We're not all like this. I swear.
The campaign trail that runs through Kansas this year has done little to refute blanket criticism of politics in the state. Those inching dangerously closer to holding office in Kansas possess some of the backwards views of the world that those of us that live or grew up in Middle America are stereotyped to possess.
Kansas secretary of state candidate Kris Kobach and U.S. House candidate Tracey Mann are doing their best to produce boom times for bumper sticker makers. Remember The Birthers, the conspiracy theorists that are determined President Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen?
Yeah, that's still a topic of debate here.
Kansas secretary of state candidate Kris Kobach says President Barack Obama would resolve questions about his citizenship by producing a detailed birth certificate.
You hear that, Obama? Just show us your papers and we can all move on. Sure, we've heard all about state officials in Hawaii repeatedly checking and verifying your being born there to Ann Dunham, who ironically was born in Wichita. But you should probably do as "everyone" in Arizona is being asked.
Until then, the jury is still apparently out. Just look at the "PRESIDENT or JIHAD" billboard that surfaced outside a Denver auto dealership.
Or, again, refer to what is being deemed a legitimate "campaign issue" in Kansas.
"It doesn't have a doctor's signature on it," Kobach said in Overland Park. "Look, until a court says otherwise, I'm willing to accept that he's a natural U.S. citizen. But I think it is a fair question: Why not just produce the long-form birth certificate?"
Unsurprisingly, Kobach also helped pen the sweeping and controversial immigration law recently implemented in Arizona. A spokesman for his campaign said the issue of Obama's citizenship comes up at nearly every event. The quote above is from one of his latest stops and arrives one year after Kobach caught flak for joking: "What does Obama and God have in common? Neither has a birth certificate."
As indicated, Kobach is not alone in wanting to see some papers. Mann recently lost an endorsement from a local newspaper when she remarked in a radio interview that Obama "needs to come forth with his papers and show everyone that he is an American citizen and put this issue to bed once and for all."
What's troubling is just how many people this grandstanding sticks with. That The Birther movement continues only further tells the populace that, in order to lead, one needs not so much education and perspective but an inescapable voice and an ability to play the crowd.
But, please, in Kansas we all don't subscribe to conspiracy theories regarding Obama's birth. Nor do we all take delight in placing special emphasis when pronouncing the president's middle name like it is some kind of scarlet letter.
No, we just find ourselves looking at the possibility of being represented by a lunatic fringe, an impediment to progress.