LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 17) – Kentucky voters went to the polls today.
Election officials say they expect less than 10 percent turnout. If activity at my precinct served as any indication, that might prove an optimistic projection.
I was alone with about 12 election workers. At least I enjoyed prompt and friendly service. The poll workers seemed pleased to have something to do, if only for a few minutes.
Kentucky Republicans voted to choose the candidate who will face incumbent Democrat Gov. Steve Beshear in the general election next fall.
A few of them anyway.
Republican Phil Moffett ran on a platform prominently featuring the Tenth Amendment. He talked about EPA nullification and a program for Kentucky farmers to grow industrial hemp. His primary opponent, Kentucky Senate President David Williams, enjoyed the support of the Republican establishment. The two candidates definitely offered a contrast in approaches and philosophy. Yet the race stirred little passion. Heck, most people hardly noticed.
In fact, 28.8 percent of respondents to a poll on a Lexington TV station’s web site indicated they found out about the primary “within the last few days”, and 7.5 percent didn’t realize there was an election today until they saw the poll.
As someone who believes strongly in the idea of state sovereignty and embraces the philosophy of the framers who envisioned a government structure leaving the bulk of power to the states, I find the lack of interest in state politics disturbing.
In fact, the Kentucky primary isn’t an anomaly. Across the country, state elections garner little attention compared to national, federal elections. This demonstrates that most citizens now look to Washington D.C. for solutions to their problems.
And that’s a problem.
Americans have little hope of restraining an overreaching federal government until they elect state representatives, senators and constitutional officers willing to stand up to the fed and exercise the powers vested in the states. That means we need to shift our attention to our state elections. We can no longer afford to allow more than half of our state representatives to run unopposed. We can no longer afford to place all of our faith in the men and women roaming Capitol Hill . And we can no longer afford 10 percent turnout in state elections.
If we truly intend to stand on the Tenth Amendment, we must become involved in our state governments.
Without strong state leaders, the Tenth Amendment becomes an empty shell and we run the risk of enslaving ourselves with chains of apathy.
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