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  • Last modified 38 days ago (Aug. 15, 2018)

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It's time to hang Chad

No, the little pieces of punch-card ballots that clogged the 2000 presidential election in Florida aren’t making a comeback.

What actually is being lynched these days is the Florida-like excitement we expected out of a very close gubernatorial election in Kansas. And, in the process, the Republican Party.

True, a lot more people than usual showed up at Monday’s county commission meeting for the counting of provisional ballots.

But it’s not as if anyone was riveted by the drama, which supposedly ended Tuesday night, of whether Jeff Colyer or Kris Kobach won the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The reason seems clear from the final polls taken before Election Day.

Asked whether they had seen ads for either candidate, nearly all survey respondents said they had.

Asked whether, after seeing the ads, they had a higher or lower opinion of each candidate, by substantial margins respondents thought less of each candidate the more they had heard about him.

“None of the above” might have won the election.

If you’re a Democrat, that’s great news. We’ll probably be electing a Democrat as governor this fall.

If you’re a Republican, you might want to start thinking now about the party’s penchant for self-destructing by fielding candidates whose sole platforms appear to be based on knee-jerk conservatism of more guns, less taxes, no abortions, and constantly waving the flag.

Voters are beginning to get wise to the notion that you need more than a slogan and an image to prove that you’re worth putting in office.

Appearing on TV in a Jeep with a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on it may sufficiently redden the necks of the low-brow Republicans who have seized control of the party in impoverished and urban areas of the state.

But here, where Republicans are still a party of conscience rather than one of racism, mysogyny, and Bible-thumping intolerance, all it does it drive voters toward Democrats who at least can behave in a civilized manner.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified Aug. 15, 2018

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