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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Forgotten upbringing | Represented by voids | Our existential threats

April 5, 2021 at 3:00 a.m.

Forgotten upbringing

Apparently the Republicans in Georgia have forgotten their Christian upbringing. Did they not learn the story of the Good Samaritan that offered help to the man laying in the road, or have they grown so cold that they associate with the first two men that walked by, ignoring the man?

The thought of a law denying food or water to people standing in line for eight hours waiting to vote is pretty cruel. Why would a Black athlete want to participate in college or professional sports in a state that is so racist?

CHARLES MAYS

Rogers

Represented by voids

The stupid have always been with us, but willful stupidity has not. However, because it primarily afflicts unprincipled politicians, its prevalence has soared in recent years.

While the stupid simply lack the ability to reason well, the willfully stupid consciously choose not to do so. Instead of exercising their faculty of logical thought, they accept and repeat tribal beliefs that are obviously unsupported by facts and which they know to be untrue. Why would anyone voluntarily do that?

Their conduct cannot reasonably be attributed to ignorance, because factual information is now so pervasive that it cannot possibly be ignored. Nor can it be blamed on insufficient schooling, because many of its most prominent practitioners are graduates of vaunted Ivy League institutions.

So, by applying Occam's Razor, we can conclude that such conduct is mere political theater, designed to convince voters that, unlike those elitist eggheads of the other party, they are sufficiently stupid to excel in politics. And that, as champions of liberty and individual freedom, they will only pass laws which restrict your bad freedoms.

Sadly, elections are no longer about ideas and aspirations, but merely tribal headcounts. So, until a greater number of worthy people choose to run for public office, I suggest that every ballot offer an option to vote for None-Of-The-Above.

Better to be represented by an empty seat than by an empty head.

DAVID L. HENDERSON

Hot Springs Village

Our existential threats

What are our existential threats? As a nation? As a planet? Is it climate change, voter registration, Russia, or inequality in earnings, as the left would have us believe? Or is it possibly China, Iran, taxation or spending?

I hypothesize that all of this is trivial when compared to extraterrestrial activities or ill-motivated media.

WILL JONES

Little Rock

All down to party line

Over 50 years ago my father told me that no one's life, liberty, or pocketbook were safe while the Legislature is in session. This session has confirmed it.

At the beginning of the session substantive issues are dealt with, but as time drags on each legislator tries to introduce a bill that, if passed, he can brag about, but those bills go from trite and petty, such as the gender bill, to malevolent and downright evil, such as denying water to voters.

The opposition bases their arguments not on the intrinsic value of the bill, but on the party of the introducer. They all think their political future is based on toeing the party line.

F. RICHARD JORDAN

North Little Rock

Decline in our status

Bradley Gitz in "Escape from reality" has a hunch that future historians who seek to explain the "smoldering wreck of the American economy and the precipitous decline of American status and power in the world" will look to March 11, 2021.

We don't have to wait. Pew Research Center polling in 13 countries for the Global Attitudes and Trends series dates back to 2000. The September 2020 report shows a decline in the favorable view of the U.S. by the citizens of other countries. The invasion of Iraq dented America's reputation. The downward trend resumed with the election of Trump, and fell further with the rising U.S. death toll from coronavirus. The median "confidence in Trump" was only 16 percent. The median favorable view of the U.S. was 34 percent, with 64 percent expressing an unfavorable view. An update in November 2020 found Trump had the lowest ranking of confidence in the U.S. president to "do the right thing" in the 21st century. His best confidence rating in 2020 was 23 percent in Australia; his worst, 10 percent in Germany. Even the Russian public was disillusioned, with confidence falling from 53 percent in 2017 to 20 percent in 2019.

Why so unpopular? The polling showed 75 percent think him arrogant, 65 percent think he is intolerant, 62 percent think he is dangerous, and only 26 percent think he was well qualified to be president. It was not just personality but policy that was unpopular. The tariff increases were disapproved by 68 percent. U.S. withdrawal from international agreements on climate change (66 percent disapprove) and the Iran nuclear weapons treaty (52 percent disapprove) was unpopular and undermined the trustworthiness of the U.S.

There is a reservoir of hope for Biden to tap as Germany, France and the UK have confidence that he "will do the right thing regarding world affairs." Trust in America will recover, but not to previous levels. Trump's election showed other countries that the U.S. is not as reliable as they hoped.

MARK WEAVER

Fayetteville

Protect voting rights

Republican state legislatures are moving to suppress voter participation. Arkansas is right up there with them.

There is a need for voter rights guaranteed by federal legislation. How can we allow 36 percent of the population to take away the right to vote?

NEALUS WHEELER

Mountain Home

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