Local Columns

Opinion: The Politics of 2020 census in Kansas

Initial state-level data from the 2020 census are out. What do these numbers show for Kansas and why do they matter? The U.S. population grew 7.4% from 2010 to 2020, the second lowest growth rate in history. That stemmed from declining birth rates and an aging population, increased deaths and ...

Opinion: Culture war goes beyond U.S. history

Kansans have learned that culture wars don’t stop at the state line. They invade most every aspect of our daily life. Lately the teaching of American history has come under fire. Whether the battle is political (Republican vs. Democrat) or ideological (critical race theory vs. traditional ...

Opinion: Race theory and free speech politics

From Washington, D.C., to Kansas, culture war issues are topping the conservative agenda. Many conservatives are advocating restricting speech in schools to ban something called “critical race theory” (CRT). CRT isn’t a theory like, say, the theory of gravity that has clear rules and ...

Opinion: The elephants in the Medicaid room

“My Republican colleagues will not talk about Medicaid expansion. They just won’t. I don’t understand it.” So said first-term Rep. Christina Haswood this past week during a discussion of the 2021 legislative session, responding to a question about what had surprised her at the ...

Opinion: Commuting is not the same as college

Even in today’s bitterly divided politics, certain trends still get bipartisan support. A case in point is “2+2” college education. Advocates believe that most students should enter the university having already completed the first two years at high school or community college, speeding ...

Opinion: A falsetto GOP chorus still singing Trump’s praises

It is not often that an obituary of a deceased politician captures the character of a living one. Journalist H. L. Mencken’s farewell to William Jennings Bryan, the religious firebrand and defense attorney in the 1925 anti-evolution Scopes “Monkey Trial” in Dayton, Tenn., is a stunning ...