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SPOTLIGHT
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Kansas Utopia

Published on -8/29/2012, 10:35 AM

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Kansas utopia

The recent primary gives Kansans plenty of food for thought. Rep Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, was defeated, along with most of the moderate Republicans he led, and his comments the day after the primary were illuminating. The Koch brothers have achieved their biggest social agenda goal to date and elected tea party Republicans where before Kansans had moderates like Pete Brungardt and Steve Morris. Seventeen of 22 moderates were defeated in this month's primary.

Reports state the Koch brothers are using Kansas as a "testing ground for their ideas" and that they consider this ultraconservative agenda a "utopia."

I was so happy to hear it. I've been waiting for The Utopia for decades. Now that the Koch brothers have bought the state outright, I'm assessing the future of a state run by the whims of a pair of multibillionaires. I always thought I'd never have enough money to buy into the Utopia when it came around, but the Koch brothers are giving it to us all for free. And we didn't even ask for it.

This means drastic changes in state policies concerning education, health care, energy development and environmental protections. A new conservative agenda for this Utopia relies upon the notion there is a common good, and directing government policy towards the benefit of society is the conservation of our nation.

Now that the neoconservatives have all but eliminated abortion in the state, they are going to give free health care and education to all children born in the state through their 18th birthday. They know that an educated populace creates a thriving economy, and is an incentive for the best minds to stay here. And just as they know a child's education begins at birth, they are going to fund pre-K and parent education.

They are conservatives, after all. They're all about saving.

They will save our state from the ignominy of being 19th in the country's education standards, with only 33 percent of eighth-graders ranking "proficient" or higher according to national standards.

This according to the neoconservative group American Legislative Exchange Council, the group responsible for codifying the wave of neoconservative policies across the country in recent election cycles, and another of the Koch brother's fantasy games.

They will save our state from the blemish of substandard health care by once again funding necessary programs like Hospice and Home Health Care, underfunded since the Kansas Congress decided to put teeth into its compassionate conservatism and refused the standards set forth by the Affordable Care Act.

The Koch brothers will further issue mandates promoting free health care for women, infants and children to quell the dismal state statistics on infant mortality, because like all conservatives, they are embarrassed that Kansas ranks 40th in infant mortality.

Kanstopia will have unlimited development of alternative energies without crony boondoggles like ethanol. It won't be long and we'll have electric car fueling stations, and homeowners will be able to retrofit their homes for solar and wind energy by utilizing decent tax breaks.

Like true conservatives, Kanstopians will develop policy that protects the environment for future generations by regulating fossil fuel production with mandates that first consider the health and safety of citizens.

It means the oil companies will now pay a fair share for the roads they're demolishing with the increased greed-hysteria over oil production. Kanstopians can look forward to clean air and abundant potable water.

It means families below the poverty level will be given assistance for food and utilities, since both those industries feed heavily at the public trough.

The most important tenet of this Conservative Utopia is that every single person has the opportunity to make a living wage with cradle to grave health care a given.

This is a dream that can be dreamed by anyone espousing conservative family values. Of course, I'm using the Greek translation of 'utopia' as "the best place", as opposed to Thomas More's definition, from the Latin, that means "no place."

There's no place like home.

Mary Hart-Detrixhe

Hays

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