With the swearing in of Andy Beshear as the 63rd governor of Kentucky, it is time to set aside our differences and look for a way forward that benefits all Kentuckians — to, very simply, let the healing begin.
Instead of looking back on the past four years and complaining about those things that cannot be changed, it is time to wipe that slate clean, it is time for all those who have been elected or chosen to serve the needs of Kentuckians to begin a new era of working together, a new era that is defined through civility, not dissension.
In the words of George W. Bush, “Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos.”
Yes, we have already heard whispers from some who have declared their allegiance to the past and their desire to build roadblocks to interfere with Gov. Andy Beshear’s plans to move the Commonwealth forward for all Kentuckians. Hopefully, those intent on reigniting the flames of dissension simply as a means to gain political advantage should understand that the era of dissension was rejected by Kentucky voters, and it would be folly to continue down that path. It would be better for those intent on dissension over civility to consider the words of Benjamin Franklin when he wrote, “Silence is not always a sign of wisdom, but babbling is ever a mark of folly.”
As Kentuckians, we all need to understand that the success of Beshear will benefit all of us. It is about every Kentuckian, from east to west, north to south, in urban areas and rural areas. It is time for all those who serve Kentuckians in Frankfort, whether through an election or an appointment, to understand that no one really cares about the past four years. Instead, every Kentuckian wants to move forward to find solutions that will address the myriad of issues that each of us face each and every day.
Admittedly, there are no easy solutions for all of the needs of Kentuckians. This is especially true in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky where the area has seen a downturn, and possibly the end of generations of jobs in the coal fields of the mountains. It is time for new ideas, and it is time to reshape the future of the region as a manufacturing hub, utilizing the incredible skills of a workforce which is second to none.
In these early days of Beshear’s administration, it would benefit all of those who want to reshape the future of the mountains to invite him to visit the mountains, not as a candidate, but rather as our governor — a governor who campaigned to heal the divide and move Kentucky forward. It is time to partner with Frankfort, a partnership that will not only benefit Eastern Kentucky, but also shine a light on a new Kentucky, which will benefit all Kentuckians, not simply a handful of political insiders.
So, as Kentuckians enter a new era that will hopefully be defined through civility, it is time for all Kentuckians to pledge their support for Beshear and his administration. Remember, it is not simply about Beshear, it is about the future of all Kentuckians.
In the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”
With the swearing in of Beshear, it is time to close the door on the past and open the door on a new era in Frankfort — an era that will be defined by civility.
So, for all Kentuckians, let the healing begin.
Mark Wohlander, a former FBI agent, federal prosecutor, practices law in Lexington, Kentucky and throughout the mountains of Kentucky. Since 1990, Mark’s adopted home has been the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. His columns and Liberty prints are available at, fivesmoothstonesky.com.