The Census found only 14 percent of 18- to 24-year-old Kansans voted in the 2014 midterm election. In contrast, 66 percent of the over 65-year-olds did. Why the difference?
Process blocks younger voters. Only 36 percent are registered to vote. Lots fill out the forms but don’t submit birth certificates, so their applications go on Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s “suspense list.”
Younger voters have no time. They are busy with work and studies and have not figured out or do not have the time to get ballots by mail, according civicyouth.org.
They think their vote does not matter. This is the second most important cause, according to civicyouth.org.
They don’t know how to find out information on candidates. They don’t know about sites like vote411.org and votesmart.org.
No one asks them to vote. Asking youths to vote has been found to be most powerful influencer.
In conclusion, the youth don’t vote because the system is poorly designed. As Albert Einstein said, “Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.”
In July 2015, Karl Rove wrote an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, blasting President Barack Obama’s strategic vision. It is true that many things have not turned out in the Middle East over the last six months as the president or many of us would have wished.
Unfortunately, others may not agree with or buy into our vision for them. And strategy is hard to implement in places constantly in turmoil. Come to think of it, I wonder what Mr. Rove’s vision and strategy were for the Republican presidential candidacy six months ago and how well the gang of 15 are following his wishes and expectations today.
It’s easy to look back and hard to envision and create the future.
Gun, car fatalities
The Star’s Dec. 18 article, “Guns, cars are killing equally,” reported that automobile and gun deaths are now occurring at the same rate: 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people. Automobile death rates have trended downward over the last 60 years from 25 per 100,000. Death rates from guns have not decreased.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is charged with overseeing our automotive welfare. Their vigilance has had an effect on the car industry.
I have had four recalls on our 2010 SUV. The last two were for problems with the windshield wiper and the power window switch. Neither has caused a fatality, but without correction, perhaps they might lead to a death.
Conversely, our country seems to be inured to gun deaths. Evidently, nothing can be done besides handwringing. Too bad there is not a National Gun Safety Administration.
But that’s naive. Congress has its priorities, and collateral damage happens.
Leaders and liars
What is it about lies that are so appealing? Well, for one thing they are easier. You don’t have to stop and check for facts and you can tell people what they want to hear and still blame anyone else.
One of the world’s biggest set of lies always starts with the same four words, “God told me to .…”
This precedes statements like, “God told me to be your king, I don’t want to do it but it is God’s will.” And then there’s “God told me to kill them.”
Sometimes a liar doesn’t even know what he is saying is a lie. But generally he does and he wants you to do something for him. Usually you are expected to just believe, and if the lie is repeated enough you will believe.
Part of the appeal is a call to action — hate, kill, vote — while the truth has to say — help, friendship, love and vote. This is why a leader who wants to dominate you, must give you some group to hate, and that is where war and killing come from.
It becomes an individual’s perceptions as to which to believe. Hate your neighbor or love your neighbor — your choice.
Richard C. Lumpkin
Improve school funding
As a retired public school teacher, I care deeply about education. The excellent kindergarten through 12th-grade education I received in the Shawnee Mission School District is what inspired me to become a teacher.
That is why I am outraged over King Sam Brownback’s 2012 income tax experiment. It has had a devastating effect on education funding.
Brownback’s block-funding caused Moody’s debt rating agency to issue a “credit negative” warning for Kansas school districts and cautioned that the schools are financially challenged.
Now, 3,720 teachers have left the state, and unlicensed people are allowed to teach in Kansas. Teacher salaries have increased just 2 percent since 2009 while GOP lawmakers have voted to receive a 28.4 percent increase in their daily allowance. No wonder teachers have left the state.
A recent survey showed 64 percent of Kansans think that block-funding has resulted in lower quality education.
Brownback touts his Catholic religion, but his cuts in education are in direct opposition to the church’s emphasis on children. What a hypocrite.
The governor reaped the benefits of a good quality Kansas education, but he is unwilling to pay it forward. These cuts in education funding will have negative effects for years to come.
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