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Col Owens: Evolving political alignment promises different future — vote in November

Some thoughts about the Democratic primary election.

First, we had terrific candidates. Terrific candidates.

But this meditation is not about the candidates. It is about our Party.

What this election shows clearly is that the Kentucky Democratic Party is now the majority party, comprised generally of two wings, moderates and progressives, of roughly equal proportions.

Some have called it a split party. I call it the big tent party.

Because everybody in the Party, in both wings, believes in the same vision for Kentucky.

We all support universal health care coverage and access.

We all support affordable higher education.

We all support public schools that are adequately financed.

We all support fair compensation for work. A minimum wage equal to 60% of the poverty level is a travesty.

We all support a clean environment, and a planet that can sustain life for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

We all support the civil and political rights that all Americans enjoy by virtue of the Constitution and implementing legislation.

We all support the elimination of racism from our midst. 

We all support the right of all Americans to be safe and to be protected by public law enforcement personnel. 

And more.

We are all committed to these goals. We differ in how we can best achieve them. That is healthy. That reveals a dynamic party that is committed to seeking the best possible policies to achieve our vision.

The election results reveal that we are now the majority party. With the massive outpouring of concern in recent weeks to seek – finally – freedom from the shackles of our racist past and present, the real contours of our size have become visible.

This is not to be taken lightly. Fifty years ago the Democratic Party ruled Kentucky. But Roe v. Wade and Ronald Reagan changed that. Many Democrats kept their Democratic registration while changing their voting practice. As that trend set in, benefitting the Republican Party, many changed their registration out of conviction, others out of convenience. This reality has bedeviled our party for years, making winning elections difficult.

This election shows that the tide has turned once again. Because of the idealism of so many – especially the young, and people of color and the poor who have been shut out of the public process for so long.

So this election is transformative – truly transformative. This is good news – great news, for those who have been fighting for these goals their entire lives, and for those who are new to the fray, who bring new talents, skill sets, and energy. Our common commitment to our common vision will keep us focused.

There is one – and only one – way to confirm this new reality, to get us on the road of bringing this vision to fruition.

Vote in November.

Vote in November.

Col Owens is a retired attorney. He teaches Poverty Law at NKU’s Chase College of Law.

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