Does Thomas Frank think that Kansans are stupid? That is a tough questions to answer. I believe if Frank was forced to answer this question himself, he would no doubt say “no.” He would argue that Kansans have been abandoned by the Democratic party and misled by Republicans. Frank would also argue that because Democrats have not presented a clear alternative on economic issues from Republican ideas, voters tend to vote based on their social values which elected officials can do little about. However, despite the fact that I believe Frank would not say that Kansans are stupid, deep down, he does.

Frank thinks part of the problem with Kansas is the fact that Democrats have abandoned their core economic principles. He writes, “The way to collect the votes…is to stand rock-solid on , say, the pro-choice position while making endless concessions on economic issues, on welfare, NAFTA, Social Security, labor law, privatization, deregulation, and the rest of it.” (243) Frank also believes that Kansans are misled by Republicans. He writes about Sam Brownback gloating about his philosophy, “Good wages, fair play in farm country, the fate of the small town, even the one we live in–all these are a distant second to evolution, which we will strike from the books, and public education, which we will undermine in a hundred inventive ways.” (68) In short, Democrats have sold out on the economic values and Republicans exploit Kansans’ social conservatism despite the fact that Republican economic ideas are not in the best interest of average Kansans.

Despite the fact that Frank describes the events that have led Kansans to vote the way that they do and he would never admit it, he clearly believes that Kansans are stupid. In his book, Frank continuously frets that liberalism would be better for average Kansans, but that they are too blinded by their religion to see it. By stating that he knows what is best for Kansans more than they do themselves, Frank is clearly, if unintentionally, claiming to be much smarter than Kansans.

Frank, despite his fancy education, isn’t able to understand that Kansans do vote for their best interest. They just happen to value freedom, hard work, and independence more than they value government controlled prices, subsidies, and welfare. Kansans aren’t too stupid to understand which political party will give them the most direct assistance. They just value a less intrusive government more than they value the opportunity to suckle from the governmental teat. Frank, can’t recognize the fact that just because somebody values different things, it doesn’t mean they are stupid.

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