The minutes to the August 9th, 2007 Freedom's Frontier meeting held at Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri, reveal the course that proponents of Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area plan to use to interpret the history of the Kansas / Missouri border area.
Twice the neutral-value, concept of "no right or wrong" is mentioned as a marketing "hook".
The first instance is when , "Julie Mulvihill, Executive Director of the Kansas Humanities Council, spoke about the need to keep both maps to raise and expand perspective. Last month’s hand-out defining freedom and the story. Defining freedom – equality, choices, standing up for beliefs Concept of freedom’s frontier – it’s your story Interpretive and marketing hook No right or wrong"
The neutral - value theme continued a second time when the attendees broke into discussion groups. Items 2,3 &4 of the discussion group's report states:
"2) What do Kansas & Missouri have in common
3) Need to see the big picture, constantly developing
4) What happened…both sides felt justified in the 1850’s. Tell your story but don’t
talk about who’s right or wrong."
In my article about U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton's recent embrace of Freedom's Frontier, I published an email sent by a reader who has a firm grasp and understanding about the true purpose and intent of "Freedom's Frontier" :
" as you can see the interest here is about creating a “unified” story, developing talking points, and making money on it while keeping the power in Kansas...The FF people are bureaucrats with an agenda and administrative skills. Their movement arose in the perfect venue of relativism and eastern Kansas money. It is a behind-the-scenes organization with roots deep in the Kansas mentality steeped in New England values and social paternalism which will try to convince Missourians is the same as Missouri’s values…finding common ground in appealing to middle-of-the-road “Midwest sensibilities” that are “value neutral” and “non-confrontational”.
Supporters of Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area are quick to point out that the $10 million dollars that is to be distributed between 55 Kansas counties and 12 Missouri counties over the next fifteen years will be an economic windfall.
It should be noted, however; that Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area will be a government bureaucracy, ran by the National Park Service with paid employees. This means any initial windfall resulting from the distribution of the money will be offset by the expense to maintain it.
As Brett King writes in the December 7th, 2007 edition of the K-State Collegian newspaper article entitled, "K-State Students and Faculty Should Push for New Tax"...
"On paper, the employment in Kansas looks great; however, according to the Americans for Prosperity, "Since March 2001, Kansas has lost 26,100 private sector jobs and has added 15,700 government jobs."
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics ranks Kansas near the bottom in the United States for the creation of private sector jobs, but No. 1 in the creation of government jobs.
These government jobs come at a price. As we add more layers of bureaucracy, the cost to keep these government workers increases as well. Government officials are paid out of the pockets of citizens of this state."