Editorial Commentary: Ken Ciboski

Political commentator Ken Ciboski stands just right of center and offers a common-sense view of politics today.

Ken Ciboski's editorial commentary is also available on iTunes. Listen or subscribe here.

In Praise Of Politics

Apr 8, 2015
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Too often, Americans view politicians and politics with disdain. People say that politics is a dirty business and that politicians are corrupt and crooked.

wikipedia.org

At a town-hall style meeting in Cleveland this past week, President Obama sparked a discussion in which he said that requiring Americans to vote would have a “potentially transformative” effect on the political map of the country.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

People decry low voter turnout in local elections. In the March 3 primary election for Wichita Mayor and City Council candidates, approximately 20,000 individuals-- only 10 percent-- of nearly 200,000 registered voters cast a vote. Wichita now has a population of approximately 382,000, with 286,000 people over 18 years of age who could qualify as a voter. That means about 86,000 people in Wichita who could be voting are not on the voter registration rolls at all.

vansassa / flickr

In my nearly 47 years in Wichita, I have observed that city leaders have focused on that “one more thing” they think would attract and keep people in Wichita, especially young people.

kereifsnyder / Flickr / Creative Commons

    

How well are Americans doing with civic literacy?

The results of the 2010 National Assessment of Education Progress, known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” demonstrate that most K-12 students are learning little about civics and history. Only 22 percent of fourth-grade students, 18 percent of eighth-graders, and 13 percent of high school seniors demonstrated proficiency in American history.

Stephen Koranda / File Photo

Twenty-four hours in politics is like a year in ordinary life, when surprising and unexpected happenings occur.

Governor Brownback asserted in his State of the State speech that the “march to zero” on income taxes would continue in Kansas. Twenty-four hours later, the administration announced that this “march” would be slowed.

Two new tax proposals were also announced. One is a 300 percent increase on a pack of cigarettes, from 79 cents to $2.29. The other raises the tax on liquor from eight percent to 12 percent.

vox_efx / Flickr / Creative Commons

Many Kansans expressed surprise at the November election outcomes for senator and governor.

The polls indicated that Greg Orman would likely defeat Senator Pat Roberts and that Democrat Paul Davis would likely defeat Governor Sam Brownback. The polls were wrong because it is difficult to poll individuals who live in the many rural towns scattered across Kansas.

The election outcome did not surprise me.

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