I recently received the copy of What’s The Matter With Kansas that I ordered from Amazon.com last week. I had been hearing about it for awhile and decided to pick it up. I was pleasantly surprised to find the second chapter full of historical information on how Kansas was the premier progressive capitol in the late 1800’s. Much that liberals now defend (and red-meat wingers try to destroy) was born out of the working class in rural Kansas. And in reading the historical perspective, I realized that much political discussion today would be well served to address the past. I’m not extremely far into the book yet, but already I can see the value in learning how (and more importantly, why) America’s late 19th and early 20th century’s most radical progressive hotbed turned into a group who vote against their economic self-interest to keep the gays from marrying. Indeed, to hear the pundits screech about it (David Brooks, I’m looking squarely at you,) those “average folks” in the “Heartland” don’t care a whit about such things as money and living comfortably. They supposedly cherish the hard-scrabble life they lead. Definitely a recommedation to all those interested in how “The Heartland” was bamboozled by the Right.