Rand Paul wants us to think he's a redneck. He's not.
In the year 1921, over 10,000 coal miners from West Virginia, many of whom were World War I veterans, after years of corporate brutality, exploitation and outright murder by corporate hired thugs, said good bye to their families, to their wives and their children and took up what arms they had. It was time for them to lay it all on the line. It was time for these men to sh*t or get off the pot. Thus, began the largest armed civil insurrection in the history of the United States by Americans against Americans on American soil since the Civil War to date. No fancy monument or historical marker commemorates this ragtag army of simple men, men of many colors and ethnic backgrounds, all black from the coal and bone-tired of the corruption. There is no national acknowledgment of their epic battle against corporate greed and political collusion, but one can still find a rusty hunting rifle or two along it's bloody trail if one takes the time or cares to look. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blair_Mountain
They called themselves Rednecks.
"In earlier generations, those "majestic and grand" West Virginia hills had been ravished by robber barons clearing the virgin forests. When the trees were gone, during their fathers' time, the rights to the minerals under those same hills was given, or stolen, away, and the quest for coal to power the nation's surging industrialization began in earnest. This generation, these men, were not going to stand by this time. They were not going to watch outsiders steal their birthright and rob them of their civil rights. They had been controlled by wealthy coal operators all their lives. They worked on their knees and on their backs in wet dark tunnels deep under the ground, unable to breathe, covered in coal dust, alone, breaking the black gold out of the rocks, waiting for the explosions and cave-ins to cripple them or end their lives. They lived in company houses in company towns; were paid in company scrip to be used at the company store and were buried in company cemeteries. Even the very tools they used in the mines were owned by the coal companies who deducted the rental fees from the miners' pay. The men were forced to watch as the families of dead and injured miners were evicted from their homes, with no money and no place to go. And they died choking on coal dust, of black lung." [The Redneck War on Blair Mountain by Judith Beaman Scott]
These were serious men who understood exactly who and what the enemy was. The original Rednecks were far more serious and educated as to the source of their problems than the tea party wannabe rednecks roaming Kentucky nowadays looking for any excuse to brandish their modern day assault weapons, parade around in army surplus store combat boots and overpriced camo from Bass Pro or Cabela's, ride in fancy GOP financed transportation, holler revolution, whine pity the corporations and scream about lost liberties, most of which they are unable to articulate:
"On a train carrying wounded miners and mine guards to a hospital following a gun battle, a railroad conductor found a miner spitting tobacco juice in the eyes of a dying mine guard and heard the coal digger say, "You'd better die, you son-of-a-b*tch, for if you don't I'm going to kill you the minute you get out of the hospital." click here
Now Republican Rand Paul a.k.a. Libertarian Rand Paul, has the audacity to try to convince us that being a gun toting Kentucky Redneck means handing over any semblance of control to corporations by freeing them of any and all government constraints, including the removal of government mandated mining safety regulations for our own miners here at home and the nation at large while waving firearms and misspelled signs in public. He may be able to convince those who have no idea of what being a Redneck means. He may even try to convince the nation he has the Redneck vote. It's not impossible, as there are quite of few confused country boys and city slickers even here in my 'Old Kentucky Home' who have no understanding of the term redneck, let alone that old song.
Paul well understands the political benefit of pandering to those who of us who feel they are oppressed, whether by real or imaginary enemies and, to those of us who are simply unable to identify the proper target. If we can't locate the true target, Rand Paul is more than happy to hand us one that benefits the needs of Rand Paul, which for him is financial gain and control by corporations through the total castration and impotence of the United States government and the loss of any and all protections offered us against corporations through a government by the people and for the people. Paul is pandering to those who never fail to misquote our Founding Fathers at every opportunity and fail to respect and properly use their gift to us of self governance.
Rand Paul was astute enough to fund the majority of his three million dollar campaign through friends of his father, Libertarian Ron Paul, far away in the state of Texas along with Texan tea party monetary support before he set out to impress our local menfolk here at home. While this may go over fine with Kentucky tea party activists and their supporters and even many of the more moderate Kentucky Republicans, this outsider influence will not go over well with Kentuckians in general. Kentuckians still remember how Kentucky helped Texas at the Alamo and don't appreciate Texas helping themselves to our Kentucky elections now. Paul is also smart enough not to bring up in public how the recent Supreme Court decision allowing unprecedented corporate funding will further allow those not who are not Kentuckians to influence and control the elections of our own Commonwealth.
