Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Dec. 27

Published 12:34 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Thumbs Up

GLAD Club at Garrard High School

We were glad to learn of Garrard County’s GLAD Club, a group for students in the Garrard County High School who want to help combat drug problems.

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As we noted in another recent editorial, community involvement is the key solving the many problems created by the current drug epidemic. These high school students have seen the effects of drugs, but they didn’t just throw their hands up and walk away — they’re actively trying to make things better.

There are around 75 students in the club, including some who have dealt with drug addiction personally. They volunteer in their community by helping with fundraisers and at a drug-free youth community center.

Garrard’s GLAD Club members are setting a good example the rest of us should be eager to follow.

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McConnell says Republicans ready to lead

Sen. Mitch McConnell came to Danville last week for the Boyle County Republicans Christmas party and spoke briefly on the 2016 election results and the coming year in politics.

McConnell showed he’s aware of division in the country over the election, acknowledging that voters disliked both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. He also showed a willingness to take a country that’s torn apart and try to make things better.

“We’ve been given great responsibility here and the chance to change America,” he said. “We’ve been given a lot of power and now we’re going to try to deliver.”

No matter which side of the aisle you fall on, a large majority of Americans seem to be in agreement that they’re tired of how politicians talk and talk and never really accomplish anything. McConnell has been a prime example of that very problem for many years, as his approval ratings show — he regularly sees approval ratings of less than 20 percent and disapproval ratings over 40 percent.

McConnell could very well just be talking the talk without walking the walk yet again. But it’s possible he means it this time and really will work for the betterment of the country, not just his own party.

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Gov. Bevin bores with uncreative repeat of ‘Year of the Bible’

For the second year in a row, Gov. Matt Bevin has proclaimed the new year the “Year of the Bible.”

Bevin proclaimed 2016 the Year of the Bible, which was fine. It’s a little vague since the Bible is such a large and eclectic book, but then a year-long theme for an entire state probably should be fairly vague. Really, Bevin was acknowledging Kentucky’s Christian majority and pandering for support among those who believe there should be less separation between church and state. It wasn’t a surprising move for a politician at all, and a mostly harmless one as well.

Now, Bevin has proclaimed 2017 will also be the Year of the Bible, which just seems silly. Any significance the first Year of the Bible may have had is now diluted by Bevin making it painfully clear that it doesn’t mean anything at all.

A little creativity could have gone a long way here. Perhaps 2017 could have been the “Year of the Golden Rule,” the “Year of Giving Back” or the “Year of Faith.” Or there could have been a good governance element to it — how about the “Year of Responsible Spending?” Or it could have been the first in a series of years praising people who help Kentucky function — the “Year of the Teacher” or the “Year of the Firefighter,” for example.

There seem to be plenty of options out there that would emphasize the values of Kentucky voters in different and more interesting ways. But instead of something fresh for 2017, Bevin chose to reheat last year’s leftovers.