Letter from the Chair – 03/11/2022

Well another week is quickly waning down and another winter storm is threatening our weekend. Kentucky winters are pretty indicative of Kentucky and her politics these days: chaotic and ever-changing.

As I look over the Grant County Democratic Party, I see so much potential yet so much confusion. I want to offer positive words to encourage and move us forward, but I see so many who are simply sitting back and waiting for…something. Inspiration? Salvation? Sanity?

The truth of the matter is that we have to stand up and step out. We, ourselves. Last week there was a “People’s Convoy” that passed along I-75, ostensibly heading to DC. At least I think that’s what it was and where it was heading. While it was on the front page of the Newspaper, the main thing I saw was a local business with an owner desperate to stay in the limelight to make money and have influence. Using Trumpism, this owner, from all reports, isn’t even an American Citizen, homeschools their children and is a darling of the local conservative movement.

We Democrats and liberals seem to simply move along and let it go. We seem to be allowing the chaos and anger to permeate our media, our outlook and our society; held on our back foot as the loud conservatives lead.

The truth is the “People’s Convoy” was supposed to be an offshoot of the Canadian Truckers Strike that was in protest of COVID-19 Restrictions in Canada. In reality, much of the Canadian “movement” was funded by American Conservatives, even the Q-Anon faction. As the Strike in Canada came to an end with arrests and removal; a tiny but loud faction of conservative American truckers decided they needed to show their strength. A proposed truckers convoy was supposed to happen ahead of Joe Biden’s March 1 State Of The Union address. Organized by an “MMA fighter and Maryland gubernatorial hopeful” who described on paperwork the activity as a “Peaceful Demonstration/Assembly! Christian Music/Speakers against mandates. Support of Convoys in Canada. Lifting mandates in DC/USA” originally had 3,000 attendees listed, then was revised to 500. At the associated rally, there were around 20 people and there were about five trucks that actually showed up. Their “protest” for masking and vaccination mandates came at a time of easing of restrictions from the pandemic and, frankly, there was nothing to protest. So, instead of accepting that truth, ralliers changed the name to the “People’s Convoy” and kept on trucking.

Make no mistake, these “protestors” are a minority that has a very, very loud and angry voice.

This is what came through Grant County the other day. The “People’s Convoy” is a convolution of antimasking, antivaxxing, conservative conspiracists and just plain attention-getting. And what resulted was simply a bunch of flag-waving, traffic-snarling, attention-mongering that showed did not show Grant County as anything but a conservative stronghold. Our austere house representative, as usual, showed up for the cameras and the business owner to spout the tried and true anti-pandemic rhetoric. There were also Ohio and Down in Kentucky darlings of the anti-pandemic present to glean some attention.

In reality, few, if any, truckers stopped at the location. It was simply another of the empty exercises the conservatives in Grant County do that draw attention, cause chaos and spout anger. All the while, nothing of any value is being done.

We as liberals and Democrats need to make our decision: do we continue to allow these vacuous voices to lead our County and by extension to echo the similar empty, angry voices in the state and country; or do we stand up and step out to bring substance and sanity back through supporting real issues like fighting the exploding drug issues, bringing substantial jobs—not just low paying, low benefit jobs—to the county and supporting strong, fact-based and fulfilling public education.

We have a voice. We should use it. Like the lady who wrote the Letter to the Editor that was a great counterbalance to the chaos of the “convoy.”

We need to be the sane counterbalance: standing up, stepping forward and being seen.