How can I not like Kentucky? Home of bourbon whisky, the Derby, and bluegrass music, three of the staples of civilised living all found in one state. A perfect day could well consist of sitting at Churchill Downs reviewing the horse-racing programme, sipping a Maker’s Mark while the locals enjoy their mint juleps, and listening to an old-style jug band.
Wrongly or rightly, Kentucky enjoys the reputation of a polite, well-mannered state where the Southern virtues of relaxed refinement and civility still persist.
It is a sign of the threat to the character of Kentucky that the Senate race in the state is turning increasingly bitter and bad-tempered. On Sunday night, the two candidates held a debate where Rand Paul, the tea party-backed Republican, asked his Democrat opponent Jack Conway: “Have you no decency? Have you no shame?"