Midwest Values Changed

I’ve lived my whole life in a relatively small town in Northeast Kansas. I say relatively small, because in this part of the state, that means somewhere between 4 and 7 thousand. As a citizen in a red state, growing up, I was taught many “Midwestern” values. 18 years later, I look around my little town and I see more and more of these values being broken or not taught at all. There are many reasons I think cause this, whether it’s the “out of towners” that brought their city values or the 24-hour news cycle and social media spreading soundbites and misleading headlines. Whatever the cause is, it’s getting a little close to home.

For as long as I could remember, my Dad was a Republican. He supported Reagan and both Bushes. He’s an extremely hard worker and has always been that way. His dad was the same way, worked until the day he died; often not even charging his customers. To my Grandpa, working was a way of life. I first started to notice a change in 2008, when Obama was running for election. When I came home from school and my dad finally got home from work we would watch shows like The Jefferson’s and Gunsmoke. In 2008, it all changed. My dad began buying into everything he watched on CNN and read on Facebook. Slowly, what I thought were generational values, had started to change. My dad had switched from being a conservative to a liberal.

Weeks and months went by and I was becoming more and more frustrated with the TV, as the only things coming from the speakers were talking heads on CNN. At that time things weren’t so divided and some of the things I heard from the commentators, I could believe, and even agreed with. As time went on, my dad slipped and fell off of the deep end. He began to watch MSNBC and even I as a 10-year-old knew that what I was hearing was lunatics spewing nonsense to the American people. I never thought that someone I looked up to so much and had learned so much from, would believe something like this. Little did I know, it would get worse; much worse.

In my house, political discussion was a daily. I used to be able to speak freely about how I felt and what I believed. In 2015, when Trump announced his candidacy, my Dad went from being able to hold an adult conversation to yelling and screaming every time I voiced an opinion that differed from his. For this reason, I have a problem with the left. When faced with facts, the left often throws facts to the wind and begins attacking their opponent with personal insults. That’s exactly what happened to me. I was constantly told that anyone who liked Trump had no values or morals and was a “f***ing idiot”. As the election came nearer, I was given a Trump flag from a friend, and proudly hung it up in my room. One day after school, I came home and found my flag on the ground. I thought that maybe my chocolate lab had jumped up and snagged it, thinking it was a new toy. I told my Dad what had happened, and he said, “no kid of mine will support Trump”. In essence, he had disowned me and tried to take away my 1st amendment right to free speech.

I never thought I would see the day that my Dads Midwestern values could be traded in for shallow lies. Day by day, the left is taking our rights away. They’re attempting to create a country run entirely by the government with people, who are weak and unable to defend themselves. When this happens, the left will have won. It is crucial that we stand up for our rights and defend our freedoms.

Weston Trefz

Kansas State University

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