Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has, once again, managed to demonstrate his absolutel lack of compassion and couth as he voiced disgust over winter weather school closures across the Bluegrass State this week. In a Tuesday interview with Terry Meiners, a legendary love-him-or-hate-him Louisville talk radio host, the Republican railed against those who chose to keep students home as Fahrenheit temperatures hovered in the single digits, with windchill factors driving the “feels like” numbers down as low as 25 degrees below zero.
“Come on, now. I mean, there’s no ice going with it or any snow. I mean, what happens to America? We’re getting soft, Terry. We’re getting soft,” the first-term governor and bell manufacturer said.
Bevin then acknowledged that he was being “a bit facetious,” and lightly touted his belief in safety, only to shamelessly segue into a rant about how Americans are ruining the next generation by keeping children indoors during weather that can cause frostbite in less than 30 minutes.
“It’s better to err on the side of being safe, and I’m being only slightly facetious,” Bevin said. “But it does concern me a little bit that in America, on this and any number of other fronts, we’re sending messages to our young people that if life is hard, you can curl up in the fetal position somewhere in a warm place and just wait until it stops being hard, and that just isn’t reality. It just isn’t.”
Admittedly, curling up in the fetal position isn’t a proven method of problem-solving, but it’s no secret that when it’s extremely cold out, taking shelter in a warm place and waiting things out is absolutely recommended.
Bevin, of course, isn’t particularly well-known for understanding how children work, or what happens when they stay home from school. During the 2018 Kentucky teachers’ walkout, Bevin famously offered a wholly ridiculous scenario facing the state’s students as they were forced to stay home from school while educators marched.
“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today, a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them,” Bevin told reporters Friday evening after teachers swarmed the Capitol by the thousands over a battle to raise education funding in the state. “I guarantee you somewhere today, a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were left alone because a single parent didn’t have any money to take care of them.”
Bevin’s nonsense so offended his constituents, his own GOP colleagues in the Kentucky House passed not one, but two resolutions condemning his statement.
Just three months later, Bevin stepped in it again with a classist and racist video—that was scripted—expressing shock that a school with a 99 percent population of color would have a chess club.
— Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) July 10, 2018
Bevin’s “soft” rant quickly inspired dismissive rage, and rightfully so. Meteorologist Al Roker stopped by the MSNBC studios and took the governor to task for his comments.
Al Roker with some strong words for Matt Bevin this morning pic.twitter.com/jDxqWsPyyv
— Matt Jones (@MattJonesRadio) January 30, 2019
“This nitwit governor in Kentucky, saying that we’re weak … these are kids, who are gonna be in subzero windchills,” Roker said. “No! Cancel school! Stop it! Adults, if they want to be out there, that’s great, but these are our children.”
Roker then looked directly into the camera, as if speaking directly to the bumbling Bevin himself.
”I’m glad you’re not a teacher.”