Restoring faith in Kentucky politics primary job of newly elected governor

Dear Gov.-elect Steve Beshear,

Tuesday you take office as governor, where you will serve for at least the next four years.

Many Democrats all over the state are celebrating your recent victory in Kentucky as a triumph of your party and a sweeping trend of Kentucky political thought toward the so-called “progressive” ideals of the Democratic Party.

Some even suggest that there has been a shift in nationwide political thought as Americans demand liberal policies and progressive reform — a thought that I find amusing.

Mr. Beshear, as you take office tomorrow, there are a few things you should know.

Kentuckians are sick and tired of Frankfort. We’re tired of the scandals, the corruption and the cronyism — problems that have infected our state long before Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s takeover four years ago.

We’re tired of being ranked so low on key issues such as education and health care. Once again, another problem that has been around long before we had a Republican governor.

You coasted through the gubernatorial election this year, essentially riding on the disgust that many Kentuckians had with Fletcher.

It’s not to say that your campaign didn’t provide good ideas and good solutions to those who wanted to hear them, but most voters were just tired of having Fletcher in office and were tired of the apparent corruption that has plagued recent Republican officers.

The 37 percent voter turnout this past election should be a sobering thought as you take office tomorrow.

That being said, you have the opportunity to do great things here. You have the opportunity to heal a state that has been pitted against itself in a bitter ideological battle. You have the opportunity to reach across party lines and make a genuine effort toward progress — something I hope we will all see you do.

I don’t expect a conservative administration from you, Mr. Beshear, but I do expect a successful one.

You campaigned on promises of not raising taxes while championing programs whose financial burden could be enormous. You offered innovative ways to increase the flow of money in Kentucky, and you have the potential of creating very successful programs to make our state strong. Your focus should always be on doing just that.

As you head into the most important office in the state, you must always stay focused on one thing: Kentuckians.

We want low taxes and responsible gun rights. We embrace the family values our state was built on and oppose attempts to secularize our society. We value freedom and hate corruption. We’re proud of our heritage, and we’re eager to impress the world.

It’s your job to lead Kentucky for the next four years, creating an economy that flourishes and a state that is competitive from every angle.

Your ideas for doing this have included building an accessible and competitive early start in school, making sure all of our children have quality health insurance, and enticing Kentucky graduates to stay and work in the commonwealth. We will all watch as you work to make these plans and promises come to fruition, and we will remember if they don’t.

I eagerly wait to see where you take us after your months of promising to reform Frankfort and revitalize our state.

Although I don’t share your ideology and party affiliation, I do share your desire to improve the lives of all Kentuckians. This common ground is something you will share with almost everyone you encounter as you work toward bipartisan solutions during your next four years. Remembering this will benefit you in outstanding ways.

Mr. Beshear, good luck as you take office Tuesday. All of us, both Republicans and Democrats alike, eagerly wait as you make your first moves as our next governor.

You promised to restore our faith in Frankfort — we expect you to do just that.

Brett Nolan is a philosophy and political science sophomore. E-mail [email protected]