18 May

During Ronald Reagan’s campaign for Governor of California in 1966, he coined what has been known as the Eleventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” As an old Reagan Republican and looking through the fog of the thousands of campaign commercials these past months, the only thing one can conclude is that neither Daniel Cameron nor his campaign team have ever studied political history or heard of President Ronald Reagan.

As the curtain came down on the primary election, one was left to ask that one rhetorical question which Daniel never answered during the months of campaigning and that is exactly what will Daniel do if elected governor? One thing is certain, Daniel will no longer be able to run on a platform where he filed dozens of lawsuits against Andy Beshear. Instead, Daniel will have to turn his attention on supporting or rejecting legislation passed by Kentucky’s Republican legislature. Without Andy as governor, there will no longer be any checks or balances on the legislative process, a process which is controlled by a handful of leaders who believe that they know what is right for all Kentuckians.

As a Reagan Republican, I waited throughout the months of the campaign to hear exactly what, if anything, Daniel would do if elected governor. Instead of hearing his vision for Kentucky, what we heard from Daniel over and over and over and over again was that Donald Trump endorsed him. While that might be enough for some voters, it falls far short of what most Kentuckians want and deserve for the future of Kentucky.

Reading between the lines, one can only conclude that Daniel does not have any idea what his vision is for the future of the Commonwealth. Unlike Ronald Reagan who served throughout his presidency with a vision that “America’s best days are yet to come,” Daniel’s vision for Kentuckians appears to be on which office he will run for next.

In the waning days of the primary campaign, Daniel’s campaign began running political commercials attacking Andy Beshear while at the same time continuing the attacks against other republican candidates. If Daniel’s campaign team believes that merely portraying Andy as a radical politician will be enough to win this election, then his campaign team needs to return to the drawing board.

At the risk of offending Daniel and his campaign team, a good starting point might be for Daniel and his campaign team to set aside a few minutes from campaigning to read Ronald Reagan’s, “Farewell Address to the Nation.” Even after eight years as president, Ronald Reagan still espoused his vision that “America is, and always will be, a shining city on a hill.” Imagine for a minute if Daniel would focus his vision for Kentucky with the same theme, that is, “Kentucky is, and always will be, a shining city on a hill.” 

As for many Kentucky voters, even if Daniel redirected his campaign from negative commercials to positive upbeat commercials, it might still be difficult for many to vote for Daniel especially in light of Daniel’s unwillingness to condemn Donald Trump’s statements about women, especially Trump’s vulgar comments about women. One is left to wonder why Daniel refuses to condemn Trump, other than Daniel’s only claim to fame is that Donald Trump endorsed his campaign. With 2,250,000 women in Kentucky, Daniel’s decision could be fatal to his campaign.

Next, the rhetorical question which necessarily needs to be asked is whether Andy should get a pass on his time as governor? The simple answer is NO! Andy is not perfect and there is room for improvement in his administration. This is especially true when it comes to issues which concern education, life issues, and people of faith. If Andy is unwilling to open up a dialogue with Kentuckians regarding these issues, it could be at his peril.

In the end, every Kentucky voter, regardless of political affiliation will have to decide which candidate has the best vision for the future of Kentucky. Will it be Daniel Cameron who has yet to define what his vision for Kentucky is, or will it be Andy Beshear who has been tested throughout these past years during some of Kentucky’s most challenging times? Regardless of who is elected, Kentuckians have a right to expect a governor who to paraphrase Ronald Reagan has a vision that, “Kentucky is, and always will be, a shining city on a hill.”

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