Dear liberal Kansans — the few who remain,
Let me first say, I appreciate different points of view. I enjoy your company.
When we’re talking about sports or movies or the latest fashions, I typically like you better than your conservative counterparts.
That said, when you color your political opinions based solely on hyperbole, you sound silly. I want to think your ideas are based on fact and universal truths, but oftentimes, they are not.
On the national scene, I can give you a break. President Barack Obama talks a good game, and it’s not as if you can just pop down the street and find out the truth from one of his staffers, friends or acquaintances. You’ve got to take someone’s word for it, and his is as good as any, I guess.
The same cannot be said for state and local issues. Your friends and neighbors are speaking the truth on many of those things, but you’re not listening.
Perhaps the greatest, most recent example is your reaction to Kansas House Bill 2023. As Special Agent Fox Mulder of “X-Files” fame would surely tell you, the truth is out there.
The bill is available online. You can find out for yourself, explaining exactly what it does and doesn’t do.
Many of my liberal friends and their sympathizers are shaking virtual fists on Facebook and Twitter screaming that the bill will damage the First Amendment rights of teachers and policemen and firefighters.
That’s not what the bill does. Under the proposal, which passed the Kansas House in blazing colors last week, public employee union members will no longer be able to payroll deduct donations to their political action committees.
You can still donate money to the political action wing of your union. It’s really easy, and I’m going to explain how you can in the event this legislation becomes law.
Take out your checkbook.
Write a check out to the political action committee or union of your choice.
Fill in the amount you would like to donate.
Sign your name.
Put that check in the mail or give it to the appropriate person.
There are also ways to accomplish this online, but I’ll leave that explanation to someone more technically savvy than me.
This, by the way, is the preferred method for the rest of us when we want to donate to a political cause.
You still have the right to be a member of a union, and your union can still payroll deduct membership fees. The legislation does not, as a Kansas National Educators Association talking-point memo suggests, let government take away control of your paycheck or permanently silence the voices of teachers and other public employees.
“Passage of HB 2023 ensures that the Kansas NEA will be prohibited from launching a campaign to save our schools,” the memo warns. “The only thing still standing between the destruction of public education and your children is the KNEA.”
Neither of those points remotely resembles reality. Of course, this is the same talking-point briefing that likens politicians to cockroaches.
I’m not going to argue that point. I am, however, asking you to dial down the dramatics.
We get it.
You don’t like this piece of legislation. But making up stories (or believing them) when the information is widely available isn’t helping liberal causes.
The lies are making the rest of us uncomfortable. Do you really want to waste what little political capital Kansas liberals retain by telling tall tales?
Please, dust yourselves off, and use some common sense. Those of us who appreciate a reasonable debate will thank you for it.
Freelance columnist Danedri Herbert writes in this space once a month.