Brownback resigned as governor yesterday. The resignation freed Kansas from his clutches, putting an end to the seven year long battle against economic, education system and human rights that he spearheaded.

Under him, Kansas cut income taxes and attempted trickle-down economics, which crippled the state’s economy. 

He stripped back rights for LGBTQ state employees. 

His budget cuts forced the brutal downsizing of government programs. He forced public education to bear the bulk of the cuts, taking $50 million away from their budget one year, and then wondered why the schools were underperforming. 

He attempted to add millions back to the education budget, but never proposed any tax increases or offered any plans for where the money would come from.

So we should celebrate that he’s gone, right?

Yes, but not for long.

Brownback was sworn as the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

The position has had a history of Christian appointees, but the U.S. really hit the jackpot with this one.

Brownback, a conservative Catholic, has shown through his policies that he has a very narrow view of religious freedom. Namely, that it most likely will not apply to those with different beliefs than him.

In 2016, he withdrew Kansas from the federal refugee resettlement program, affecting the lives of Syrian refugees fleeing from civil war.

In 2006, he blocked the confirmation vote on federal appeals court nominee, Janet Neff, solely on the basis that she had attended a same-sex commitment ceremony in 2002.

In 2015, he rescinded protections for LGBTQ state workers.

I have no faith that Brownback will change his ideology and decide that his version of religious freedom will include Muslims, LGBTQ people or anyone of differing beliefs. None of his actions in legislature have even hinted at that being a possibility. 

Yeah, I’m glad that the homophobic conservative governor who almost destroyed the Kansas economy and education system is gone. 

Things are not so easily  fixed, however.

It’s up to us as Kansans and voters to ensure that the next governor will not do what Brownback did to Kansas. 

And it’s up to us, that no matter the policies or beliefs that he, and the rest of the Trump administration, try to enforce can’t harm those around us. 

Stand up for your neighbors, even if they believe differently than you. Consider their rights as important as yours. Don’t let Kansas history repeat itself.

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