The Long View of the State of Our Republic

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At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Franklin was queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation. In the notes of Dr.James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention, a lady asked Dr.Franklin

Well Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?

Franklin replied,

A republic . . . if you can keep it.

The recent news from the Supreme Court, the White House, and the U.S.Senate might lead one to believe that an apology is owed to the Good Dr.

Sorry Ben, we couldn’t keep it.

Sometimes when things appear quite bleak it’s good to take a break. Travel on some secondary roads for scenic views, and contemplate the long view of the state of this republic. For me this opportunity came with a road trip from Texas Hill Country to Indianapolis, Indiana via secondary roads in Oklahoma and Kansas.

Kansas 2013
Kansas 2013

The scenery makes one contemplate how different it is now from what it was like in 1936. Then residents of Kansas and Oklahoma were getting out of Dodge or Muskogee for a better place to live in California. Today some residents of California are getting out of Fresno and Merced for a better place to live in Kansas.
1936 Kansas
1936 Kansas

Most people have a mental image of coastal California movie stars and rock stars. There is another California along the central valley that is as poor as the residents of Appalachia.

In addition to the change of scenery over 77 years in Kansas, we can see a change of elected by Kansas voters over the last five years. Below is a table and information about the Governor, U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives of Kansas in 2008.

CATO Institute Policy Report Card on America’s Governors 2008
Kathleen Sebelius, Democrat Legislature: Republican
Grade: D

District Party Member Rank Score
R Roberts, Pat 16 77%
R Brownback, Sam 18 74%
1 R Moran, Jerry 96 76%
4 R Tiahrt, Todd 105 74%
2 D Boyda, Nancy 224 14%
3 D Moore, Dennis 435 0%

Compare that 2008 data with the 2012 information.

CATO Institute Policy Report Card on America’s Governors 2012
Sam Brownback, Republican Legislature: Republican
Grade: A

District Party Member Rank Score
1 R Huelskamp, Tim 4 88%
4 R Pompeo, Mike 4 88%
2 R Jenkins, Lynn 7 76%
3 R Yoder, Kevin 7 76%
R Roberts, Pat 10 84%
R Moran, Jerry 34 56%

If one looks back to Kansas politics of 1936, the Governor, Alf Landon lost the Presidential election to FDR in a landslide. This landslide has only been surpassed once in 1984 when Walter Mondale lost by a larger landslide to Ronald Reagan.

The car radio on this scenic drive was tuned into The Rush Limbaugh Show, and Rush offered a thought that fits nicely with the long view of the state of our Republic.

I still have a feeling. Honestly, folks. I can’t specify it. I just have a, I don’t know, feeling that something’s gonna happen and straighten this stuff out. I’ve always thought that. I don’t know why. I don’t know what my faith is in. In the past, it’s always been in the people.

I can’t tell you why, folks; I just still have this gut feeling or whatever it is. It might just be silly, blind, beauty pageant-contestant faith that this is all gonna work out.

I can’t tell you why or how.

So it’s not worth much.

Cross-posted at Unified Patriots

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