I am unhealthily obsessed with my home state’s politics and state-wide races. I have not lived in Kentucky since 2009, yet I still follow Kentucky’s political news via a Courier Journal subscription. I was disappointed when Matt Bevin won the 2015 Kentucky gubernatorial race and became the governor. I knew he was running on the idea of rolling back Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion. This concerned me as Kentucky’s enrollment in the Medicaid expansion had been sweeping and popular. I was concerned about Kentuckians losing their health insurance or not getting the medical attention they need.
My disappointment evolved into anger over the years as Bevin continually spurred negative headlines. He was rude and condescending. It hurt me to watch him treat public educators as though they were inferior. His assault on public education has been maddening. During his entire tenure, it felt as though he was trying to disassemble or belittle the public education school system in Kentucky; a school system that I was fortunate enough to participate in.
When Ashley and I were considering our move back from California, one of the reasons I wanted to move to Louisville was to have the chance to vote Bevin out of office. I looked forward to casting my ballot for whomever opposed him. Unfortunately, we did not move to Kentucky; I became a spectator to the 2019 Kentucky gubernatorial race from Tennessee. I was happy that Andy Beshear won the Democratic primary. I watched the returns last Tuesday night and was ecstatic over Beshear’s victory.
However, my excitement soon gave way to anxiety. Bevin refused to concede. Worse, he dropped baseless (without proof) accusations about voting irregularities. Instead of bowing out gracefully, Bevin is trying to harm democracy on his way out. I would love to feign surprise here, but I won’t; Bevin is behaving in a classless manner. At this point, I wouldn’t expect anything less. On November 5, 2019, the people of Kentucky voted against one of the most unpopular governors in the United States, regardless of political affiliation. It’s time to acknowledge your defeat, pass the torch, and fade into the background. Perhaps if Bevin would have attended the same public schools in Kentucky that he is wont to attack, he would have learned how to treat others with respect and to carry himself with grace.