"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

The Tyranny of the Majority: TMR Interview With Rep. Jason Kander

June 1st, 2009 by mopns · No Comments

From The Missouri Record:

Why did you decide to run for State Representative?

I always had a very serious interest in political affairs and public service.  While I was overseas I saw the direct consequences of policy decisions and saw the outcome of politics.  For instance, [there were] missions where we should have had helicopters but the helicopters were in Iraq.  The decision of whether to go to Iraq was in some ways politically driven and definitely affected my mission in Afghanistan.  I came home and looked at a similar process at the state level on health care, education and environmental policy.  And so I decided to become a part of the solution.

I am interested in how one concludes that he alone is the best person to serve in the State House.  How did you come to that conclusion?

I don’t know.  Good question.  I suppose just like anyone else who applies for a job, especially if you know the other applicant.  At some point it comes down to confidence in your abilities and I felt confident that my background and my philosophy fit the district.

Tell me about that background.

I suppose that the greatest influence on me in terms of my professional background and my political philosophy is probably my time in the military.  It is a defining experience in a lot of ways.  I tend to be someone who takes very seriously the idea of carrying through on promises.  If you ask anybody on my staff, I am sure that they’d say I am fair but at the same time people understand that if they tell me they are going to do something I expect them to do it.

For instance, one of the big motivating factors from a policy perspective for me was the state Medicaid cuts in 2005.  I view that in many ways the same as a lot of Democrats: I believe in the idea of extending health care to people who are working and aren’t making enough to provide it for themselves.  I believe in trying to help them reach their potential.  As a military person I feel like we made a promise to those people that if they worked and they had a job and they were trying to do the right thing that we would give them some support.  I feel like [the previous legislature] broke that promise.

Describe your political philosophy.

I’m not sure.  I’m not real good with labels.  I see myself as progressive but I don’t see myself as extreme.

Does anyone ever see themselves as extreme?

I’ve seen some people in the State House who will definitely say, “Yeah, I’m pretty far out there,” and they are proud of it.  I am center-left and then the question is how far off the center am I?  I don’t really feel like I am very far off the center at all.  But you make a good point.  Who ever really knows?

What was your biggest surprise about your first session in Jefferson City? Read more…

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Tags: Kansas City · MO Legislature

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jasonb // Jun 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    This is hilarious. It’s funny to see the democrats – none of who served in the majority – gripe and complain about their mistreatment.

    I guess you could excuse their ignorance as just that – ignorance of the fact that if you wanted to see how to run ramshod over the minority – look at how the democrat majority did it for so many years in the House. Now that is how you run over a minority!

    I didn’t think Kander was a dishonest fellow – maybe not dishonest just more ignorance. His statement that his caucus is never told how to vote is not truthful. It happens in their caucus – it happens on the floor. Prime example late in session was Rep. Komo. Watch a highly controversial vote – democrats that aren’t towing the line get harrangued unmercifully – unless they are known independents like Reps Hoskin – El Amin – Dougherty.

    Kander is like so many democrats – they are right – everyone else is wrong or simply misguided. His view is If you don’t agree with me – you are simply participating in the tyranny of the majority.

    Thanks for the entertainment!

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