TOPEKA — A quarter-century ago, Jerry Moran arrived in the political heart of U.S. politics to represent western Kansas in the House before switching to the Senate.
Moran, a Republican running for reelection to another six-year term in November, established a grassroots reputation by visiting all 69 counties in the 1st Congressional District as a congressman and all 105 counties in two-year cycles as a senator. Hundreds of town hall meetings, he added, kept him grounded in terms of knowing residents’ perspectives. Every discussion, he added, was an opportunity to learn.
The senator acknowledged that Washington, D.C., had changed individuals for the worse as partisanship trumped excellent ideas and the roots of win-at-all-costs campaigns spread. During his tenure, he claims that social media platforms unleashed a flow of humiliating assaults on political personalities and created echo chambers in which individuals stopped connecting with people they disagreed with.
“I hope that my character, my regard for other people, my belief system, and the way my parents reared me haven’t altered,” Moran said in a Kansas Reflector podcast. “One of the reasons I conduct those town hall meetings… is because Washington, D.C., has the ability to alter you in ways I don’t want to change, even on a personal level.”
Moran, who has served under five presidents, stated that some members of Congress were drawn to the role for strictly partisan reasons. He said that partisanship engulfed individuals in Washington and damaged lofty concepts of public service.
“I’m not a big admirer of politics,” Moran said. “It’s not always about who wins and who loses. However, if you do not win, you will be unable to advertise your ideas. You cannot pursue your objectives on behalf of your constituents. But there is a motivation to engage in public service that goes beyond the thrill of victory.”
Moran, 68, is running against Democratic Party contender Mark Holland, a priest and former mayor of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, as well as Libertarian candidate David Graham of Overland Park.
The Republican senator said he was running for a third term in the Senate to safeguard the freedoms and liberties guaranteed by the United States Constitution, to keep the American dream alive, and to make a difference in Kansas’ future. He stated that he was guided by both conservative and libertarian concepts of personal responsibility. He stated that he thought local government was more responsive than national government.
“I’m a Kansan,” Moran said. “I’d like to make certain that I don’t quit this position until I’ve completed a couple more tasks.”
Moran said he was proud of legislation signed by President Joe Biden that expanded access to health treatment for 23 medical issues for servicemembers exposed to harmful chemicals or poisons while serving overseas through the Veteran’s Administration. This includes soldiers who were damaged by Agent Orange while fighting in Southeast Asia, as well as those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who were exposed to toxic burn pits.
“The burn pits have produced massive respiratory, cancer-type scenarios for younger soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they are now covered,” said Moran, who played a key role in crafting the measure.
The senator stated that the struggle to make enough money to pay expenses at the gas pump and grocery store was the most apparent issue of Kansans on the campaign trail, as inflation eroded buying power. The fact that Biden increased inflation by injecting too much money into the economy in combination with the COVID-19 outbreak has been a prominent talking topic among Republican campaigns in 2022.
“It is my observation that those who claim to care about the poorest among us frequently favour policies that are the most harmful to the poorest among us,” Moran remarked. “Anything that causes inflation to chip away at a person’s capacity to care for themselves and their families is one of those things.”
Kansans, he claimed, engaged him in talks regarding the flow of illegal immigrants across the border during campaign appearances. He stated that these conversations involve concerns about crime, illegal narcotics, and people trafficking.
When it comes to creating a new Farm Bill to steer federal agriculture policy next year, Moran says the plans to restrict crop insurance availability are the most concerning to Kansans.
“We don’t farm in an area where the weather is constantly on our side,” Moran explained. “Crop insurance is a risk management tool that allows farmers to live from year to year.”
He stated that he was devoted to federal initiatives aimed at alleviating hunger in the United States and across the world. Furthermore, he stated that Congress should endeavour to extend the life of water resources, such as Kansas’ subterranean Ogallala aquifer.
In August, Kansas voters decisively rejected a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution declaring that women do not have a constitutional right to abortion. When combined with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which established a nationwide right to abortion, the Kansas amendment might have resulted in significant restrictions on abortion rights in the state.
“Kansans have strong views about this,” added Moran, who helped financially to the amendment’s passage. “Kansans are clearly speaking. In my opinion, they should be heard.”
Moran stated that candidates for the Kansas Legislature and governor were evaluating the abortion vote to see what the 165,000-vote majority opposed to the amendment was saying.
He stated that abortion rights should be left to state governments rather than the federal government. The 15-week national abortion ban suggested by South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has little chance of reaching Biden’s desk or being approved by the Democratic president, he claimed.
“A law like that will not pass the United States Senate at this time and in the near future,” Moran stated.
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