So it’s been some journey since I wrote my initial article about becoming a Republican. You might remember, it was in response to the HB2453 bill in Kansas. The bill passed the House, but then died before reaching the Senate. The article was written out of frustration on what keeps happening in Kansas – far right Representatives introducing extreme legislation in my state.
My article encouraging people to vote as a Republican in Kansas in order to participate in the primaries was not a new idea. I did, however, receive an amazing response – both good and bad. Both on my blog and in the Kansas City Star article, I received close to 80 emails with people expressing the same type of frustration that I have. How can the average, reasonable-minded citizen stop what is happening in Kansas?
E-mail after e-mail told me that there were people out there who did it all the time – voted as a Republican in name only in order to vote in the Kansas primary. It was almost like a secret club and one person even suggested we come up with a secret handshake. Then there were other comments posted that I was a traitor, deceptive, disgusting, a liar, working the system., etc. etc. There were even a handful asking me to move to Missouri – Kansas wouldn’t miss me.
Well, first thing is you can relax Missouri, I’m not moving across the state line. I’m a Kansas girl and I’ve always been a Kansas girl ever since my family moved here in the early 70s. I love Kansas – the people, the schools, the state.
I’ve had numerous conversations regarding my article. What will I do? What will I tell other people to do?
Here is what I’ve decided -
1. Get to know your district. Every district is different. Who are the candidates? Does your district have a primary? Does your district have a strong Democrat running? If so, then it isn’t a good idea to vote for the moderate in the primary so the moderate goes up against a Democrat in a general election. If you don’t have a strong Democrat, then do it! Vote Republican and vote in the moderate.
2. Push your party to come up with strong, moderate candidates – both Republican and Democrat.
3. Get involved. If you find a candidate that reflects your views, get out and volunteer for their campaign. Your vote counts and so does the vote of your neighbors. The candidates need your time and your money. Participate in the process.
4. If you are a Republican, consider voting for a Democrat for Governor. Paul Davis has a real shot at beating Sam Brownback. Brownback sets the tone for this type of extremism in Kansas. Let’s all work together to get him out of office in the next election.
Ultimately I am and will always be a Democrat, however, I am standing by my previous article that I will vote Republican if it means more moderates get elected. I think it is a reasonable strategy. If you don’t like it, put pressure on your Republican Representative to stop with extremist legislation. Stop the sonograms in the Capitol, stop the Merry Christmas bills, stop the opt in sex-ed bills. Stop with these crazy bills that ALWAYS will end up costing Kansas taxpayers millions in the court system. Tell your Representative to stay focused on building the economy, attracting new business to Kansas and providing a good education for our Kansas kids.
The one thing I am is absolutely committed to fighting extremism in Kansas. I will continue to write about it and support candidates, both Republican and Democrat, that best reflect the views of moderate voters. I do believe if we come together as moderates, we can successfully get people to stop asking…”What’s the matter with Kansas?”