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Do Democrats Dream?
Lundergan-Grimes - a true FDR Democrat

 

Where are Democrats in this age of redefining the American experiment for the 21st Century?

I fear many are lost among the alleyways of lobbyist pleasures. I fear many of them are lost without a moral compass in an age old reality of power and money trumping human suffering and cultural pain. I fear many are getting high on the opium of “public service equals elitism with special retirements, lobbyist benefits, and a sense that personal riches come with position.”

Long gone is our innocence of the workings of government. I still remember the pain of being robbed of John, Robert, and Martin. Both the Kennedys and King spoke to us of a better place, this America. They were dreamers, who dreamed by the light of day. They came from different worlds but their spirit met in the churning times of the 1960s.

My generation questioned our fathers and their way of life. We questioned all that we were made to obey without reason. We questioned war and its horrible cost to communities. We wanted to explore the new world of peace, of love, of government that stooped down to uplift. We simply wanted to dream of a new tomorrow.

Much water has run through the rivers of time. I am no longer that simple naive young man, seeking to change the world. I am now much more seasoned and stained with watching governor after governor fall victim to a vicious status quo controlled by big coal, big oil, and big drug firms.

I stand and look around me for those bold new thinkers and leaders who will pull Kentucky forward. The ranks are very slim. It is Republicans like Rand Paul and James Comer who are attacking the jungle of bad government and corrupt thinking, daring to propose a new common sense path for all of Kentucky to walk.

And of the current field of statewide Democratic voices, I count only a few among those who will be ready for the 2014-15 gauntlet of executive branch elections. 

Democrats like Adam Edelen, Allison Lundergan Grimes, Jack Conway, Dr. Dan Mongiardo, Jerry Abramson, and  Ben Chandler have all waged statewide battles and campaigns. These are the battle tested state Democrats.

Democrats like Crit Luallen and Jennifer Moore have all the merit badges of being good Democrats but lack any real battle scars of winning or losing a statewide race. Add to this mix names like Rep. Rocky Akins, Mayor Greg Fischer, recovering politician Jonathan Miller, plus two to three very rich business types and you have the beginnings of 2014-15 Democratic Primary season. 

The 2014-15 elections will be marked by the success of the reformers. Winning issues and policy platforms will be about (1) right sizing state government (2) new 21st century economic and job development and (3) control of a real problem solving state budget.

Right now state and much of local government is broken and running out of money. Our traditional 100 years of American safety net is being torn apart on a daily basis. As a nation and a state, we are losing the capacity to feel or understand the struggles of middle and poor classes

We old Democrats are getting tired of battle. The time is now for a new kind of young leaders, who are not afraid to dream in the light of day about hope.

In the long list of wannabe new leaders of a new Kentucky, two names stand out. 

The voices of Edelen and Lundergan-Grimes are out front of the Democratic Party.   These young Democrats get it. They are close to the people and carry freshness with them. It will be their burden, somehow, to do battle with the Grand Old Party in Kentucky.

Both Edelen and Lundergan-Grimes are at the right place in our history at the right time with the right message. They live and breathe “reform politics.” Both are change agents with family histories and values that frame their abilities to conquer Kentucky’s disjointed and broken landscape called modern Kentucky government.

They both have a true Franklin D. Roosevelt  moral compass concerning the rights and obligations of state and national parties to provide leadership for all the people, not just for the wealthy and privileged.

Compassionate Democrats still dream of better tomorrows. They are now listening to the call of history. They are making their plans to engage in an epic battle of haves and have nots in America and in Kentucky.

We will know them by their statements of vision for this young century. They will be dreamers of places we have yet traveled to as a culture and civilization.


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