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Money -- and the lack thereof

Stop the bus, I need an economist. I want to understand what all this money nonsense is about.

It is estimated that $1 trillion changed hands in the 2012 election.

In light of the fiscal cliff we keep hearing about, a trillion in cash is significant.

One. Trillion. Dollars. Money spent on misleading, manipulative public relations with the intention of victory at any cost, in every race, in every state in the country in 2012. Was that money spent as a transaction or a bet?

I Googled it. A trillion-dollar stack of thousand-dollar bills would be 67.9 miles high. A trillion seconds ago, it was 30,000 B.C.

Our collective vanity has run amok. Real people are hurting. The victims of the recent hurricane have the same exact problems as people struggling to survive in third-world countries. Some of our fellow Americans are without food and water and housing and the temperatures are dropping below freezing. That must be somebody else's problem.

I suppose the trillion from the election in its own way stimulated the economy. People were paid to create and disseminate the dreck that filled everyone's personal landscape. Radio, TV, yard signs, forums, endless piles of junk mail -- all efforts to influence the national debate with precise and scientific applications designed to lure the citizens to someone else's cause, while reinforcing the like-minded with the attention given a spoiled child.

It seems silly when I consider that dialogue is free. The frugal German in me hates waste. How many hungry children could have been fed? How many homeless sheltered? How much medicine could have saved how many lives?

The notion that "all hands row the boat" has been redefined as communism. Tolerance used to be about "love thy neighbor," but now it's about repressing civil rights and considered a weakness. Too much compassion has been lost to the fear of diversity.

What a waste, the distractions and the pandemonium. Almost all of the races the neo-conservatives tried to influence were lost. No doubt the Koch money made a difference here, but Kansas always has been years behind the country and easy prey for ruthless preachers. All that animosity adds up to temporary, personal gratification -- over and done with nothing left but the grudge.

The country as a whole ignored the hate and fear, rejected the politics of pandemonium and stood up for real liberty.

Kansas just has to catch up.

Mary Hart-Detrixhe is a lifelong resident of the prairie and Ellis County. Her work can be found at www.janeQaverage.com.