On freedom of choice
The excuse being used by the Trump campaign for the Trump children not wearing face masks at the debate is that they have "freedom of choice." That means that people who have been exposed to the Trump virus are free to choose not to quarantine, free to choose not to wear face masks and free to choose to infect as many people as they can. Notice that Mike Pence has also exercised his freedom to infect other people even though he knows he has been exposed numerous times to the virus.
By the way, the Cleveland Clinic required that face masks be worn in the debate venue as a condition of its hosting the debate. The Trumps in their arrogance chose to ignore that. They should have been escorted out before the debate began.
It is interesting that Donald Trump is now being treated with drug therapies that are not available to the rest of us. You do not have the freedom to choose treatment that might save your life unless your name is Trump?
Over 200,000 Americans are dead because of the choices the Trumps made in dealing with this virus. On Nov. 3, those of us still living can choose to let the Trumps know what we think of their choices. Vote!
The lives that matter
As the president is being treated at Walter Reed Hospital for his covid infection, I want to thank him for this teachable moment. Zen philosophy teaches that what seems to be bad may work to the good, and what seems to be good can work to the bad. In this case, his arrogance and repeated disinformation, his science-denying and willful disdain for common sense public health guidelines has endangered his own health and the health of his closest staff, associates and supporters.
Can we learn from that? Roughly 210,000 Americans have died to date. Many Arkansans, following his poor role model, have refused to show any concern for those who might be more at risk than they presume themselves to be. They politicize mask-wearing and social distancing widely. All for a warped sense of freedom and liberty, void of any personal responsibility for others.
I hope the president recovers. And I hope that single-issue voters who cherish life wake up to the sleight of hand that his cynical packing of courts represents and learn to cherish all life. Knowing that someone in his retinue tested positive, he and others, maskless, infected how many others? Still counting. Is that any way to show care for anyone's life and well-being but your own?
Vote for Joe Biden, someone who cares about all Americans and who respects science. Lives depend on your vote. Do those lives matter?
We feel especially privileged to live in a nation that has the freedom to choose our elected officials. Respect for that process and the way these men and women promote themselves as they seek political office is a part of the foundation of democracy, of the nation. One of those promotional avenues is the presence of election signs, either on private property or rented billboards. The tampering or outright theft of these pieces of property is an act of stealing. (Arkansas statute 5-36-103. Theft of property)
Recently our yard sign supporting the Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris was stolen from our property. A report of this theft was filed with the Washington County sheriff's department.
The sad news is that by taking our sign, some sophomoric person is disrespecting and trampling on the rights of all to express their political viewpoints. The thief makes a mockery of those that have actually given their lives for the right to vote, for freedom of expression, for the collective democratic good. Our system of government functions most powerfully when a variety of voices, opinions and talents are available to serve the greater good. Freedom of expression is a critical linchpin in that process.
The good news is that we have bought another sign from the Joe Biden Team and will place it in our yard when it arrives. So, in the end, by stealing our sign, the thief is supporting the Biden/Harris 2020 ticket through another donation/purchase.
NANCY and BOB HARTNEY
I've seen you before
Don't I know you? Refuse to wear a mask? I think I have known you all my 81 years. Yeah, you are the one that comes wheeling up the wrong way in the Walmart parking lot, right? Also, you never fail to drive 10 mph over and tailgate when the old guy in front of you stupidly stays within the posted speed limit.
Yeah, I know you. You are the line jumper at the buffet, the bully back in middle school, the cheater whenever and wherever you can possibly get away with it because social norms are just not for you.
I wear the mask more to protect others (including you) as much as myself, and to do my part to get us all (including you) past this covid-19 business, but I know you: You are the guy who yells at the people who ask you to obey the rules; the guy who refuses when asked to mask up or leave. Sadly, you sometimes have your preteen kids with you, also unmasked, so you can inspire them into forming a new generation of scofflaw protesters about their "rights."
Oh yeah, I know you well.
Hot Springs Village
Honest and upfront
I have just read Mr. James Pardew's guest column in the paper. Thank you so much for a well-written column that addresses all the questions anyone could have about Mr. Trump. I agree completely. Thank you for being honest and upfront with the readers of this newspaper. They may not agree, but can't ignore facts.