Labels

• The definition of “conservative” continues to change on the political landscape.

Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “If you’re not a liberal at 20 you have no heart; if you’re not a conservative at 40 you have no brain.” The observation of the legendary leader of Great Britain highlights the change that so often comes with age: idealism matures into practicality.

Kansans, as a whole, have never been thought of as a “liberal” people. But the label “conservative” definitely has changed. The 2014 election reinforced that. Republi­can office holders who once considered themselves “conservative” on fiscal and social issues are now targeted by GOP “true conservatives.”

Kansas has a political legacy for progressive conservatism, an outlook that balances the rights of the individual with a responsibility to care for those of lesser fortune. Where are we headed? One wonders if we have either heart or brain. —DR