Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s recent visit to Dodge City spoke volumes.
Scheduled for a meet-and-greet event Wednesday, the ultraconservative hoping to become governor proved once again how ill-suited he is to hold any office.
Demonstrators who showed up at the Kobach appearance toted signs criticizing him on issues ranging from voter suppression efforts he’s spearheaded, to his desire to keep endangered refugees — namely Muslims — out of the United States.
The demonstrators understandably protested Kobach’s shortsighted, inhumane and otherwise damaging acts targeting minorities at a time of surging white nationalism — a despicable movement out to undo racial progress made in recent decades.
Kobach made a name for himself traveling across the country writing anti-immigrant policies such as “show your papers” laws. He was the driving force behind harmful voting restrictions fueled by the myth of immigrants here illegally voting in droves, and recently defended the ugly separation of families at the border.
Much like President Trump in his run for office, Kobach relies on misinformation and mean-spirited rhetoric to rally his base.
But when challenged at a public event by citizens who disagreed with him, Kobach and his group ducked out early and literally got out of Dodge. His running mate, Wink Hartman, snidely commented as they left the public meet-and-greet event early: “Let’s go, we’re gaining nothing here.”
By leaving well before the scheduled end of his appearance, Kobach cheated people out of the opportunity to engage him with tough questions about immigration, voting rights and other issues important to Kansans.
In this instance, a gubernatorial hopeful overly fixated on people's ethnic backgrounds showed his true colors: thin-skinned and intolerant, without regard for opposing views.
Kansas suffered through the same backward mindset under former Gov. Sam Brownback, whose regime worked overtime to shut down dissension and challenges to its extreme-right agenda. The result was one-sided, ideology-driven policymaking that plunged the state deep into debt while undermining health care, public education, infrastructure, corrections and other core services.
Kobach only would drive us back to that sad state of intolerance — and at great cost to all Kansans. He has no business being governor or holding any other office in this great state.