Epitaph for a divider
Condolences naturally go out to the family of Rush Limbaugh. The death of a loved one is sad and difficult for family and friends. Yet Mr. Limbaugh's death is a challenge to many Americans. How are we to react or feel or to reconcile our emotions in the strong words they suggest with the humane aspect of his passing?
May Limbaugh rest in peace, of course, but let us be clear. He was a man whose adult professional life was mendaciously fomenting anything but peace, and he did his job well. He was not just a sharply critical, sharp- elbowed political social commentator; he was for four decades an acid-toned, angry fomenter whose attacks and diatribes often veered into the ugly or worse. Anger, animosity, fear, mistrust, misunderstanding, ignorance, hostility, and division in the American body politic are the products of his talents. Tragically, he leaves behind an army of imitators zealously carrying on his destructive mission. A through-line runs from him and his work beginning in the 1980s to the hyperpartisan mayhem we see today, including the shocking display in D.C. on Jan. 6.
Our humanity cautions us to hold back our criticism at this time, but this man has done too much damage to our country to be silent.
Foundation in peril
Summer is fast approaching. The season heralds not only the return of longer and more sunny days, but additionally presents Arkansas with the opportunity to tap into its incredible solar potential. Solar energy is an invaluable source that Arkansas should be able to implement fully; solar creates jobs, enables local investments and allows for Arkansans to save on their energy expenditures.
Yet despite its value, solar in the state is being undermined and threatened by House Bill 1787. This bill--which targets legislation like the Solar Access Act of 2019--would cost the state millions of dollars in development and kill hundreds of jobs. It would disproportionally harm rural communities and prevent innovation from spurring across Arkansas.
The Solar Access Act is the foundation for solar energy legislation in the state; if HB1787 is passed, all of the initiatives and infrastructure standing on that foundation will crumble. This means that projected savings for areas making the switch to solar will be put at risk. Washington County, for example, is expected to gain $10.2 million in taxpayer savings by incorporating solar energy.
Embracing solar--fully and without being hindered by utility company oversight--is a vital step forward for the Natural State, one we must all take together.
World's greatest toady
If there were ever an obsequious (excessively eager and attentive to please or to obey instructions) sycophant (one who seeks to gain through the powerful and influential), it would be Tom Cotton and his warped relationship with you-know-who.
North Little Rock
When Jesus was dying on the cross, he cried out for water but was offered vinegar instead. Vinegar and other sour deeds are all that today's Republicans offer those of us who thirst for justice by standing in endless voting lines, or who seek health care or a livable wage.
This Easter season, who will roll back the rock that covers their shrunken hearts? Why do they fear and hate their fellow Americans? Must democracy die for their sins too?
On precipice of split
Our country is incredibly divided right now. Because of this, I can see only three possible futures.
First, there could be a massive cultural change or religious revival that unites the left and the right under a common value or sense of identity.
Second, the United States of America could become nominally the United States of America. I imagine the following. If the left is in control of the federal government, states that lean right simply don't do what the federal government has told them to do; and if the right is in control of the federal government, states that lean left simply don't do what the federal government has told them to do. The federal government will lose most of its power, and the states within America will be united, if at all, in name only or by political affiliation. Possibly, we become like the European Union.
Third, a civil or revolutionary war could break out.
Truly, this seems to be the course of all countries. Either they are united under one common value or sense of identity, or they split, either peacefully or violently.
Sadly, we are coming to a tipping point because it seems the left and the right have little to no common value or sense of identity. We are even divided on how to think about our own history. That means that the United States of America, unless some radical cultural change or religious revival occurs, is on the precipice of splitting.
With violence seen from both the left and the right in the past several months, and with tensions that continue to be on the rise, I think that there is a high chance that violent war breaks out in our country soon.
May God have mercy on us instead.