A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Letter to the Editor: Christina Conover voices particular concerns to Rep. Thomas Massie

Dear Representative Massie:

As a constituent of Kentucky’s 4th District, I am writing to voice my concern to you and my fellow constituents, the people whom you represent.

Your current political ad features you at home on a tractor, handling firearms and standing next to President Trump suited up for your work in Washington. The rhetoric in your ad clearly mimics that of our president, an explicit resolve on your part to divide us rather than unite us.

The narrative implies that there are only two groups of people in our district: the first group includes you, President Trump and evidently those amorphous constituents whom I assume you are relying on for their vote. The second group, another collection of amorphous constituents, you identify as “radical liberals.” This group, or so your commercial implies, is apparently bent upon tyranny and battling your group in a kind of coup d’etat, intent on taking away your “Constitutional” and “God-given” rights.

Thomas Massie

To be clear, Representative Massie, in Kentucky and in every state in our union, for that matter, we have a diverse people from many walks of life who do not fit into either of your groups. In other words, our district has people from the far right to the far left and everything in between. We have the formally educated, the self-educated and the uneducated. We have the affluent, the middle class and the poor. We have the community-minded, the family-oriented, and the self-serving. We have the straight, the bisexual, and the gay. We have the black, the brown, and the white.

Instead of working to unite us in our diversity, your rhetoric implies that you will labor to divide us in our sameness — Kentuckians with a shared destiny.

We have a common interest in the success of our state—in our education system, in our healthcare system, and in bringing jobs and a better lifestyle to all of us.

Instead of compromise, Mr. Massie, you appear intent on discord.

Please try to keep in mind that you were elected to serve all the people in our district. Indeed, you work for even those people who will never vote for you. Our democracy is a representative government, and, as such, you represent all of us.

Although our American ideals appear to have gone by the wayside as of late, we at least profess to cherish concepts such as “We the People;” our Second and First Amendment rights — including not only the right to bear arms but also the right to assemble and to worship freely; the idea that all men and women are created equal; the rule of law; and among many others, our ability to freely and fairly exercise our right to vote—a hallmark of our democracy.

Cristina Conover

One parting thought: In light of the threat of tyranny we face as Americans today, it takes little reflection on the part of an informed voter to access from whence that threat arises.

Consider the erosion of our democracy in the past three and a half years — we have been downgraded to the category of “flawed democracy” by The Economist. Think about the fact that Trump relished the idea of releasing the military on American citizens to suppress the recent rebellions over George Floyd’s death. Reflect on the incident in Lafayette Square when his administration went so far as to release chemical agents, rubber bullets, and police on horseback into a crowd of peaceful protesters.

Given your enthusiastic embrace of Donald Trump, your professed “battle” against tyranny rings all the more hollow.

Christina Conover

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  1. J Smith says:

    Dear Representative Massie,
    It takes political courage to support a President who has been under siege with an ongoing attempted coup by his political opponents, career government employees loyal to the opposition party, and an entrenched media bent on reversing the democracy of the last election.
    It takes even greater courage to be the lone voice opposing that same President on an issue that you know is not in the interests of Kentucky. Politicians talk about putting voters over party but rarely are bold enough to do it.
    Keep up the good work!
    Amorphous Constituent

  2. Daniel Petronio says:

    Thank you Christina Conover, for an excellent summary of Representative Massie’s divisive politics. It is time to stop fearing our differences and, instead, embrace them. We desperately need someone who represents everyone who lives in the 4th District and strives to break down barriers rather than build them.

