Paul A. Ibbetson
The Kansas conservative movement: a realization of power and responsibility
By Paul A. Ibbetson
August 11, 2011

If you have ever watched a "super hero" movie you will hear at some point the cautionary warning that, "With great power comes great responsibility." Those are wise words indeed but what if an individual doesn't know that he or she has a unique power worthy of being considered "super," let alone the responsibility that goes along with it? Thus enter the people of the state of Kansas.

The conservative majority in what I call the beautiful flatlands of Kansas continually do what is right in the face of liberal opposition. Day in and day out there are examples of regular people stepping forward and not just fighting for the values of God, family and country, but also winning the day; yes, winning the day and returning to the regular work of daily life with little fanfare or celebration. This appears to be the routine of the unsung hero and after observing Kansas heroism for my entire lifetime, I don't believe most Kansans require nor look for a pat on the back for doing what is right. However, because of our state's significant influence on the national stage as a whole, and the monumental challenges facing all Americans today, it is time to give an account of some of the instances when Kansans have stepped forward against liberal opposition and were heroes.

In 2005, in the heat of the Defense of Marriage Act debate, liberals within Kansas and across the nation attempted to push conservatives within the state into bypassing an initiative to vote on whether or not marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Liberal politicians in Topeka appeared ready to stand firm on refusing an amendment vote, while hundreds of conservatives across the state went to the state capital and discussed, lobbied, and prayed that our government would let the people vote on the issue. During this period, liberals attempted the very same demonization that is now heaped upon the Tea Parties of this state, by saying that Kansans who believed in traditional values were "hate mongers, intolerant, prejudiced," and the list goes on. After a lengthy battle, the people of Kansas were allowed to vote on the issue and 70 percent of state voters stated their desire for marriage to be only between a man and a woman. Following this hard-fought victory in Kansas, states such as Wisconsin, Virginia, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, Florida and even California would vote for traditional marriage. What one state can do, so can another.

It's not that Kansas is always a conservative bastion of perfection. We lose our way from time to time. What makes us unique, or might I say heroic, as a state is that our moral compass is directed by people who will acknowledge their mistakes and will make the often-painful course corrections when necessary. A salient example, and one mentioned far less than it should be, was the massive conservative victory against the country's most liberal homosexual bill created and passed in Manhattan, Kansas. On February 8, 2011, a liberal majority within Manhattan's city government with support from a homosexual advocacy group, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) pushed through an anti-discrimination ordinance alteration that created arbitrary punishments for traditional Kansans, and ran counter to the values of Christians. In the face of heavy liberal opposition, Kansans came together and voted in a conservative majority in Manhattan, Kansas, and repealed the homosexual bill. What one town can do, so can another.

Today, Kansas leads the nation in bringing back to national consciousness the reality of the sanctity of life before birth. Kansas House Bill 2218 acknowledges medical evidence of the pain capability of the unborn, and bans abortion after 22 weeks in all cases except to save a mother's life. Under Kansas House Bill 2035, the simple but land-breaking word change found in all abortion law language will now describe the unborn as a "child" and not a "fetus." As well, this bill requires that both parents, instead of one, be notified when a minor requests an abortion. Among other ground-shaking strides for life that are taking place in this state, Title X federal money for 'reproductive-related' services have been designated by law to only go to public health clinics giving full service primary and preventative care. Simply put, for the first time, Planned Parenthood does not qualify for those taxpayer funds. On this issue, Kansas is currently fighting Planned Parenthood in what can be seen as the conflict over "health dollars versus abortion dollars." Win or lose on this issue; once again, conservatives in Kansas are doing tremendous things.

Pick your issue, and you will see that time and time again Kansas conservatives do the right thing when doing wrong would be cheaper, easier and more politically correct. This is superhero work. While the people of our state get far less media attention for their many substantial victories, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the victories of the people of Kansas are on the minds of Americans throughout the country. Through my work in radio I have received e-mails from conservatives across the country, and in every state they praise the resilience and consistency of Kansas conservatives. Most notable are the conservatives of blue states that desire what we have here in the beautiful flatlands, a clear consensus on core value issues. Yes, the people of Kansas are superheroes to many across the nation.

There will be those that will attempt to diminish the value of what we have accomplished, and what we will do in the future. There will certainly be those that will attack me personally as the messenger and as one that holds the banner of conservatism in this state so proudly. I say on all counts, let the liberal detractors come, let them all come, and may the better values win. Praise has been earned by the people of Kansas, but with it comes the reality that the people of this state will continue to be challenged to do what is right, when doing right will be the harder thing to do. We must not fail, we must hold to our values to make a better state and in the end, to save this country. With great power comes great responsibility.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


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Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


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