Jason Probst, news editor at The Hutchinson News wrote this brilliant editorial about what happened when an extreme right wing republican and legislature took over Kansas!
TOPEKA — The Great State of Kansas passed away on March 31, 2013, after a long and difficult battle with extremism that became markedly more aggressive in 2010. The struggle left the state so weakened it could no longer fight against the relentless attacks by the fatal disease.Yes right wing extremism is a "disease"! You can say that, hasn't Kansas always been crazy? As Probst points out, Surprisingly no!
Kansas was born on Jan. 29, 1861.
The state is preceded in death by fair taxation, good highways, strong education, family farms, a good public parks and wildlife system, open government, neighborliness and belief in helping each other out, freely elected public servants, and political moderation.
Kansas is survived by widespread poverty, low-wage jobs, high property taxes, pollution, poorly educated children, out-migration and rural depopulation, foreign land and farm ownership, lobbyist-funded legislators, chronic mistreatment of the disabled, a maniacal hatred of government and children who dream of living anywhere else.
Throughout its life, Kansas often aligned with leading progressive causes. William Allen White, one of the state’s most notable residents, once wrote that “if it’s going to happen, it happens first in Kansas.” That once was true. Kansas was the first state to ban the Ku Klux Klan, and the first to elect women to public office — one as mayor and another as sheriff.
Kansas was a leader in public education, with one-room school houses dotting the plains. A full 12 years before it was a national concern, Kansas established child labor laws that restricted employment of children in potentially dangerous industries.
Along with its compassionate nature, Kansas proved to be a state teeming with inventiveness, ingenuity, determination and a savvy sense of business.
Cessna, Beech and Stearman helped establish Kansas as a center of the aviation industry. Coleman launched an international company that became a household name. Pizza Hut and White Castle — two iconic eateries — both got their start in Kansas.
Kansas’ history is filled with dynamic people: settlers who claimed land once described as a desert and turned it into the world’s garden; immigrants who came by the train-load and brought with them the winter wheat that germinated the state’s prosperity. Kansans endured drought, grasshopper plagues, depression and fierce weather, yet its people worked to hold tight to their land. In spite of those hardships, the state produced world-renowned artists, writers, inventors, business leaders, astronauts, even a president.So what happened to this once great state? The elections of 2010!
The elections of 2010 and 2012 brought the poison pills that would bring about Kansas’ untimely end. The first election seated a governor who tossed aside Kansas’ storied history and replaced it with a vision of his own design. In 2012, record-setting campaign money from out-of-state donors financed the defeat of those moderate Republicans who had spent the last of their political careers keeping Kansas alive.
Big money came in and chased anyone with a sense of moderation out, what caused that Disease to truly get a stranglehold on the once great state of Kansas? Apathy(which we know all too well)!
Along the way, the state’s defenders — the farmer, the laborer, the property owner and the shop keeper — stood mute and passive, hoping for a day when the state would spark back to life, as it had always done before. They remained silent too long.
Sound Familiar Wisconsin?