She gave real answers
Last Monday night, Roby Brock and Marine Glisovic of Channel 7 interviewed Joyce Elliott on Facebook. French Hill declined the opportunity to debate, so we got an hour of Elliott. It's a shame Channel 7 did not pre-empt other programming to give this wider distribution.
The presentation reminded us why we hope that Joyce Elliott will be our next representative in Congress. She was bright, articulate, and actually answered questions. Moreover, Elliott's answers were not political talking points, but real answers that acknowledged difficulties and dealt with issues at a realistic level. For example, while climate change is a real threat, we cannot simply shut down carbon-emitting power plants without dealing with the issue of people who would lose their jobs. It was an impressive performance.
People should search Channel 7's Facebook page and check what we thought might well be the best thing we've seen this election season.
Don't have to imagine
I enjoyed the use of anaphora, a rhetorical device that repeats the same words at the beginning of successive clauses, in last Sunday's "Decisions, decisions" editorial. You asked readers to "imagine a president who" and then systematically listed some administrative accomplishments before recommending the president as a "best check" against the possibility of a Democratic Congress. Your thought experiment inspired me to list my own imaginings.
Imagine a president who has over 220,000 dead Americans on his watch. Imagine a president who knew covid-19 was more lethal "than the most strenuous flu" and then purposely hid that fact from the American public. Imagine a president who politicizes pandemic protections like mask-wearing and turns this literally lifesaving action into a culture war for political expediency. Imagine a president who ignores and mocks science, berates and misrepresents scientific experts, and edits and guts the CDC. Imagine a president who continues to hold superspreader gatherings while the virus rages and cases soar.
Imagine a president who has uttered 20,000+ misleading or false statements since taking office and "has told 23.3 lies per day in 2020" according to Forbes.
Imagine a president who rebukes long-standing allies to hobnob with dictators. Imagine a president who refuses to condemn Russia for placing murder bounties on American soldiers. Imagine a president who refers to our troops and veterans as "suckers" and "losers."
Imagine a president who calls Black Lives Matter "a hate group" but says that marching Nazis are "very fine people" and struggles to convincingly condemn both white supremacy and domestic terrorism.
Imagine a president who implements separating families at the border and cruelly caging children as a deliberate policy.
There is only one thing I cannot imagine. Why someone would vote for this not imaginary president.
Try unpacking instead
I think packing the Supreme Court is a bad idea. I think instead Democrats should change the number of justices from nine to seven and take out the last two judges.
Speculation and Hill
I correctly predicted on the Voices page prior to the 2016 election that a "Trump Show" would be more thrilling than a "Hillary Show." I now double down on a "Trump versus Biden Show" since Trump's performance in the future would be theoretically unfettered by a desire for re-election in 2024. I remember that cartoonist Garry Trudeau would speculate on what was in Ronald Reagan's brain. We don't have to speculate now because we know that any random thought in the presidential brain will almost immediately be transmitted to an anxious world via twit tweets. Biden would not do that.
I recently thought of what French Hill and I have in common. I came up with: (1) we are both lifetime members of the Catholic High School Alumni Association (Go Rockets) and (2) nothing. It is very interesting that the bulk of the Hill campaign so far has consisted of attack ads on Joyce Elliott. He can't emphasize accomplishments because they are almost non-existent unless we include his stalwart opposition to all proposals by Democrats. Hill, of course, would justify this because Democrats are also partisan, thus suggesting that, while two wrongs don't make a right, multiple wrongs do.
The Hill campaign tells us that, if elected, Elliott will become a dangerous radical who will seek to destroy America and devastate Arkansas. I submit that, if Elliott does defeat Hill, she will do so by a very small margin that will probably include some voters who usually vote Republican. She can't afford to alienate moderate or conservative constituents by supporting radical programs. If she does, she will serve only one term in Congress. The same predicament confronts Democrats all over the nation who have to make the difficult choice between a natural Democratic tendency toward wild-eyed radicalism or being re-elected by many people who are not crazed radicals. Therefore, there will be at least a few Democratic senators who will be hesitant about supporting a Supreme Court packing plan.
My mother is 96 years old. She served in the Coast Guard during the Second World War and is a veteran. She raised four children, taught school, and is a Master Gardener. She votes in every election.
She hasn't driven in 15 years and her driver's license is long expired. In order to vote this year, regardless of whether she votes by mail or in person, she must go to the DMV, in the midst of a pandemic that especially kills older people, and obtain a photo ID. She will do that--she is very determined to vote. But I had never heard of any voter fraud before the voter ID rule was adopted, and I believe it is a bogus rule that is intended to keep people from voting--people like my mom--who have contributed so much.
This isn't right. Please change this rule.