While he did galvanize our tea party redneck wannabes, impress the ever impressionable Sarah Palin and played the more moderate Republicans here well, he didn't face what should have been major competition this round during a GOP nomination process that included both he and Trey Grayson, a man who failed to leave the country club on time in order to make it to the rifle range in time. Trey was under the mistaken impression that the local tea party folks would be impressed by his long term accomplishments as Secretary of State such as election reform, a civic literacy program in our public schools, or how his business experience translated into cuts not only in government staffing, but even the actual physical size and overall cost of his agency - all priorities held dear by tea party patriots. Trey was also under the mistaken impression that the majority of the Kentucky tea party activists and their followers spend more time reading the newspapers than brandishing weapons at gun rallies and in church. They are both mistaken if they think dragging what was to be political discourse available for our perusal down to the level of a pissing contest by calling each other liar, liar, liar was appreciated by many people here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Pardon the urology.
Now, Rand Paul is up against a strong contender in Democrat Jack Conway, our State Attorney General who just defeated our current Lt. Governor in the Democratic nomination battle for senate, and it looks to be a good race on down the line as Jack does his job well and has defined himself based upon a platform of sound fiscal policy and results. http://jackconway.org/
Conway has not been shy about taking on corporate reforms for Wall Street and has taken on Senator Mitch McConnell for blocking these reforms. He's not been afraid to go after political corruption here at home nor needed to pander to fear or ignorance in order to secure votes. http://ag.ky.gov/criminal/dci/
This particular man, Conway, rather than a loosely knit cult, has a strong political following developed over the years through his reputation as a highly respected attorney and public servant. Jack maintains this solid reputation in the very heart of our state as shown by maps of the 2010 Democratic nomination election results. Jack Conway's statewide base not only includes the larger towns and the rural university towns, it is also includes the largest and most populated county in the state, Jefferson County. There is an old saying in Kentucky, "If you can't take Jefferson County, you can't take the state." If Jack Conway pulls out the new and recently registered Democrat voters come election day, he may well seal the deal in his bid for the Senate. If Rand Paul continues to piss off the Rednecks, he may be run out of town on a rail.
Paul defines himself only by what he is against. He hasn't needed to offer detailed solutions as his base does not require them. For him, our government can offer NO solution and he tries to convince others of same. Rand Paul reasonably should have a major problem continuing to call for no government regulation of the mining and oil industries after the latest major accidents, the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in West Virginia, Home of The Original Rednecks, causing the the loss of life to 29 coal miners, and the BP oil spill disaster, which caused the loss of life to 11 rig workers and even now still threatens the viability of the Gulf Coast, both ecologically and financially. But, commonsense and reason as a strategy will not enter into his race against Conway, only the manipulation of misplaced passion and anger fueled by misinformation and paranoid fears. Rand Paul has no need to explain how lack of prudent government safety regulations contributed to catastrophes of this nature, how hundreds of billions of dollars worth of oil and mining corporate lobbying is the number one reason for this lack nor does he have any need to explain how the total lack of any properly enforced government oversight will protect us in the future from the hundreds of billions of dollars in cost to the American taxpayer, including Kentucky Rednecks and fools, to fund even more super-sized super fund payouts for said super-sized catastrophes. To Rand Paul, the corruption affecting our politicians lies solely in big government, NOT big business corrupting our politicians.
The Gospel According to Paul when it comes to corporate responsibility is "The problem a lot of times is that many people look at tragedy and accident, and think that there always has to be someone to blame." For Paul the blame only goes so far as our local, state and national government and his line of attack does not include stopping the influence of corrupt corporations lobbying corrupt politicians to prevent reasonable safety standards. Rand Paul, however, to his credit, did not try to pin the blame and the financial liability for our most recent oil disaster on God, as Republican Governor Perry of Texas did, I'll give the man that much. click here
Allowed the freebie of no political background, freed by his base from the responsibility of solutions aside from his purported duty to put full and complete blame for all of our woes solely and wholly upon our government, our elected leaders and the President of our United States; his being free to fuel fears, after us being told for eight long damn, pardon me, years that we must be afraid, Rand Paul's studied and highly monied out reach to the Kentucky tea party activists and their followers has been touted as a success nationwide. However, corporate accountability and control takes the biggest loss in this race while the biggest slide regarding any responsibility to the mess of it all goes to corporate. And the sh*t just keeps trickling down on us while we hum "and I owe my soul to the comp'ny store" (No apologies warranted there - sometimes there is no excuse for cursing but sometimes there is no excuse big enough not to curse).
Rand Paul targets his various tea party audiences by telling each of them what they want to hear whether he's speaking with those who want answers to reasonable questions or speaking to those who are unquestionably unreasonable. Towards one group he may speak as a scholar. To another, he may spoon feed 'reasons' for their guns, their runs on ammo, their paranoia or their machoism, as needed. Paul's attendance at these various rallies, local gun shows and his hanging out with the good old boys pretending to be Rednecks at the local rifle and assault weapons ranges has paid off. Corporate wins again.
