Who knew there was a Liberal in Kansas??? I decided to stay a few days.
Well, to catch up a little, I was in Liberal, Kansas for ten days, including a few with temps in the teens and snow on the ground. Then at the first break, I moved to Oakley, Kansas and have been here for five days, including temps in the teens, a blizzard, and winds at 30-50 mph. Tomorrow, though, I plan to scoot farther north and will leave Kansas for Nebraska.
For the past 500 miles, I’ve only seen one kind of scenery. I expect that will continue until I turn west toward Wyoming.
Back to being Liberal in Kansas. Liberal is the adopted home of Dorothy Gale of The Wizard of Oz. Adopted, I say, because L. Frank Baum never said exactly where in Kansas Dorothy lived, so an enterprising local promoter a few dozen years ago petitioned the Governor of Kansas to declare Liberal as her home. Around that declaration, a museum and town theme has grown. I walked the Yellow Brick Road and toured the rather fun museum that includes several animatronic scenes from Oz and a few exhibits like a replica of Baum’s office and how he determined the name for the mythical land.
Which brings me to the discussion of being a liberal in Kansas. I’ve often been called a liberal, though I always thought of it as simply trying to be a good person. Now, though, I have reason to claim the name and try to purge it of all the neo-liberal and pseudo-conservative connotations.
A historical marker at the information center talked about Francisco Vasquez de Coronado traveled to this region in 1541. He, of course, was looking for gold and finding only a poor tribe of Indians and the flat plains, killed his guide for misleading him. Great way for Europeans to be introduced to the area. It was not, however, until the mid-1880s that the first white settler established his homestead here.
Seymour S. Rogers, the settler, was said to have been “mighty liberal” with water from his well. From this came the name for the city, established in 1888.
And I got to thinking about that. “He was mighty liberal.” In other words, he gave generously to those in need. Case closed. I am a liberal and I will accept no other definition. I give generously to those in need.
So stop whining. I’m not going to take away your guns.
I not going to engage in a debate about who deserves to benefit from my generosity, nor attempt to judge people’s worthiness or priority based on their color, sexual preference, nationality, legal immigrant status, age, religion, gender identity, sex (or lack thereof), ability to return the favor, or smell.
So stop telling me one person or class of people should be helped before another. If they are in need, they are in need. It isn’t a contest.
And stop telling me about your rights and all your programs to get the government to help the homeless, refugees, veterans, drug addicts, pets, and spotted owls. That’s not what being a liberal (or a conservative) is. It’s giving generously to those in need. You personally. Those other things might be good or bad or indifferent. Go argue them on a case by case basis. Start thinking about good government instead of neo-liberal and pseudo-conservative causes.
Be liberal. What excuse do you really have?