On Ugly Stuff Seen Lately and Where I Stand

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Fights over abortion, the 2nd Amendment, the flag, school prayer, LGBTQ discrimination, and racism are designed only to make lobbyists richer and Kansans poorer by reducing the power of civil discourse on issues that matter to a majority of Kansans. They only work to drive a wedge between us, not unite us, and wound us in ways that set back our hopes for a renewal of the Kansas Spirit, turning us fearful and filled with dread for our state, rather than giving us hope and the joy to be Kansans.

OK. I could give this to you in all my 40 years of reporting and with long, highfalutin, words. Instead, here it comes, straight up and simple. You want to know where I stand on these things. Well, here’s where I stand:

I’m a 62-year old bachelor farmer type who’s also a farm writer. I’ll never tell a woman that her dress makes her look fat or her shoes look awful, so what makes you think I’d tell her what she can or can’t do with her body? If you have the guts to tell a woman she can’t make choices for herself, then you must have the guts to stand in front of her and tell her that dress makes her look fat, too. See what that’ll get you, bub!

I don’t give a damn if you own an arsenal of RPGs, let alone a couple of AR15s. I’m not going to mess with your guns. Besides, you might be 45 minutes from a sheriff’s deputy when someone’s busting into your house. Feel free to take action.

Let your conscience be your guide on burning the flag.

I never needed a law to allow me to pray in school, especially prior to a test in geometry class.

When have LGBTQ folks hurt you, your children, or your marriage? Never? Then leave them alone. Allow them to have jobs and be taxpayers. Don’t discriminate against them. Hate is bad for business and bad for you.

Finally, on racism, everybody just needs to shut up and leave other people alone. All lives matter when black lives matter. Anybody who deliberately tries to gain an advantage over someone by being a race-baiting birther type (and they know who they are) ought to have my mother in Heaven drop an eye roll and her dreaded breath of exasperation at them. They’d stop that crap in a hurry.

My brother, Jim, calls me a Democratic Libertarian because of all this. I have no label for it, I simply say, “Seriously, lighten up! Be nice to people! Life’s too short for you to be a jerk. We’d all be better off!”

Times Running Out

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Hi everyone:

It’s a dank and dreary night here in Hays, Kansas USA. It’s been raining on and off all day. I’ve not much motivation to get up  and do anything. We can despair a lot these days. Our federal government isn’t showing much leadership in light of this virus, what with 45 telling the states they’re pretty much on their own, and the state government, led by Gov. Laura Kelly and KDHE Secretary Lee Norman, M.D., are doing the best it can to keep us all safe.

It makes me think of when I was a freshman in college back in 1976, the bicentennial year for the American Revolution, and practically every school in the country produced the old Broadway musical “1776.” I played Ben Franklin in the Aurora Centennial-Bicentennial Commission’s production.

Late in the show, a song about the fight over slavery is sung by one of the delegates from South Carolina. If the northern delegates don’t compromise about keeping slavery in the South, then the whole concept of independence goes up in smoke.

John Adams’ then sings a short song called “Time’s Running Out,” in which Adams coaxes Franklin to get out of his chair and try to swing the other northern delegates back into the bigger fight away from slavery and toward independence.

That’s where I am right now. I need to get out of my chair and fight for this seat in the Senate. It isn’t just about whether or not we’ll all be around once this fight with the virus is over, it’s about the bigger fight for Kansas, on whether or not its rural parts will wither and die as some would have hoped an end to slavery would die.I’m giving this a first things first approach. Northwest Kansas first! Let’s take care of ourselves. Let’s get off our tails and into a fight for our hospitals and nursing homes (God knows we need them now more than ever!) through expansion of Medicaid.

That also means fighting for Main Street businesses; the local grocery store, the pharmacy, and home-owned banks. It’s about more than the things that divide us, abortion and guns. It’s about our schools, farms, and roads. Those things that bring us together.

Time’s running out. Join me in this great enterprise to “Renew the Kansas Spirit.”

 

 

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