Nothing in life is certain. Even the old “Death and Taxes” quote Benjamin Franklin coined now doesn’t apply to the wealthy who use tax laws and lobbying to cheat paying taxes. I’m sure conservative lobbyists and politicians in Kansas thought the abortion amendment to the state’s constitution was a sure deal. And to secure the measure, they wrote the ballot proposal to confuse voters.
People will resort to the most sleaziest tactics to get their bills passed or defeated. I remember a school bond proposal of the Hulbert, Okla. school district near my house had a campaign telling people that if they rented property their rent wouldn’t go up if the bond proposal was passed. Well, considering they don’t know how the landlords will react, that’s a bald-faced lie. Luckily, people voted it down because many property owners’ taxes would increase and we’re already paying too much. And so I’m sure rent would increase.
Another town measure that was put to the voters in Wagoner, Okla. when I was the news editor there was placed on the ballot the week or so before Christmas in 2012. They could have piggy-backed it on the general election a month earlier. But they had a plan that people wouldn’t turn out to the polls because of the time of year. So, this ballot proposal which was a tax proposal to pay off an indebtedness coming due for the hospital failed because people saw the ruse.
Rule number one in voting – Never underestimate voters. That’s why Trump was elected President.
Also, Kansas had been trying to rebound from the disaster that was Gov. Sam Brownback, who left office as one of the least popular governors in the country. His administration was notorious for a tax cut that was disastrous other Republicans fought back. The notion that Kansas people are traditionally conservative Christians is part of the problem with many states. Red states are usually red because of gerrymandering not because many conservatives live there. In fact, more Democratic voters live in the country. That’s why Trump and his followers can’t understand that so many people would turn out and vote for Joe Biden in 2020. I don’t think they voted for him but against Trump.
But what does this mean in future elections? It ain’t over until it’s over as Yogi Berra said. Conservatives may have been expecting the November general elections to be a cakewalk for Republicans as they can point to inflation and gas prices. But repealling Roe v. Wade in an election could be a bigger mistake for the Republican Party.
Gas prices always rise and fall. As a matter of fact, they’re down now more than they were when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling. Kids are going back to school. Family vacations aren’t being planned. And inflation isn’t really something the President can control regardless who’s in office.
But aborition will take center stage in the upcoming months in all elections. Even worse, the SCOTUS has even said they’re going to take up looking at same-sex marriage during their next session. This might be something they backtrack hearing. What happened in Kansas, aka the Heartland, is proof Americans are fed up with the conservative Christian agenda. The ballot measure failed by 59 percent of the vote going against it. And you’re not hearing about fraud at the polls or how the election is stolen because people are getting tired of that too. You can’t always scream election fraud when there’s an 18-point difference. You have to take your loss.
According to reports from the Asscoated Press, there are 543,855 people who voted against the ballot measure to the 378,466 votes for it. That’s well over 165,000 people who voted against it. It’s hard to criticize those numbers as close. That’s 922,371 voters. According to a 2020 Census, Kansas has over 2.9 million in population so it is impressive.
Of course, this ballot failure might keep other states from even putting the measure to the voters. Kansas currently is wiping a huge egg off its face. In 2018, Oklahoma conservatives were certain the medical cannabis ballot wouldn’t pass that when it did with 57 percent, they weren’t prepared to implement it. While many states have laws already in place banning abortion, the Kansas vote might give some state legislators a platform to win.
The abortion debate won’t be settled this year or the next election year. Many people are pro-choice and the recent case of a 10-year-old rape victim having to travel from Ohio to Indiana makes the issue more serious of things to come. And as male legislators rile up their voter base telling them they’re pro-life and women shouldn’t have the right to choose, it might be a surefire reason to vote them out.
But we don’t know what’s going to happen. Republicans just got their asses handed to them after the PACT Act. One myth conservatives have spread about liberals and Democrats is how they hate and disrespect military veterans, but seeing Republicans congratulating themselves about voting against won’t sit well with some voters.
And I’m sure the Kansas vote will cause legislators to look at how churches and religious organizations influence elections. The Kansas City Archidiocese spent $2.45 million in lobbying for the passage of the vote. That’s money that could’ve been spent elsewhere. It’s been reported up to $4 million was spent to pass the amendment. This raises concerns on how much longer we can allow churches and religious organizations to keep their tax exempt status on politicial issues.
There’s a grey area where churches can discuss hot-button issues like abortion, but they can’t openly endorse candidates. And that might be how they have been allowed to spend so much money on lobbying and still not have to pay taxes. But the question should be asked on how much longer can we allow religious organizations to give politicians money while not supporting their communities? It’s way passed time we stopped this.
What do you think? Please comment.