I found the following editorial, Why our shift? by Steve Rose, Chairman of The Johnson County Sun, worth noting. The editorial states that they are a “traditional Republican newspaper” and have been endorsing republican candidates for the 56 years they have been publishing the paper.
The point is, I can name on two hands over a half century the number of Democrats we have endorsed for public office.
Mr. Rose writes that he has always voted for republican candidates and has used his column “to beat up on Democrats”. He still believes in traditional republican values, but states that the switch in the paper’s endorsements to conservative Democrats are for the following reasons:
The Republican Party has changed, and it has changed monumentally.You almost cannot be a victorious traditional Republican candidate with mainstream values in Johnson County or in Kansas anymore, because these candidates never get on the ballot in the general election. They lose in low turnout primaries, where the far right shows up to vote in disproportionate numbers.
To win a Republican primary, the candidate must move to the right.
What does to-the-right mean?
It means anti-public education, though claiming to support it.
It means weak support of our universities, while praising them.
It means anti-stem cell research.
It means ridiculing global warming.
It means gay bashing. Not so much gay marriage, but just bashing gays.
It means immigrant bashing. I’m talking about the viciousness.
It means putting religion in public schools. Not just prayer.
It means mocking evolution and claiming it is not science.
It means denigrating even abstinence-based sex education.
Note, I did not say it means “anti-abortion,” because I do not find that position repugnant, at all. I respect that position.
But everything else adds up to priorities that have nothing to do with the Republican Party I once knew.
That’s why, in the absence of so-called traditional Republican candidates, the choice comes down to right-wing Republicans or conservative Democrats.
And now you know why we have been forced to move left.
This year, they are endorsing democratic candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, state attorney general, state legislators, and US Congress. In my opinion, that is quite a shift. I am also curious to see if this sentiment will be evident throughout the country in November. How many traditional republicans will either vote for a democratic candidate or not vote at all because they feel that the republican party has moved “too far right”? We shall see.
Johnson County is located in northeastern Kansas and includes the cities of Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa and Shawnee.