Election Day, Nov. 2, 2010, was a very sad time for millions of Americans. Cheryl Burke and her partner got voted off Dancing With the Stars.
When that show began, some moderately famous celebrities were paired with a bunch of totally unknown young dancers. After just a few seasons, the professional dancers often had far greater name recognition than many of their trainees.
Most notable was one contestant whose only real claim to fame came from being the daughter of a controversial parent. In spite of starting out a little chubby and noticeably awkward, she managed to rise to third place in her season. Amidst all the phony baloney on television, the Cinderella transformation of Kelly Osbourne was decidedly charming and entirely credible.
You may have thought I was referring to Bristol Palin. The partisan conspiracy squad said that Sarah's daughter made it to third place due to a plot by the Tea Party. If the teaps really did encourage young Bristol to continue baring her legs and shaking her booty, I would not call them conspirators. I would accuse them of being downright progressive — footloose and fancy free.
In less interesting results from that same day, Sam Brownback decided to be our governor. He was duly elected, but there was so little opposition or discussion from either party, that it seemed like a self-appointment. This year, things are improving. Finally, as long hoped, some members of the original party are refusing to rubber stamp the alt-wrongs, who for too long have pretended to be Republicans. The opposition has been vigorous.
In an Arlington, Va., grocery in 1972, I overhead a housewife say, "I guess I'll try some of those tortillas." Most likely she was making a reluctant effort to satisfy a request from her family. I base this assumption on the fact that her pronunciation of tortilla rhymed with vanilla — but she was making the effort to change, just as our country has. Nowadays there are old white guys on Wall Street who can pronounce "chipotle" correctly without batting an eye.
In more recent times, I listened to a local yokel whining because a box on a store shelf had information written in Spanish. I didn't bother to tell him that what he was looking at was French. I've said before that you don't have to be stupid to be a racist, but the stupid ones are the most annoying. Your side is going to lose, Bud — no matter how many "nationalists" you vote for. The great American melting pot continues to add interesting new flavors, just as always was intended. Even the xenophobes have a new bilingual slogan — "We got no cojones, so we need a big wall!"
You can learn a lot about Garden City by reading the obituaries. As far back as the 1920s, children born of Mexican parents have become life-long residents (and citizens) of our little town. They and their subsequent generations have often been here far longer than the aforementioned whiners. You will read notices of deceased Volga Germans whose surviving daughters have Mexican surnames (Love conquers all). If you come around here and start bad-mouthing Hispanic men, you'd best watch out for their German mothers-in-law.
At the local gun show earlier this year, a pair of out-of-town vendors wore Trump T-shirts. At most locations, that might be an acceptable strategy, but here they were looking quite uncomfortable as it gave them the opportunity to experience being in the minority.
Brownback and his mini-me, Kris "big gun, no bullets" Kobach, really don't like Garden City. We are multicultural, multilingual, growing and thriving. We are proof that their narrow-minded view of the world is fallacious. Rather than admit our success, they try to sabotage it. When Kobach says that he wants to eliminate "sanctuary" cities in Kansas, it is Garden City and surrounding towns that he is talking about.
The question for western Kansas voters is simple. Do you hate immigrants enough that you are willing to let these eastern invaders mess with our prosperity?
Kobach has devoted his life to fighting immigration. That's all he did as secretary of state. That's all he will do no matter where he ends up. Since most of the immigrants coming here from the south are Christian, it is fair to say that he has spent his life persecuting Christians. He should do Jesus a big old favor and stop pretending to be one. If you support his efforts, you should do the same.
John Dailey, a Telegram contributing columnist, is the owner of Sandhill Books. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.