Red state, blue state, what a state of affairs

May 4, 2018

By Monica Diaz
NNAF News Fellow | Kansas State University
As our country continues to remain in a tense political climate, the divide between Republicans and Democrats is growing. In a country rooted in the belief that the government is of the people, by the people and for the people, our roots are being shaken.
Former President Barack Obama once said, “I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together: black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young, old; gay, straight; men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance under the same proud flag to this big, bold country that we love. That’s what I see. That’s the America I know!”
Many others agree, as well.
Better Angels is an organization that replicates this viewpoint and wants to create an America that unites liberals and conservatives.
Better Angels, a bipartisan organization that aims to reduce the ongoing political divide throughout the U.S., holds workshops that allows liberals and conservatives to discuss the divide.
Donna Murphy, the regional coordinator for Better Angels, said, “If red and blue worked together, we would be unstoppable.”
Despite political differences, we can all agree that change must come in our country. One ongoing political controversy is over immigration. Liberals and conservatives agree that the U.S. must change its immigration policies, but how to do that, is where the divide appears.
Rep. Roger Marshall, R-KS, said he believes that immigration reform is necessary for the country and especially for Kansas.
“I am proactive in regards to how NAFTA and immigration reform will affect Kansas,” Marshall said.
Marshall wants to see a policy reform that will help the country and Kansas. Kansas heavily relies on immigrant workers to help with the agricultural industry. With such a massive reliance on agriculture, protecting immigrants is a top priority in order to maintain a stable economy throughout the state.
With Kansas being a red state, immigration is a topic that is often debated. The entire state believes immigration needs to be reformed, but the trouble stems from how to accomplish that.
When discussing such controversial topics, we must ask ourselves a question: How do we, as Americans—and specifically Kansans—move past the lines of red and blue in order to get policy passed?
Although there are differing perspectives, Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-MI, said she knows the first step to defuse political tension in order to create and pass policy that will benefit our country.
“First off, we need to be more tolerant of each other,” Dingell said. “We all care about this country equally.”
Dingell spoke to a group of students in town as part of the National Newspaper Association Community Newspaper Leadership Summit.