The Plight of Eastern Kentucky

It is time for the people of Eastern Kentucky to rise up! I grew up in Eastern Kentucky , and I know there is a lot of pride and self-reliance among the people there. There are also a lot of problems. Most of the problems of this region stem from political corruption. Growing up, my mother often worked at the poles on Election Day. This meant that my brother and I were usually hanging out at the school where our elections were held. I witnessed firsthand on many occasion vote buying, either with cash or alcohol. I have personally heard people state that if they didn’t get some money, they would not vote. They always voted. Apparently this practice has changed very little, with the exception of now you have a choice of cash, alcohol, or drugs.
This activity is expected by the citizen population and has become ingrained in the culture. Election Day is like Christmas in Eastern Kentucky, everyone gets something.

How can this be? In our modern society, why would people sell their vote for 25 dollars? Why would you want to be governed by people who would cheat, steal, and buy their way into office? Here is my answer to that question.

Eastern Kentucky is a microcosm of the perfect Progressive Society. You have a select few individuals and families that are in power. You have a population that is generally poorly educated. The economy of the region is a mess, dependent on a failing coal industry and little else. Either you work for a coal mine, at Wal-mart, or you get a government check. There is not much else. The people have accepted this situation after generations of government dependency. Instead of government fostering an economic environment that promotes business growth and expansion, the status quo is maintained in order to keep power and control amongst the few at the expense of the many. People who are dependent on the government vote for the people that will keep the checks coming because there are no alternatives. There are no good jobs to break the cycle and the politicians want it that way. In the Perfect Progressive Society, you have an Oligarchy in control, the rich, and the poor. That pretty well describes Eastern Kentucky.

How do we change this situation? Is it even possible to change? Can the cycle of dependency established over generations be stopped? Maybe…..

It is encouraging to see that an attempt is being made to curtail vote buying. Eliminating this practice will be a monumental task, as it is thoroughly ingrained in the culture.
The plan proposed by Senator Rand Paul that would establish so-called Economic Freedom Zones would be a good step, if allowed to work as intended. This kind of thing could have been done on a state and local level were it not for corrupt politicians invested in maintaining the status quo. The increased use of technology and social networking are helping to end problems with isolation and education.

But the change must come from the people. The yoke of government must be thrown off! The good people of this region need to rise up and make it known that they will no longer settle for being controlled and impoverished by corrupt politicians. Stop selling your vote! Demand results and accountability ! If you want a better life for your children, maybe it is time to quit voting for the same old Democrats just because that’s what Mommy and Daddy always did! They are not looking out for your interests, they are looking out for theirs! These people have been in charge for 80 years and nothing has gotten better.

I spent the first 20 years of my life in Eastern Kentucky. A lot of my family still lives there. Some of them want these changes, some want to keep things like they are. I left because I could see there was nothing there for me. Hearing the stories my father told of working in the coal mines and seeing the corruption of politicians and unions made it clear that I needed to find my way elsewhere. But it is still home and always will be. To see the damage that is being done to this region is disheartening and depressing. It is time to make a change!

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