s Future”, careens down the old blacktop highway.
With eyes that have traveled up and down the river of time, the lone figure comments slowly on the scene unfolding before him.
“Somewhere in the realm of reality, at a crossroads of common sense and ignorance, a busload of leaders struggle to define their past, present, and future. Each individual on the bus is but a tragic figure in an ancient battle over the control of history. Each of these individuals has a part to play, out on a stage of illusion and power, where reality is always for sale.”
Each of these travelers will be faced with their own demons of political courage tests. For most of them, political courage is often packed in suitcases, only to be donned in extreme times of revolt or economic upheaval. Even then, it comes out only as a “last resort of will.”
Beware up ahead! The road is broken by a recent earthquake, falling into a deep canyon of economic ruin and human suffering. There is only a one lane bridge left intact over the economic hell hole.
The tall man in black follows with his eyes the bus movement down the old road.
He muses “Will they be able to tackle and direct change? Will progress win or will darkness of spirit become the new economic religion of the land?”
On the bus, Senator Mitch McConnell holds the steering wheel of Kentucky’s Future.
Speaker Greg Stumbo makes his move with a karate chop to Mitch, who folds like a cheap suit. Stumbo pushes Mitch’s limp body out of the driver’s seat, when a hard left hook from Crit Luallen knocks Stumbo up against the driver’s window. In this moment, his face is in a state of shock. Who thought she had it in her to play so rough?
Crit takes control of the steering wheel for about 10 seconds before the entangled bodies of Rep. Ben Chandler holding a frustrated Sen. David Williams in a head lock, fall on her. The struggling of all three tilts the old bus far to the edge of the road next to a sign marked Fancy Farm.
Just as the left front wheels of the school bus turn toward the edge of the asphalt, Congressman Whitfield is thrown into the mix by big oil lobbyists.
At this critical point, Whitfield lands atop the group pile and wraps his hands on the steering wheel. Before he can steer to a hard right, Attorney General Jack Conway steps on his face, forcing him to lose control of the wheel.
Just then Agriculture Commissioner James Comer tackles Conway by the waist with a fierce body slam into the windshield. Conway falls forward on top of the front bus door release.
As the limp body of McConnell starting to slide down the steps to the exposed door, teams of hardened big corporate Washington fighters throw themselves in his path to save him.
Before Mitch can be fully dragged back into safety, a new force of young progressives led by Auditor Adam Edelen, with Secretary of State Alison Grimes and Jennifer Moore, rush the steering wheel.
Edelen, using the weight of the state budget and the Kentucky Constitution, beats back a counter attack from Republican House leader Jeff Hoover, tea party true believers and the Bluegrass Institute. With Grimes and Moore dispatching Republican and tea party hard liners, Edelen drops down and uses the power of state auditor to seize the steering wheel.
With seconds before the bus leaps into the black unknown of complete budget melt down, a family of mother, father, son and daughter sitting in the last two seats of the bus watch in complete horror as elements of Frankfort big coal, medical and insurance lobbyists engage in hand to hand fighting with the Sierra Club and the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Old power fighting with new power is the true course of history.
At this moment, just as the left front wheel of the school bus leaves the asphalt, a set of firm hands take control of the wheel. Not looking back, as if in slow motion, this individual sees the entire political battlefield in an instant. With a final rush of energy, the new commander of the Kentucky bus of destiny floors the gas pedal.
The bus’s wheels dig into the cracking asphalt, reaching new insane speeds. The new driver takes straight aim for the future.
The tall man in black watches the bus’s movement down the old road.
“Will they be able to tackle and direct change? Will progress win or will darkness of spirit become the new economic religion of the land?
Always the tall man asks the same questions in these historical events. He never knows how to write the last scene. This part of the script is always in the hands of leaders who make choices, some good, some bad.
It is always about free will and the courage to fight for the right side of history. When in the middle of revolution it is often hard to know which side is right.