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The Great American Desert

By Vickie Stangl
Opinion | June 4, 2012

WICHITA, Kan. - The Hays Daily News of May 29th, included a moving but sad editorial by Dr. Robert Blanks, about his beloved Kansas and the cruel injustice of coming back home after living many years in other places, only to watch a gang of thugs take over the state.

Dr. Blanks wrote: "Brownback and the extreme Republican political agenda are both insane. This governor's actions and positions are totally inappropriate for this modern day. Brownback seems to be a hateful individual who is solely politically motivated, and who appears to have no compassion for many Kansas citizens who are struggling to keep their heads above water. From what I've seen, Brownback has shown serious ignorance of economic issues."

Brownback seems eerily detached in appreciating how his policies will affect the most vulnerable in the state, but he's had plenty of assistance from legislators in the House and Senate in the effort. There has been in fact, an abundance of mean, self-righteous, ego maniacs calling the shots in the state because they understand that Kansas voters believe the poor are all liberals out to mooch off God-fearing, hard working conservatives.

Kansas voters also believe liberals are immoral which means only one thing: taxpayer funding of abortions. Off with Planned Parenthood's head! Yes, Kansas is full of people exactly like Brownback and his cronies who turn out on election day to vent their rage at people who due to illness, poverty, abuse, and old age, bilk the state out of money while they smoke their crystal meth and deny the existence of God.

Moderate conservative voters once helped to balance Kansas election cycles to offset the zealot voter but those voters are nearly extinct in the state. A continuing stream of young and mature people have left Kansas, disgusted with the Unholy Alliance of pro-life extremists, religious fanatics and Tea Party lawmakers ramming through nonsensical, unconstitutional drivel while shutting down any program that does not further their agenda. The agenda is always the same in conservative politics: deny women full autonomy over their reproductive decisions, establish the Christian religion as the rule of law, and at all costs-protect and preserve the business sector with generous subsidies and tax cuts whether the business demonstrates any great returns from the sacrifices made on their behalf by struggling taxpayers.

Why remain in a state governed under the crazy thumb of the Unholy Alliance? It's a sad day to realize Kansas has more in common with Saudi Arabia, than the state of Oregon. Both Kansas and Saudi Arabia are like a desert when it comes to critical thinking and freedom of conscience. Both are right in step with the 13th-Century when it comes to equality and liberty for women, and of course, both have an economy driven by oil to the point that the real leaders, the real power brokers, are the wealthy families controlling politics with their profits.

Brave, selfless citizens are still fighting the good fight, but after November, we will know if Kansas becomes the Great American Desert or rises triumphantly over the Unholy Alliance.


It's good to hear from you, Vickie.

It is amazing how Brownback and his ultra conservative and self proclaimed righteous minions have time to formulate laws and policies that strike out at the less educated and affluent members of society while not being able to come to terms on redrawing political bounderies and addressing the backlog of cases involving disabilities and mental illness. Their tax policies are aimed at relieving the tax burdens of the wealthier corporations and individuals. In order to maintain a 'supposedly' balanced budget we must tighten the reigns on, as you said, 'the poor and all liberals out to mooch'! They want to go back to the glory days, 'Christian control', when blacks were counted as 3/5 of a white man, women didn't vote, slaves were considered chattel like any other personal assets, witches were burned at the stake, and local taxes were collected for the support of the majority religious institutions in the community.

It amazes me, how many people harp about 'one nation under God' as tho it were a part of our founding documents declaring our independence, bill of rights, and constitution. They are unaware of the fact that phrase was not a part of the original 'pledge' to our flag. It was added after I graduated from H.S. and that the 'pledge' came to be long after our nation was formed. They are unaware that a motion to open every session of the 'constitutional convention' with a prayer was defeated. Could that have been because there were representatives of religious orders who didn't acknowledge the dominance of any one particular groups absolute direction from God? Could it have been because Jews, Catholics, Anglicans, Puritans, Deists, Atheists, etc. were not comfortable with someone telling them when, what, and how to pray?

They had time in the final sessions of the legislature to discuss and enact a law that prohibits mention of any religious words in court that might indicate justice not specifically from our 'Christian' Bible, theology, or doctrines. So much for freedom of thought, speech, or religion! Those freedoms are only legit if they conform to 'our' directives from 'our' God.

"ad astra per aspera" We are still struggling to be the 'land of the free' where every individual is free to be who they are and society is involved only when individuals transgress on their neighbors rights and freedoms.

Ken, it's good to be back. I've been a bit busy with other activities and family matters. However, I agree totally with your sentiments and as ridiculous as this sounds, I simply struggle to understand what else government is for if not for the people! Government cannot solely exist to protect and feed private enterprise-it must be in the business of protecting people and providing an atmosphere where everyone in society has the freedom to live as happily as possible. It's hard to live free and happy when you are sick and have no way to get medicine or help. It's hard to be happy when you have graduated from college and have to take a job working for $7.00 an hour without healthcare or work around the clock at three jobs because it is the only way to pay the bills. Conservatives have the definition of government exactly backwards. Government to them about promoting business at the expense of the people and to take a hands off approach if the people need help. It's like a mad, mad world.

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