GREAT BEND, Kan. - Senator David Haley is the son of a state senator, the nephew of "Roots" author Alex Haley, and a graduate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s alma mater, Morehouse College.
So one would expect Haley to speak in the eloquent cadences of scripture so typical of African-American preachers. And Haley delivers the goods.
Check out this sugarplum launched by Senator Haley in Fridays' death penalty debate:
"Many of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory... I won't cast the first stone and won't be part of an angry mob and call for vengeance."
In a few seconds, Haley had invoked Paul's letter to the Romans, the Gospel of John, and invoked images of one of America's saddest chapters -- the lynch mob.
To those who say that Democrats are unfriendly to people of faith, I remind them that the Democrats were the first to involve churches, African-American churches, to mobilize people, and to get people to exercise the franchise.
A week or so earlier, when the Kansas Senate passed an in-your-face criticism of the United States of America's federal government, a Tenth Amendment resolution, Haley delivered the goods again. Haley noted that the Senators had pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America minutes earler, and let loose this inarguable phrase:
"I've been unhappy with the federal government, but not to the point of secession or sedition."
Here is Haley again, using sweeping language that goes to the root of what John Brown fought for, recalling Kansas' roots as a Union State, a free state.
When I read earlier this week that Haley was considering throwing his hat in the ring for U.S. Senator, I was happy. Candidate Schollenberger has quietly labored in the vineyard for months as the only Democratic candidate, but something tells me that this race is bigger than one candidate, that Haley's soaring rhetoric would make things even more interesting.
Candidates Moran and Tiahrt are so eager to criticize the United States of America's government (federal), that they seem to forget a question the Wichita Eagle asked in 1994 when the current death penalty debate commenced: "What kind of state is Kansas?"
Well, the answer is that Kansas is a Union State, the original Free State, the land of John Brown, or as Abraham Lincoln once wrote: "If I were starting out again, I would go to Kansas."
When Kansas legislators look at the breathtaking John Brown Mural at the State Capitol, I am glad that some, like Haley, remember what Kansas is about, and appeal
"to the better angels of our nature."