  3. Jeff Schlosser says:

    Thank you Ms. Conover for the well written and civil Letter to the Editor. It was refreshing to read. Unfortunately however, I must disagree with you. A political ad showing Congressman Massie riding on a tractor, handling firearms and standing next to President Trump is not any more divisive than is this response to your Letter. Congressman Massie is pro farmer; pro 2nd Amendment; and pro Trump. Positions, I might add, that are shared by many, many Kentuckians. He is clearly stating where he stands on those issues. Would you prefer he mask those positions? Surely not I hope. We’ve had decades of elected officials in Ky more concerned about getting re-elected by sticking their fingers up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing than standing up for their values and principles. Congressman Massie is definitely a breath of fresh air. Frankly I’m a little tired of all the “divisiveness” rhetorical noise and silliness. Is someone that disagrees with Congressman Massie’s positions likewise being divisive? Using your logic, yes. If you aren’t pro farmer; aren’t pro 2nd Amendment and/or aren’t pro Trump, that’s fine, When you express those positions, I might say you are wrong, but I won’t say you are divisive.

  4. Richard says:

    I believe Mr. Massie has the best interest of all Kentuckians in mind. I see no evidence that he wants to errode our democracy. He certainly behaves like a statesman when he votes against bills that waste taxpayer money, and rely on borrowed money to be funded. He deserves our continued support and our votes in November.

  5. ruth bamberger says:

    Thank you for this very thoughtful letter. I would only add that Mr. Massie’s voting record runs counter to what many people in his district care about–good health care, good jobs with fair wages, adequate funding for education, and civil rights. Republicans have a chance to vote for a much better choice on June 23- Todd McMurtry, who as a Kenton Co. resident, better understands the needs of an area where most of the population of the 4th district resides.

  6. Marv Dunn says:

    In this primary election I have to decide which Trump lover I most favor. “None of the above” is not an option. Just like Sen. Paul, once in a while Massie gets something right but over the years he has accomplished little while becoming the most hated man in Congress. We shouldn’t be proud of that. There was a period of time when John Boehner was Speaker of the House and whose district was just on the other side of the river. Of course we had McConnell, Senate Majority Leader on this side. Meanwhile Massie and his libertarian/teaparty cohorts were trying to unseat the Speaker for whatever reason. That’s not the way to make progress on the B,S, bridge. The winner of the Republican Primary is likely to win the General. I will be voting for McMurtry; he’s a jerk also but he’s our jerk.

  7. Kyle Manskey says:

    I’m going to laugh my butt off when this country turns into the next Venezuela. All of these crazy liberals who can’t provide for themselves if their lives depended on it will be left with food shortages, no electric, and no police and not able to survive or function.
    You reap what you sow. If you want a North Korea/Venezuela/USSR lifestyle, don’t be the one crying when it actually happens and you are left starving to death and your government provided living box doesn’t have running water.
    All in the name of virtue signaling liberalism and all those liberals who didn’t actually believe you can run out of other people’s money and that unlimited debt does in fact crumble, will act dumbfounded.

    • Kevin LeMaster says:

      This sounds like Trump’s dystopian inauguration speech, which scared the sh*t out of many of the people who heard it. And now we’re looking at Trump’s idea of a military police state. Your idea of where the U.S. is going is completely economic, but what’s scaring most people in this country is political. “Drain the Swamp”, my ass.

  8. Roger Auge says:

    Massie is a horror story for Kentucky, but leave it to his gun toting friends to use fear and
    harm to scare people so as not to vote.

    • Evan says:

      Sure Roger, I have seen countless photos and occurrences of law abiding gun owners blocking the voting booths and knocking on random people’s doors intimidating them on how to vote. That has happened, let’s see….. Never!
      Continue living in a fantasy land and making fake things up. Maybe the brainwashing mainstream media made your statement seem like fact in your own mind.

  9. Lisa Cahlhart says:

    Wish they’d pick more moderate people for these articles. Take a look at Christina’s facebook and you’ll see it is full of radical left wing posts and communist ideology. And it looks like Christina is a professional vacationer that doesn’t have a job or maybe only works part time at a non-private business job. It would be much more refreshing to see articles by normal, down to earth, moderate people that have real jobs and live in the real world and have real world problems. So there is less aggressive and radical division being screamed out at the readers here from people that vacation for a living and maybe inherited a bunch of money or receive government subsidies for their living. Please pick moderate, normal people for future postings so the majority of people can relate to them.

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