We’re getting lots of cards and letters on Amendment 3. Writers are angry that voters will accidentally pass this “Dirty Missouri” to replace “Clean Missouri.”

There’s good reason to think voters  might be confused by the Nov. 3 ballot. Given its wording, voters might think they passed Clean Missouri in 2018 –why not vote to OK it once again?

It’s not the same thing. Legislators  like Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, feel like they can justify the misleading words on the ballot because they think they know better than the unwashed “mob” that voted for Clean Missouri in 2018.

The “mob” is a term getting thrown around a lot in this election cycle. Yes, there are endless videos on TV now of an outraged mob that looks pretty scary. They are angry in the aftermath of some fatal civil rights abuses.

It’s a false equivalence, however, to liken this “mob” with the majority of Missourians who have voted on many initiatives over a score of years. This majority is not a mob, but reasonable people who voted against concealed weapons and for clean energy, collective bargaining, a decent minimum wage, and fair and competitive elections under 2018’s Clean Missouri.

This majority has continually seen the “will of the people” thwarted by the mob in Jefferson City. They think they know better on all these issues, so they undo the people’s will by hook and crook.    

The Missouri Farm Bureau just put out some sly wordage favoring Amendment 3 with the hook that it’s not about partisanship: Rather, it’s about preventing elective districts that might  mix urban voters with rural voters. Of course, these districts would be more competitive, but at what peril?

“We believe that all Missourians deserve to be represented by individuals who know and understand them and their way of life.” The bold type is courtesy of the folks against passage of Clean Missouri by the people.

Their bold sentence says it all: Rural folks worry about losing their “way of life.” But if we are ever to become one Missouri, we must stop being so insular and secure in our silos. We need a shared vision that only more diverse and competitive election districts can bring. 

When I was at Mizzou J-school, I loved my “country cousin” roommates. I even went out shooting with them and  visited their favorite spots on rivers and bluffs. We talked a lot. I heard a constant refrain in these conversations: “You (city folks) don’t understand my people.” It’s a protest that has never gone away. 

It is kind of tribal. I am tired of “my people.” We need to become one people. It’s time for Missouri to give up on the Bushwhacker and the Baldknobber mentality – a backwards way of looking at things. Bushwhackers should just be  mascots for indoor soccer. Baldknobbers should just be where you can go to watch a chicken play the piano in Branson.