By James Cook, Times Editor
With an economy that is limping arguably along, a health care reform plan that many believe is way too costly and a country torn between what to do, it is easy to see why some movements have caught fire. Tea Bag rallies have been held across the country and so have freedom rallies. One such freedom rally was held in Clay City last Saturday.
Several candidates for state office, though none of the major party favorites, were on hand. They discussed issues like immigration, health care, term limits and the Fort Hood shootings. The tone was that of people wanting a change and those who were willing to fight for freedom.
Following an opening that included the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem and a recording of how the flag was able to stand while Francis Scott Key watched the famous bombing of Fort Henry, the rally took off. Upstart candidates, hoping to make a difference and strike a tone with the working man and their families, took to the microphone to discuss the issues.
“This country is worth fighting for and it’s worth fighting for and taking back,” U.S. Sixth Congressional District candidate Matt Lockett told the crowd of nearly 50 people at the AMVETS Building. “Our president has been going around apologizing for what our military or our country has done. I don’t apologize for it.”
Lockett told the crowd he supported a balanced budget amendment and term limits for legislators. As for health care, he said he supports tort controls, the ability to cross state lines to get insurance and “when they walk into an emergency room, they should have to prove they are a U.S. citizen.”
Lockett advised crowds that in May they had a voice. “We can send Ben Chandler back home and in May we can make our voices heard in taking back Washington,” he said.
U.S. Senate candidate, Bill Johnson, said he is part of the “three R’s” in politics. “I’m a lifelong conservative and a Ronald Reagan Republican,” he told the crowd. Johnson, a former member of the U.S. Navy, believes that there should be no public option when it comes to health care and what he called “radical environmentalist, who are standing in the way when it comes to the energy we have right here in America.” He said he was “inspired to join the military by Ronald Regan, but to join politics because of Obama.”
Johnson also called the shootings at Fort Hood a “terrorist attack”, which many in the crowd agreed with him as evident by their applause. Johnson also told the crowd where he stood on abortion rights as well. “You can’t be a defender of this country and our Constitution unless you are a defender of life,” he told the crowd, “I am pro life.” He also told the crowd it was time to “recapture that shining city on a hill that Ronald Regan spoke about.”
Another candidate for the U.S. Senate seat, Rand Paul, was also on hand. Paul, who is an optometrist from Bowling Green and the son of Congressman Ron Paul, who ran for President last year in the primaries, told the crowd about his ideas. “We are spending $53,000 per second as a government,” Paul said. “We used to export goods all around the world, now we have other countries buying our debt. Our biggest export now is our debt.”
“It’s easy to see why there is so much discontent and why people are unhappy with our government,” he continued. “Our Constitution was intended to restrain the government, but the liberals have used the commerce laws as a reason to be involved in everything. Members of Congress have admitted that much of what they do is not covered by the Constitution; so much of what they do is unconstitutional.”
Paul was referring to an interview on Fox News radio a few weeks ago between talk-show host Judge Andrew Napolitano and Congressman James Cliburn (D-SC). In that interview Cliburn made a statement that essentially said that here was nothing in the Constitution that justifies much of what Congress does.
Paul also said he was for a constitutional amendment to force the government to balance the budget and for term limits. Paul told the Times he would be in favor of a two-six year term limit for Senators and six-two year terms for the House of Representatives. “Term limits would the greatest reform on our history for our government,” he told the crowd.
“We elect errand boys who feel like they need to bring us something back and all their bringing to us is what is ours to begin with,” Paul said. “Some issues go beyond party lines. We need an outsider. I am an outsider.”
Paul also told the Times that more competition is needed in health care. “You have to have more price competition. For me to compete as a doctor, I have to be able to compete with bigger outlets. That will be one way to help the health care issues,” he added. “We have to drive the price down and compete.”
Gatewood Galbraith, a perennial candidate for office, was also on hand to discuss his ideas. Galbraith has announced that he running for governor in 2011 along with his running mate, Dea Riley. Galbraith spoke of a new world order based on a global economy. “I’m not giving up my freedom for that,” he said.
Galbraith would like to set up a fund where each high school graduate would receive $5,000 to be used within the first 10 years after graduation. That money could be used at “any institute of learning or training for employability,” he said. “It may bring in more work training schools and business schools, and I want to freeze the tuition at all state schools. The prices are too high and the poor folks just can’t do it.”
In true Galbraith form, he also told the crowd that he would ground the state’s military aircraft like helicopters. Many of those are used in drug raids of marijuana crops. “We are not in occupied territory. This ain’t Afghanistan,” he said.
State representative Richard Henderson also spoke to the crowd about his love for the military and the veterans who have given us the freedom to meet in rallies. Local candidate for jailer Kevin Babcock was also on hand, as was candidate for county clerk Nancy Ware Mann.
Local businesswoman and radio host Karen Sebey hosted the rally. “We invited all the candidates and even the contacted the Governor’s Office to be here,” Sebey advised the group. She told the crowd that she was proud of men and women “who have fought and died to give us our rights and freedom.” She also referenced a speech given by local attorney Richard Fain earlier in the week during a Veteran’s Day celebration. “Richard said that we had never been beaten from without, but it would have to happen from within,” she said. “We have got to hang on to this constitutional republic. It is slipping away and we have to strike now while the iron is hot.”