A not-so-novel idea in a novel time

Published 10:00 pm Monday, August 23, 2021

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By Nick Storm

Contributing columnist

Political candidates and politicians around the country sure do a lot of talking about the pandemic – telling people what they should and should not do – but what they should be doing is activating their campaign apparatuses to wipe out the disease. 

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What do I mean? Kentucky politicians have an opportunity to lead from the front and campaign, just like they do in elections, going door-to-door to educate citizens on the risk of the virus, clear up misinformation about vaccines, and pass out flyers for vaccination sites informing the electorate and meeting people at their level. 

The idea is not novel. But it has worked. In fact, it worked in one Alabama town even as the state showed the lowest vaccination rate in the country. Dorothy Oliver, a woman from Panola, Alabama, organized a popup vaccination clinic in her town. Then, Dorothy went door-to-door campaigning – answering questions, convincing residents to get the vaccine. Now, her town is 94 percent vaccinated. 

I can name lots of Kentucky politicians, but don’t know a single one of them acting like Dorothy. 

I know Kentucky politicians that have knocked on every door in their district – twice in one campaign season – to get themselves elected. Now, they can win two battles at once by campaigning for a cause – to end this pandemic by getting more Americans vaccinated. 

Some of the best campaign operatives in the country are busy right now pointing fingers and throwing bombs. They’re arguing about individual rights, and marching with signs. They’re doing everything they can to further themselves – on both sides of the aisle. 

But there’s work to be done. Holding press conferences are not going to cut it. Doing what they do best, running campaigns and organizing get out the vote, or in this case, getting in front of citizens and getting out the vaccinations. 

This is one thing that does not have to be divisive – this is something Republicans and Democrats can do together.  Vaccines are the path out of this nightmare. They’re safe and effective. 

That’s one campaign I’d back. 

Nick Storm is a veteran Kentucky political reporter and the founder of Kentucky Fried Politics. Read more at Kentuckyfried.com.