The State of Kansas has been the whipping boy from so-called progressives for decades. It has been treated as a backward Bogeyman State. The Square State. The Motionless State. The State stuck in time. But not so fast. My research has been giving me a different picture, and I am now really in a myth-busting mood. So look out! This short article with its links will be an attempt to redress this imbalanced perception that is tantamount to either bigotry, ignorance, or agenda driven ideologues. I don’t live in Kansas, but at age 59 I still love to question everything. EVERYTHING.
I will grant you right off the bat that not all States can be Vermont and give us great Socialist Senators like Bernie Sanders. But with all the negative reports on Kansas, and books like What’s the Matter with Kansas?, documentaries, massive press coverage, etc., my curiosity got the best of me. And I thought it high time to contest this manufactured consent and show what is actually right about Kansas. So let’s run the numbers:
1. Health and Education — Nancy Kassenbaum (R-Kansas) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass) in 1996 passed the Kennedy-Kassenbaum bill.
2. Education — A. Kansas has approved teaching Climate Change.
B. Governor Brownback just last week proposed 80 million dollars for all-day Kindergarten. This will really help working mothers.
C. The very thing that Kansas educators have been criticized for ad nausem, which is the teaching of Creationism in their schools not only what statistically most Americans want, but is being adopted in Holland. Those Euroes in the Netherlands are hard thinkers reexamining this issue. Could it be that Kansas considered by many to be so far behind that they are setting a cutting edge record abroad? Stay tuned.
3. The Death Penalty — Myself being an anti-death penalty advocate, I was recently at a symposium on the matter, and was really surprised to hear that Kansas was the last State in the Union to adopt it, and the last man was executed there in 1965. Why is this?
Being in the great tradition of the early radical feminists against abortion and for fetal rights, like Susan B. Anthony and Mary Wollstonecraft, they have kept a single standard (as opposed to a double one) on innocent life. In other words, they don’t want to chance it. They would rather not execute them then chance executing an innocent life.
4. War — The conservative Kansans have in the main been known for their staunch anti-interventionism overseas.
5. The Arts — Kansas is #3 in the country for live theater.
6. Privacy issues — Bill HR:6021 opposes the NDAA.
7. Hate Crime Laws — Kansas passed a law in 2002 against hate crime, protecting sexual orientation.
8. Presidents — California gave us Reagan and Nixon. Illinois gave us Obama. Massachusetts gave us Kennedy. All destructive presidents. Kansas gave us the man who on nationwide television openly warned us of the military industrial complex. Ike knew what he was talking about.
Conclusion: When looked at in full scope and many more facts that I don’t have room to write about, have an accumulative effect about what is actually right about Kansas. It may not be Vermont, but neither is it the Bogeyman State like we have all been lead to believe either.
from the archives: