To the Stars
January 29, 2011
To the Stars: A Kansas Day Column
Today marks an important milestone for our great state: the 150th anniversary of Kansas’ entrance into the union.
The state’s motto — Ad Astra per Aspera, “to the stars through difficulty” — has symbolized different things for different generations.
But one thing has remained constant: It has always meant standing up for what is right, even when it is not popular.
Following in the footsteps of the Sunflower State’s pioneers, I will approach the next two years in Washington with commitments to defend the unpopular and to speak for the unspoken.
A $14 trillion debt, record budget deficits and economic policies that inhibit, not promote, growth threaten the financial solvency of the country today and tomorrow. It is easy for lawmakers to just charge the country’s credit card and continually seek an increase of our credit limit, but the consequences will be dire: Future generations will be burdened with the bad decisions of yesterday if we fail to correct them today. At the risk of our country’s bankruptcy, spending must be reduced, deficits must be eliminated and the budget must be balanced.
They say a society will be judged by how it treats the weakest of its members. Congress must pledge to defend the unborn, and this begins with eliminating any federal funding for abortion both at home and abroad. The past few weeks have revealed some staggering statistics, including that Kansas has the 13th highest abortion rate in the country and that while the abortion rate in the country has been declining nationally in recent years, our state has increased the number of abortions it performs. But beyond government’s role, we must do more as a society to encourage and assist pregnant women and their families. Whether through our direct help or through adoption, let us work together so that they know we value them and their unborn children.
Today’s fight to defend the unborn is in many respects similar to the battles our forefathers waged against slavery during the days of “Bleeding Kansas.”
Bolstered by the treacherous Dred Scott decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, proponents of slavery argued that slaves were not human beings.
Abolitionists, on the other hand, demanded and fought for the basic human rights of all people, including slaves. Similarly, those who speak up for the unborn do so to ensure that individual liberty and dignity are respected and revered for all.
So this Kansas Day let us celebrate not just the history of the state, but also what it means to be a Kansan. Embrace the proud history of this state and join me in following in our forefathers’ steps by making a pledge to amplify unheard voices, to stand up against and remedy injustices, and to defend the life and liberty of every American.
REP. TIM HUELSKAMP, R-Kan., Fowler
Originally Published in the Topeka Capital-Journal, January 29, 2011.