Dear Montgomery County Democrats:
You are a hardy bunch. It takes courage to be a Democrat in your county, but be assured you are on the correct side of the issues. In 2016, I ran a campaign for the senate in District 15 and found out there are a lot more Democrats than I thought. The problem is that so many are ashamed to admit they are Democrats. I found the same thing in Sedgwick County.
My precinct in Sedgwick County is 25% Democratic, 33 % Republican and 42% Unaffiliated. But in the 2018 election, the Democrat won 6 out of 8 of the contested races and one of the losses was by one vote. We have to remember that some of those Republicans are really Democratic voters and most of the Unaffiliated will vote Democratic if we give them a good reason.
Giving them a reason is the whole point. The majority of Kansans want Medicaid expansion. The majority want constitutional school funding and the majority want to properly fund our agencies so we don’t have foster kids dying, corrections workers at risk, roads not built and repaired and the poor not having access to health care. And the majority want people to be treated with equal justice regardless of race, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. We just have to make our case more strongly. And when we make this case, we need to point out that when these issues are addressed properly, they create jobs.
When schools are funded, we create teaching and support jobs that keep our small towns viable. When we properly fund DCF, we create social worker jobs. When we fund corrections, this creates jobs for workers. When we build and repair roads, this creates private sector jobs. When we give the poor access to health care, health care providers are reimbursed which creates well-paying private sector jobs. And when we treat everyone with equality, we create a climate in which people want to live.
We have to talk about these issues and show that we agree with most Kansans on the issues and that is why we need Democrats in office. We don’t cheer for Democrats like we do for our favorite team; we support Democrats because they have the right policies. We need to show that Democrats are for the average Kansan who just wants to make a decent living and raise their family.
And when others bring up the emotional issues that cause people to stop thinking rationally, we need to clarify what we stand for. Being pro-choice doesn’t mean we are for abortion. Being welcoming to immigrants doesn’t mean we want open borders. Being in favor of a graduated income tax doesn’t mean we are for socialism. And wanting to give the poor a safety net doesn’t mean we want to give handouts. It means we are decent, caring people who care about more than just our own self-interests. And by doing so, we create a better society that actually is in all of our best interests. That is what our founding fathers called "The Common Good."
So keep fighting the good fight, fellow Democrats, and we will slowly turn this state a different color. I remember when we had a Democratic First District Congressman and a Democratic Majority in the State House of Representatives. It can happen again.