politics

I don’t Tweet. I’m not sure why. I’m an introvert – maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe I get everything I have to say out in my editorial cartoons or in my banjo playing.

I joke around a lot during KMUW’s pledge drives with my little song parodies and twangy banjo riffs. As a cartoonist, I guess I’m used to making light of serious issues. That’s what cartoonists do, after all.

But don’t let my silliness obscure the significance of public radio’s economic plight. Recessionary pressures affect us all, including this radio station. What if they had to lay off Click and Clack? What if Sylvia Poggioli or Garrison Keillor found themselves in line at a soup kitchen somewhere?

If Governor Sam Brownback is really serious about attacking our state’s 492 million dollar deficit, why is he messing around with teensy little amounts like the $600,000 that the state will “save” by obliterating the Kansas Arts Commission?

It struck me that the best way I could respond to the Governor’s call for discontinuing all state funding of arts and music in Kansas is with a piece of music. So here goes:

Oh give me a home where we cut to the bone
All the arts funding here in our state
We see folks as heretics if they value aesthetics 
And the artwork that artists create

Who needs theater and ballet? Why should symphonies play?
Museums are a nuisance at best
Why expose kids to arts when we know in our hearts
Art and music are not on the test

How exactly do robo-calls help politicians? You know what I’m talking about—those automated, prerecorded phone messages we get on our landlines (those of us who still have landlines).

I don’t know anyone who ever says, “Wow, I got the nicest, most informative robo-call the other day.  The information was so pertinent and it really convinced me that that person was the right one for the job!”

The unprecedented nastiness of this season’s primary campaign seems noteworthy. Has there ever been a political atmosphere as charged with negativity as this one? Have there ever been so many candidates who’ve had so little to say about what they are actually in favor of? Okay, we did hear some platitudes about “Kansas values.” But mostly we heard negative messages telling us what they were against. They were against President Obama. They were against health care reform. They were against taxation. They were against undocumented immigrants.

So my family went out of town for a week and Wichita had a whole lot of rain during that time. There was the usual indicator of too much moisture in Wichita yards: a mushrooming bumper crop of political yard signs.

There’s a local businessman who’s running for Representative Todd Tiahrt’s congressional seat.  This guy is apparently just nuts about me. He really really really wants to be my pal. I know this because he’s tried three times to “friend” me on Facebook. Each time I turn him down and it never hurts his feelings. He just comes back again with another request. He’s positively smitten with me, I can only surmise.

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