Midwest Voices

Do I dare become a Republican?

Updated: 2014-03-26T01:11:17Z

By AIMEE PATTON

Special to The Star

Can I do it?

Can I live with myself if I do it?

Everybody is doing it. Surely, it can’t be so bad.

Maybe if I do it, no one will ever know.

This is the debate going on inside my head as I deal with what I call “Krazy in Kansas.”

In case you have been living under a rock, Kansas continues to set the standards for living in the dark ages. The House passed HB2453 this week allowing businesses and others to deny service to homosexuals on religious grounds. The latest news is that the Senate won’t advance the bill as it is written.

However, this is just one of the many examples of the extremist legislation that comes from Topeka. It seems like day after day there is another bill from Republicans lawmakers who have a stronghold there. I am at a loss to figure out how to make it stop.

In response to HB2453, a politically savvy friend of mine, one whom I really respect, posted this on Facebook:

3 Hard Truths

1. Math: The ksleg DOES represent KS. Those Kansans who vote in August. Don’t like what’s going on, mad they’re not listening? Why would they, by-and-large, you don’t vote when it matters — August. It’s not about politics but basic math.

2. Get over it: You wanna vote in August, where MOST races are decided? The only way to exercise your RIGHT to vote in August is to register Republican.

I know you’re disgruntled & embarrassed, changed to unaffiliated as a statement, I’ve heard it all. To quote Dr. Phil: How’s that workin’ out for ya?

3. Form: All I’m saying is you don’t have to put a Santorum sticker on your car (:!) but your RIGHT to vote relies on this form. www.kdor.org/voterregistration/

(Steps off soapbox)

If you’ve read me before, you know I am a hard-core Democrat. Some would even categorize me as a flaming liberal. I’ve never voted Republican. It’s not that I dislike Republicans. Some of my best friends are Republicans. But the Republican philosophy goes against so many things I really believe in.

After reading my friend’s list above, the second item hit home.

I don’t know how to help stop extremism in Kansas. I sign petitions to protest bills I don’t agree with. I “like” the right Facebook pages. The honest truth is none of these things ever really impacts change.

The answer is I need to file in Kansas as a Republican if I’m going to vote in the primaries. Voting in the primaries usually means deciding between the moderate Republicans versus the extreme Republicans. That is when most of Kansas’ elections are truly decided. Not registering as a Republicans, means that I rarely participate in the Kansas political process. That means my vote barely ever counts.

So is it time I bite the bullet and register as a Republican? Surely, the voting office will laugh themselves silly when I change parties. Aimee Patton, a Republican? Seriously? Has hell frozen over?

Will I lend my voice to the moderate Republicans and help them win? Do I play the game knowing full well that I’m not a Republican?

What will I decide? What are your thoughts? Should I jump parties? Could you do it?

Signed,

Desperate for Change in Kansas

Aimee Patton of Fairway works in marketing and blogs at PleasantlyEccentric. To reach her, send email to oped@kcstar.com.

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