Monday, November 28, 2016

Lessons and Looking Ahead

Jessamine County Democrats,

I believe that the purpose of politics and of government ought to be to seek the best ways to empower and protect people.

My family has called almost the same patch of Kentucky soil home for a little over 200 years, and yes, it's right here in beautiful Jessamine County! Kentucky is in my blood and to stand up for her is my highest honor, privilege and deepest sense of responsibility. I do this through politics, activism, and even poetry. I will not back down from this endeavor.

To that end, I have followed my principles and values firmly to my dedication and service through the Democratic party. I believe in our party. I say that unflinchingly and with the highest resolve. I say that even in the face of things before us, the changing atmosphere in both Frankfort and Washington D.C. Let me say it again, I am proud to be a Democrat.

We have work to do, tough questions to answer, and hard lessons to learn but I believe in the Democratic party. I believe in OUR party, and because it is each of ours, I believe the responsibility to shape and guide where we go from here is on each of our shoulders. It is and ought to be up to us to determine what Kentucky Democrat, and what Jessamine County Democrat ought to mean going forward.

Our reality changed on Tuesday, November 8th. For the good of Kentucky, we need to listen and to pay close attention to the real lessons being given to us. We need to stand up for what we believe, feet planted firmly, shoulders back, chest out, proud of the principles that guide us and define us. We must be resolutely determined to follow our morals to service and leadership. We must become the leaders that we need, each of us sharing in the responsibilities that will be required of us to grow our Party from the grassroots up, building our comeback. We must each do this because it this isn't just one person or another's party, this is OUR Jessamine County Democratic Party

We don't need to do this just because we want a party to survive either. We need to do it because we believe fully that we, the Democratic party, are the last true line of defense for real people with real problems, and we must make sure that that is what we are and are constantly bettering ourselves to be: The Party of the People.

I do not believe that the policies, attitudes, and politics that hid behind a cloak of populism, that hid behind promises that are far more in line with the Democratic party than the GOP are the best policies, attitudes, and politics for the good of the Commonwealth or the good of the Country. In fact, I believe that the true ugly nature of these policies, of these attitudes, and these politics will throw away any hint of care for the working class as soon as a decision between the 1% Billionaires and the rest of us has to be made (the proof of which is already showing itself in the President Elect's proposed cabinet members, made up of several billionaires with a history set against the middle class). That when the new Republican Majority here in Kentucky takes up the reins in January, their policies won’t help but hurt the hard workers who proudly call our Commonwealth home.

It’s time that we more fully, more directly, and with greater resolve and focus, address the realities of hard-working Kentuckians who bust their butts and break their backs to make enough money to feed their families and pursue a little happiness along the way. We shouldn’t offer these messages as just that, a message to turn a head or gain a vote, we should do it because it’s right and the Kentucky people look to us to stand up for them and their families. It’s time that we risk some losses if it might mean some gains for the minimum wage workers who want to earn enough to live on, or if it means some gains for the single mom who is looking at her two jobs and still wondering how she’s going to afford to pay for daycare this month, or if it means gains for the 400,000 Kentuckians who have access to health care (many for the first time) that might not have it at all after January thanks to Governor Bevin and his new Majority.

To that end and for that purpose, fighting for a politics that represents the best in us and to empower and protect real people with real problems, I am working tirelessly for you, our Commonwealth and our Jessamine County Democratic Party.

So, yes, we do have our work cut out for us. But we’re not alone, we have each other. Let’s turn these feelings going on inside of us into fuel. Let’s turn these losses into lessons, these setbacks into launching points, and let’s build our comeback. It’s time to organize, strategize, plan and put things into motion. Who’s with me?

In solidarity,

Gregory D. Welch

Vice-chair