Need to protect elders
I have been noticing a great increase in the number of people without face masks in supermarkets and other stores with narrow aisles that do not permit physical distancing. This is taking place at a time of increased covid-19 infections and deaths in Arkansas.
Face masks don't really protect the wearer, they protect others from the wearer. What about the elderly and those with conditions, physical and social, that make them more vulnerable to this deadly virus? Businesses need to protect them by setting aside times where only mask-wearers are allowed in their stores.
Places of worship also can, and should, organize protected religious services which the vulnerable can attend without fear. The Supreme Being of all religions practiced in our state is a benevolent, merciful God who would not condone his flock risking their lives in order to participate in his communal worship. He is nothing like the Aztec sun god who demands human blood be shed and hearts be torn out of his victims' chests; instead, he advises us: "The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty."
We've forgotten good
"We have met the enemy and he is us," cartoonist Walt Kelly's philosophical opossum Pogo opined over 50 years ago. A good slogan for the inept way the current pandemic has been mishandled by the president and his political cohorts. Billions have been funneled to large corporations while unemployment checks to those in need have been bungled and delayed.
What disturbs me most is how the crisis is being used to further widen the divide between the haves and the have-nots. Many people are unable to feed themselves and their families while corporate America feasts on the bounty of the bailout that has sent stock values soaring.
New York has been ground zero once again. Tens of thousands dead. Hospitals overwhelmed. Refrigerated semi-trucks used as makeshift morgues as ICUs disgorge the dead. First responders pushed to the limits.
Yet when New York's governor asked for financial assistance to help offset the financial devastation resulting from the pandemic, Mitch McConnell suggested the state file for bankruptcy. After all, why should the federal government bail out New York or any other state crippled by the pandemic? Why indeed?
Have we forgotten what this country was built upon? E pluribus unum. From the many, one. In the beginning, we were a motley collection of independent states that banded together for the good of all, for the common weal. Now, when we need each other more than ever, are we to turn our backs on those who need our help the most?
When violent hurricanes devastate the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, do we ask why we should help those affected? When deadly tornadoes ravage the Midwest and Southeast, do we ask why the homeless need our help? What has led us to this position of selfish insularity and disregard for the suffering of others? A lack of compassionate leadership at the top. The moral black hole in the Oval Office. The singular self-centered venality of President Donald J. Trump.
DAVID ELI COCKCROFT
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Democrat-Gazette senior editor Rex Nelson are, in my opinion, good examples of moderate Republicans who seem to relate well with most Arkansans.
The state's ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party has recently criticized Nelson and, to a lesser extent, Hutchinson for being too moderate. Nelson, who has worked for several moderate GOP governors, dared point out in print that President Donald Trump, darling of the right, may not be the angel they seem to believe he is. As for the governor, I told him a few years ago that he would need to walk a straight line if he hoped not to infuriate anyone. He laughingly agreed.
Arkansas is fortunate in that it has had moderate governors in Winthrop Rockefeller, Hutchinson, Dale Bumpers, Bill Clinton, Mike Beebe and, to some extent, Mike Huckabee and Frank White. All have accomplished some good things for Arkansas and seemingly tried to help its citizens move forward.
It's just as predicted
When the covid-19 social isolation measures were implemented in March, I read several articles that predicted if such measures were effective, many would claim they were never needed in the first place. The opinion piece by Bradley Gitz in Monday's paper is a realization of that prediction.
Proud to be a RINO
As predicted in his column last week, Rex Nelson has been assailed as a "RINO" (Republican in name only). This term, in several variations, has been used to describe every Republican president from Ike to Bush 43 (yes, that includes Reagan, who some never forgave for being a Democrat in his early days, and who remained a lifelong fan of FDR).
But now we have a "real Republican" president at last. This real Republican, a lifelong pro-choice Democrat and one of the biggest donors to Chuck Schumer's Senate campaigns who suddenly became a "real Republican."
Well, I personally intend to vote for a Democrat for president come November for the first time since 1964. Proud to be a RINO.
Editorial on 05/27/2020
Print Headline: Letters