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Guest gentle guy

I recently finished reading Michael Lind's "Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics." Although I may not agree with everything Lind writes (for example, I don't think that the Enron debacle "ruined" the lives of "millions"), I found it very thought-provoking, especially the two religion chapters ("That Old Time Religion" and "Armageddon"). Admittedly, I enjoy reading anything that is anti-Dubya. Since my political views tend to fall in the middle of the road, I would be interested in the comments of our fellow posters who are more liberal or conservative in their views (or who have more knowledge of the author). Thanks!

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Having recently clicked my ruby slippers together three times and moving back to Kansas, that's a book I want to read, also. It's been criticized locally as being a facile analysis, but I'll have to read it for myself to be able to judge. I leafed through the book at Borders, and the author seems to have done a nice job skewering the smug self-satisfaction of the Kansas City suburbs in Johnson County.

 

Kansas has been a virtually one-party Republican fiefdom for what seems like eons. That masks a deep division between the pragmatic, moderate Republicans who used to dominate the state party and the ultra-conservative, evangelical wing who've taken over the party machinery and many public offices, particularly on school boards and in the state legislature. It's almost like two parties, because each side detests the other. It's worth noting that it was moderate Republican state senators from Johnson County who helped kill the anti-gay marriage amendment proposal in the most recent session of the Kansas Legislature, fighting tooth and nail against the conservatives.

 

Demographics in Kansas are shifting. The Kansas City suburbs continue to burgeon, and many of the people who move there are Democrats. Voting registration figures there are deceptive, because many register as Republicans to be able to vote in the primaries (the Democratic primaries in Kansas are usually dull because there's only one candidate -- the only competitive races are between the conservative and moderate Republicans). However, those folks will vote Democratic in the general election. There is also a rapidly growing Hispanic population, both in the Kansas City area and outstate. As those folks become citizens and start voting, they'll also affect voting patterns. As it is, the district including the Johnson County suburbs is the only Kansas congressional district represented by a Democrat, and the state now has an attractive Democratic governor. The same district includes Kansas City, Kansas, which is a blue collar industrial community that has long been a Democratic stronghold, and Lawrence, where the University is located. Wichita also has a lot of Democrats, being a city with a large number of unionized aircraft workers. So Kansas isn't as monolithic as it appears at first glance.

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Welcome (back) to Kansas, my home state. You've summed up Kansas quite nicely. One of my relatives in Kansas is a recent past-President of the Kansas Bar Association. He has been much in the news in the past. While a Republican, he is a truly moderate guy.

 

The people in Kansas who really feel disenfranchised are the farmers, especially farmers in the poor swath of south east Kansas. They've been promised infrastructure improvements (mostly highways) for years but never get them. Rail line abandonments and poor highways make it difficult for wheat farmers in much of the state to get crops to market. Meanwhile, the cities, where the votes in the legislature are, continue to build roads. You have no idea of the depth of the anger the rural part of the state feels toward the cities. Curiously, the rural areas tend to be quite libertarian, and see the politics of the religious right quite clearly.

 

Kansas is a VERY interesting state. Has a wonderful, rich history and truly remarkable people. Sadly, the state appears to not be funding its University system to the levels of the past.

 

Tri--what took you to Kansas, and where do you live? I'm there frequently, and will be there within the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye out for a black Ford Explorer with an HRC logo on the left rear bumper. (Plus Arizona plates.) Any chance of lunch?

 

--EBG

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My parents (aged 92 and 82 and in pretty good health) now live in Johnson County, and I want to be able to spend time with them. Of course, if any health emergencies arise, I may need to spend more time there. K.C. is also a much more affordable home base in the U.S. than San Francisco! So moving back to the land of Dorothy and Toto makes sense, at least for the time being.

 

I'll be in Johnson County from 9/8 thru 11/4. If you're in K.C., lunch would be great. Just e-mail me through this site.

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Another really superb book I just finished reading is James Hillman's "A Terrible Love of War". Hillman, a very gifted Jungian analyst and author has written a profound and disturbing study of war and the human fascination/love affair with it. I found this book challenging many of my long-held assumptions about war and peace. One particular chapter, called "Religion is War" was particularly insightful. One of Hillman's contentions is that all Westerners are culturally or psychologically "Christian", and rather than being inclined toward the peaceful aspects of the Christ persona, we're much more inclined toward the militant, "Onward Christian Soldiers" gig. Hillman believes that all of the monotheistic religions tend toward being militantly aggressive, due to the notion that each worships the "true God". I've only mentioned a few key ideas, but this book is loaded with thought-provoking ideas that really make you take a hard look at how you feel and what you believe about war. This is probably one of the best academic books I have read in some time.

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Guest gentle guy

Take back the thread!

 

Thanks, Gio, for trying to undo the hijack.

 

So, somebody, anybody here who is well-informed know of the author and/or the book? BewareofNick? Doug? Dick?

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RE: Take back the thread!

 

>Thanks, Gio, for trying to undo the hijack.

>

>So, somebody, anybody here who is well-informed know of the

>author and/or the book? BewareofNick? Doug? Dick?

 

 

Some bio material on Michael Lind:

 

Michael Lind has previously been an editor or staff writer for The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and The National Interest.

 

He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and other leading publications. He has appeared on CNN's Crossfire, C-SPAN, National Public Radio, and the News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

 

Mr. Lind's three books of political journalism and history, The Next American Nation (1995), Up From Conservatism (1996), and Vietnam (1999) were all selected as New York Times Notable Books.

 

He has also published several volumes of fiction and poetry, including The Alamo, which the Los Angeles Times named as one of the Best Books of 1997.

 

In addition, Michael Lind recently published a book, "The Radical Center" co-authored with Ted Halstead to explore the social, economic and political implications of America's transition to a post-industrial era.

 

Visit today's home page.

 

 

Recent contributions:

 

Dean, Yankee of Vermont

 

 

The Strange Turn of U.S. Neoconservatism

 

 

The Strange Path of “Neoconservatism”

 

 

European Origins of American Democracy

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