College Republicans leader says Tuesday's election is turning point for Kansans



By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

11For some college students, that challenge is worth confronting.

"There's a reason most people think most politicians are corrupt," said Jacob Kessler, a Fort Hays State University senior. "They promise the world and don't deliver.

"We need to change that. ... We've got the generation that can do it."

Tuesday will be a deciding point for Kansas' future, determining whether legislators will fall in line with Gov. Sam Brownback's initiatives or continue a path of stalemates seen in the last session, Kessler said.

Young people should step up and become involved in the process, he said.

"My senior class is going to be graduating, and if there aren't any jobs for us ... do we go back and live with Mom and Dad?" he said. "We need to go out and find the people, not necessarily Democrat or Republican ... but people who are going to get the job done to see that jobs come back to Kansas, to the nation."

Kessler, a four-year president of College Republicans, also has been active in student government and the American Democracy Project. Before transferring to FHSU, Kessler majored in science at Sterling College. During those years, he learned how to apply the scientific method to problem-solving. He said testing possibilities in the political world, though, often has farther-reaching consequences than in a laboratory.

"You need to look at all theories," he said. "And that's how you make your decision.

"Sadly, you have to test the experiment, which can be difficult in a political aspect ... because you're actually messing with people's lives. You have to have a lot of faith in your theory."

Concern about the current political system is reflected by many young people, according to Chapman Rackaway, associate professor of political science.

"Jacob, like many other students right now, (is) confused why the Republican Party is at war with itself," Rackaway said. "When they try to get involved, they're drawn into other peoples' battles that they have no stake in and don't want to fight."

Rackaway said he is aware of the frustrations of Kessler and other politically active students.

"When I see people of Jacob's generation, I'm struck by how their practical, get-it-done nature rejects a lot of the empty symbolism in politics today," Rackaway said.