If you are hoping for a happier new year, I encourage you to go back to The Telegram of Dec. 13 and read the column written by Cal Thomas. Now that Black Friday has become our most sacred holy day, church folk continue to hope that we might put Christ back in Christmas. Mr. Thomas also encourages his fellow conservatives to put the "Christian" back in Christianity, instead of worshipping at the altar of temporal politics.

The 24/7 barrage from the cable bull networks (MSNBC, Fox, et. al.) has led us to define too much of our lives in terms of liberal vs. conservative, when other factors are often far more important.

Out here in western Kansas we have known for decades that the split between urban and rural is often more significant than the choice between Democrats and Republicans. Whether it be state or federal, if we're dealing with Easterners, we just can't get no respect. While our current president and some of his predecessors were elected with less than an overall majority of the votes, the Electoral College system that protects the smaller states is a good thing. Likewise, it may seem odd that a U.S. senator chosen by a handful in Kansas has the same powers as one picked by the multitudes in New York or California. That design was established by the founders to protect our wee voice in the democracy, and it often frustrates the multitudes, due to the aforementioned lack of respect.

While quoting both Abraham Lincoln and Bob Dylan, which is just too cool, Cal Thomas encourages us to return to the most important consideration — the difference between right and wrong. If a conservative does a bad thing, the fact that a liberal did the same doesn't make it OK; it just means that way too much is wrong. Note to swamp drainers — being up to your ass in alligators is a non-partisan problem.

A prominent local citizen, whose name I won't drop, asked how I felt about the outcome of the Alabama Special Election. I said that it was encouraging. It demonstrates that even in the Deep South there are still conservatives who have a gag reflex. Some things are just more important than the body count in the Senate. We can only hope that similar considerations will allow us to boot Kris Kobach out of Kansas politics. It will be even easier here; you don't have to vote for a Democrat, just pick a better Republican.

The most bizarre example of our polarized mentality came in December from the three men being tried for plotting to bomb the people of Garden City. They believe that western Kansas jurors would be more sympathetic to their cause than Wichita jurors. I’ve been known to bemoan the behavior of some local conservatives, but even I don't think there are many who would support domestic terrorism. Rural people are being underestimated once again. Those who do believe such behavior is OK should be investigated not empaneled. While it is normal for nut job racists to believe that lots of people agree with them, where did they find attorneys who would go along with this stunt? Nonetheless, in the spirit of open-mindedness, if these guys want western Kansas jurors, I'll be happy to volunteer. Send me!

With fires and floods and a distinct lack of domestic tranquility, some of the faithful may believe that the end is near. Skeptics will respond that if it hasn't happened in two millennia, then it's not likely to happen at all. My faith is not abstract; it is based on first-person experience. Better souls than me may be able to believe in invisible stuff, but I've been allowed to watch it happen. Two thoughts apply. I believe, as I've been taught, that God is slow but He's never late. Second, I know from my own journey that God's plan always proves to be better than whatever I've thought up. I'm not qualified to debate theology, but I have to believe that if the second coming is part of God's plan, then 2,000 years is not too long to wait.

Sadly, one thing is certain. If Jesus does come back anytime soon, He won't be visiting the United States. A radical Middle Eastern carpenter who has no technical skills and doesn't speak English? Donald Trump will never give Him a visa.

John Dailey, a Telegram contributing columnist, is the owner of Sandhill Books. Email comments to sandhill.books@gcnet.com.