My state is home to approximately 30 tea party groups including Kentucky Freedom Coalition, Grassroots Patriots along with the Ignorant Hillbilly Patriots and, we are home to many of their more than ignorant wannabe 'hillbilly' followers. Even their Palin worthy cutesy use of the word hillbilly is an insult to those of us in Kentucky and Rednecks everywhere, as most of these well to do, well fed, well paunched tea party good old boys have no idea what living in the hollers of places like Kentucky working for the corporations historically entails. Other than being able to half-arsed hum a few bars of an old John Prine song to impress the ladies, they don't have a damn clue. Please, don't get me wrong here. I am proud to be a Kentucky Redneck in the true spirit of the word. I will never leave the hills of Kentucky as I couldn't bear to leave a large part of my soul behind. BUT, I am not so proud as to be willfully ignorant of corporate corruption and not so ignorant to want to be controlled by same rather than personally controlling my own government as our Founders intended. I cannot don my Dan'l Boone cap and rally to the cry of "Free the corporations!" when far too many of our nation's true Rednecks died to free themselves from the horror of unrestrained corporate greed and corruption.
Paul was savvy enough to get the word out to these 'patriotic' groups nationwide by announcing his official campaign on the Glenn Beck variety show, and has been able to tap into into the male tea party mind successfully by understanding the basics of their mindset, such as these patriots' insistence on the use of a capitol P when they are personally referred to as such, or used as a 'rank' they give themselves in their militant websites (not to be confused with the use of a capital R to differentiate between what the term redneck stands for and corporate enabling fools).
Paul knows well which flowery language of bloody revolution fires up their testosterone, the same as he dayum well knows how susceptible these men are to any rhetoric that builds within them a feeling of personal male macho. He knows exactly how to liken them to vague old historic figures and wannabe killers of kings like Guy Fawkes by presenting passion but not the actual history involved. He understands their male need to be able to identify with present day movie figures like the 'new and improved' now fully anti-government hero in the recent remake of Robin Hood. He knows exactly which feel good rhetoric fires up the good old boys and just how to twist an age old Kentucky mindset regarding the liberty to water the lawn from your front porch into watering the tree of liberty with blood.
"Today, you are that American rabble: the disgruntled, the disillusioned, the cynical, the bereaved -- bereaved at the loss of liberty," he said. "The establishment from their high-rise penthouse views laughs at you, laughs at us."
"It doesn't take a majority to prevail...It takes an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fires of the mind."
Never mind that Rand Paul thinks the last laugh is on us as he knows full well who owns those penthouses and just how they were paid for. He understands the brush fires the more militant redneck pretenders prefer is a bonfire on the courthouse steps or the steps of our state Federal Buildings, rather than a firing of their imagination and intellect to actually solve the problems in their state, problems in many cases caused by corporate corruption of state politicians. Never mind that party, whether a political party, a political wannabe party or a party of violent armed men, means more to some than our Old Kentucky Home or the United States of America. Never mind that the original Rednecks fought and died for their country only to have the survivors come home to die at the hands of corrupt corporations and their corrupt political lackeys. Paul knows all of this, he is a highly educated man, and he knows how to play his base like Bluegrass fiddle.
He knows as well the fact that his closest friend, campaign advisor and web site manager being busted for racist remarks will not enter into any discussions with his followers. It's simply too embarrassing for some and doesn't matter to the rest. Almost as embarrassing as Rand Paul's continued flip flopping back and forth between arguing that private businesses and citizens should have the right to discriminate to how the "loony left" is simply trying to discredit him. click here
=rss_print He has no understanding, nor the background to understand, that the R in redneck does not stand for racist. http://www.courier-journal.com/article
Esquire best explains why, for Texas Paul, Kentucky was the perfect state to launch his political career:
"Third, it's Kentucky. It's a great state, the home of both Dolly Parton and the Actors Theatre of Louisville. My sister used to live there, so I've been there a bunch of times. But last April at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot in West Point, Kentucky, I followed around Rand Paul while he shook hands with some of the most passionate Tea Party folks I've ever met. There was a lot of talk about the New World Order and all the ammo sold out in the first few hours of the show. Why? Because people were buying it to bury in their backyards so it would be handy for the revolution." click here
To help put this in perspective for those living in the other 49 states, Kentucky is the Home of Lock N Load Open Carry Sunday Come To Meeting Church Services. Well, at least it was until our local preacher sponsoring these religious services ran away from home to join the militant tea party circus. click here
"The Kentucky pastor who drew notice earlier this year for hosting a God-and-guns event at his church is giving up his flock for his Glock. Pastor Ken Pagano resigned his post last month at the New Bethel Church in Louisville, Ky., after nearly 30 years in the ministry, saying he wants to focus on Second Amendment and church-security issues."
