Calling all men
I have been a U.S. Army officer responsible for the welfare of other soldiers, a business owner responsible for the livelihoods of my employees, and now a governor responsible to more than 4 million Kentuckians and 30,000 state employees.
Yet, by far, the greatest and most sacred responsibility I have is to be a good husband to my wife and a good father to my nine children. Though at times I have done so imperfectly, I have always tried to make sure my wife and children know, beyond any shadow of doubt, my love for them and my dedication to their well-being.
Every generation faces challenges, but perhaps there has been no more difficult time in American history than right now to be a good father. Our culture is awash in confusion caused by shifting messages that, at every turn, seems to undermine the nuclear family and be critical of its merits.
At the same time, fathers themselves face unwarranted criticisms and pejoratives like “toxic masculinity” and “patriarchy.” Even without this added pressure, it can be daunting for some men to strike the balance between being true leaders in their households and being loving, nurturing parents.
There should be no confusion. Strong fathers who lead, instruct and encourage from a foundation of selfless love, though they may make mistakes, will not ultimately go wrong.
As I write this, much of the world is appropriately celebrating the courage of the Greatest Generation that was displayed on D-Day. Each man that stormed the beaches, piloted a plane, served on a ship or parachuted behind enemy lines had his own flaws and shortcomings. Yet those flaws did not deter them from literally saving the world from tyranny and delivering freedom to generations that would come after them.
At the same time, the vast majority of these men, who would become our