This is a letter sent to the Lexington Herald-Leader a few days ago:
The Lexington Herald-Leader’s recent editorial titled “Don’t export more tobacco addiction; Ky farmers no longer dependent” offered contradictory statements laced with subtle insults to Kentucky’s tobacco farmers.
The editorial claims that “No government should be doing anything to increase dependence on tobacco.” If we are talking about subsidizing entire industries with taxpayer money, I agree.
On the other hand, the editorial advocated that the Obama administration exclude tobacco products from a free-trade agreement among Pacific Rim nations.
It’s quite ironic to argue for a lack of government intervention with the tobacco industry yet call for more intervention in the same editorial.
Using words like “daddies,” “grandaddies” and “baccy” to describe how the state’s tobacco farmers and policymakers talk should be far beneath the Herald-Leader.
Kentucky tobacco farmers are among the hardest working individuals in our state and have contributed to the commonwealth’s rich culture for hundreds of years. They have raised families, sent many children to Kentucky’s universities and are among our most productive citizens.
They deserve better than having jabs taken at them in the editorial page of a prominent newspaper.
Most tobacco-farming families have been in their line of work for decades and rightly insist that they can’t continue their farming practices if they don’t have the income from tobacco.
Why? It’s simple. They are tobacco farmers.
I’m willing to bet that similarly, auto manufacturers couldn’t continue operations without income from auto sales.
Rather than attacking hard-working Kentuckians, the Herald-Leader should display more professionalism when voicing its opinions.
Logan Morford is vice president of transparency for the Lexington-based Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions.