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Kansas, My Kansas!

Marc Munroe Dion on

In Kansas, where the corn is as high as a state rep's teenage girlfriend, voters stampeded the polls to protect abortion rights.

They won, too, about 60-40. As reporter who has covered even the dingiest of suburban elections can tell you, 60-40 is a murder. Also, the losing percentage corresponds almost exactly to the percentage of rabid, drooling Trump supporters in America.

Once upon a time, if you said an issue or candidate was important to "blue hairs," you meant it was important to older women who tried to beautify their naturally silver hair by adding what was called a "blue rinse." The resulting color was even but very industrial.

Now if you say an issue appears to "blue hairs," you're far more likely to mean it's important to women in their 20s or 30s, who dye their hair a sort of Smurf-ish shade of blue and wear nose rings.

This is not to say that any number of quietly brown-haired suburban women didn't vote to keep abortion rights in Kansas. And a number of men, too, because you couldn't have hit the 60-40 split without the men.

Ever since the election of President Joe Biden, what a lot of elections have told us is that around 40% of voters will vote for anything that supports guns, wants abortion banned and believes Donald Trump walks on the water hazard.

But for the pointy-nosed little gnomes who analyze elections, a solid 40% of the vote is doom and doom and doom because, no matter how loyal that 40% is, they're not enough to hold power through the ballot box, which is why a number of them want a civil war.

I've seen campaign postcards sent out by Trump-style candidates in the South, the Midwest and the West. The postcards tell you that the candidate will protect gun rights and is anti-abortion. They tell you nothing else because nothing else is needed.

 

Some of these postcards go to the poorest, whitest counties in the country, but they don't promise jobs or health care or industry or roads or education or unions or anything else desperately needed by a constituency whose members work long hours for short money but believe that their guns make them "free."

Neither the pro-gun nor the anti-abortion platform takes any real effort on the part of your local state rep. If he/she is sending out that kind of campaign literature, there's a good chance your state is already a place where it's hard to get an abortion and easy to get a gun. What the candidate has to do is promise to do nothing, and then do it.

In Kansas, the new blue hairs are more likely to burn sage than go to church, and they move through pronouns like a graceful boxer. But they are grassroots organized, and they can catch the loyalties of suburbanites who are a long way from hunting their dinner and praising Jesus in a white church at a crossroads. If the great conservative movement found its roots in an evangelical church politicized, then a new liberal movement will find its roots in the new blue hairs and their quieter, more conservatively dressed allies.

There are indeed young right-wingers of the most extreme kind, but the bedrock of that movement is people who won't see 50 again, and time is taking their names off the voter list.

For now, for one issue that "belongs" to the right, the power of the fired-up, preaching, shooting right wing is reduced to 40% in Kansas.

The extreme right wing's time is ending. It may take a while to finish, but it's ending. They couldn't push the rock up the hill in Trump v. Biden, and they couldn't push the rock up the hill in Kansas this week.

To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion, and read features by Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book, a collection of his best columns, is called "Devil's Elbow: Dancing in the Ashes of America." It is available in paperback from Amazon.com, and for Nook, Kindle, and iBooks.

 

 

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