"Mr. Pagano advocates a security team of five church members who have at least 40 hours of training in firearms and other tactics. The advantage of using church members instead of a hired guard is that they're better able to separate the regular attendees from the first-time visitors."
"I've got no problems with any institution, whether it's a business or a church, hiring professional, trained security people who know the risks," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "What I do have serious concerns about is the idea that a private individual, just because they're a gun owner, can be a security guard just by carrying a gun to church."
"As for Mr. Pagano, Mr. Helmke said, "Maybe he should be more concerned about the Fifth Commandment than the Second Amendment."
Rand Paul's most fervent far right base is more concerned about guns n' glory and their male egos than worrying about Rand Paul doing away with the Department of Education as these people simply don't respect education, those who work to attain it, or respect the plight of those who suffer financially from a lack of it and don't want it for our children. He wants taxes for education cut immediately so that "parents can allocate more of their own funds to homeschooling." One can be sure that under Rand Paul, there will be no government handouts for home school field trips to Kentucky's Creationist Museum or our state-of-the-art Louisville Science Center, nor will there be a demand for growth in our community college systems. One has to wonder why they want to keep us so freaking, pardon me, stupid.
Paul's Kentucky hard right base remains unconcerned, so far, that his ideas for fixing any problems with Social Security, Medicare, programs for the poor of Kentucky and the promotion of Kentucky arts, which has propelled our state to national prominence and aided our local tourism industries, is simply to remove our state and federal government from any equation, from any solution to the needs of Kentucky. Imagine, if you will, Paul being in a position where he can follow through with his platform of no government interference whatsoever, other than the government interference he wants in our most personal, private decisions. Imagine the position he will leave many Kentuckians in from the dropping of protective regulation. Imagine the condition he will leave our land in. Imagine the condition it is already in. The only fix in Rand Paul's pocket to the problems of Kentucky is the same solution and only solution sought by a fear biting dog, kill any and all possible threats within it's reach, even if it's the hand that feeds you.
It will be interesting to see if the Kentucky tea party people now have the power they brag of and the will and the intelligence to oust Senator Mitch McConnell, especially now that Mr. Paul says he may not support Kentucky's minority floor leader if elected to the U.S. Senate. Senator McConnell has a long history of corporate collusion, even to the detriment of our own Rednecked coal miners and our Commonwealth in general. He's been a long standing detriment to our nation due to this collusion and his stonewalling of any progress of the current administration, even to the extent of denying us emergency unemployment extensions. Mitch loves to brag about being "King of the Pork" and defies any other senator to say otherwise. Rand Paul says he will refuse to bring home any federal money to Kentucky whatsoever, not even funding necessary for job creating infrastructure projects, not even if justifiable. Money Kentucky will sorely miss and sorely needs.
When these tea party play pretend rednecks in Kentucky throw out the incumbent corporate loving bum, actually ditch Mitch, then their message of "F*ck off!! or Keep the f*ck out of primary elections." as Rob Kall so succinctly put it, will have been heard. click here
The Kentucky tea party will have then honestly flipped the bird to Washington DC corporate insiders and profiteers. Then, and only then, will this movement become a force to be reckoned with, a force to be respected. Then, and only then, will they "take back our country" from those who would abuse and misuse it for the purpose of profit at our personal taxpayer expense.
We've known for decades where Mitch stands when it comes to Corporations vs. The American People. It's now clear who Rand Paul would have stood side by side with during The Redneck Insurrection of 1921 and, it's more than clear whose side he's on now. I bet a dollar to a donut he doesn't even like unions. Looks like it's time for the Kentucky tea partiers to pony up, to put their money where their mouth is, to "take back our country" from the corporations and politicians trying bleed it dry for profit and don't mind killing us in the process to do it. It's time to Derby down.
It is time for the tea party to take on the personal responsibility of running this nation through the processes our Founders so wisely created. It's time to get rednecked. My dad was not a Kentucky Colonel. He was simply a CWO4 Army veteran of many wars and now deceased like many of the WW1 veteran Rednecks after the coal party on Blair Mountain. He knew full well what these coal miners were made of, are still made of today. My dad was a patriotic Kentucky Redneck in the true sense of the word. For over thirty years this man served his country in order to defend his home and his nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic or otherwise. He was fond of saying what true patriotic Rednecks realized on top of that mountain almost a hundred years ago, "It's time to sh*t or get off the pot."
Damn, I hope we do as we're damned if we don't.
I might should honestly apologize for my language, but I won't. It's hard to talk like a lady sometimes, but to be Kentucky woman one has to, at times, talk like a Redneck and walk like a man.