President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 warned us: "If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power."
My liberal lifelong friend Danny Timbrook joined Jeanetta, Benji and me on the deck on a recent evening where we spent an hour discussing political parties and the pervasive corruption inside the D.C. Beltway.
Jeanetta kicked off the discussion by posing a question that affects every American. "Why is it when we have policies in place that clearly benefit all our citizens, that a change of administration automatically brings an end to those policies and implements its own agenda that achieves the opposite results? Why not be smart and simply improve on the obvious positives that have been created?"
"Why can't an incoming administration, in the interest of our country, simply maintain the policies that are undeniably beneficial and functioning for all Americans rather than tearing down everything built previously simply to achieve and implement political power?"
I call this damaging practice whiplashing Americans.
Timbrook agreed, saying it makes zero sense to destroy effective programs and policies simply because the incoming party wants to flex newfound power and enhance its own political influence at the expense of all citizens.
That's become more pertinent than perhaps ever before in these supposedly United States. Wasn't our nation founded on the principle that those we elect to lead us are our "public servants" rather than the other way around where they dictate policies that can prove disastrous for the country?
For instance, many Americans are wondering why our D.C. elites seem to abandon and ignore America's immigration laws ostensibly for long-term political gain.
Many also wonder why we apparently surrendered energy independence to return to the days of pleading with OPEC to increase our nation's energy supply.
Others are flabbergasted that prosecutors in several major cities now refuse to actively prosecute accused felons and instead let them go free.
These are but a few of the concerns I suspect also are weighing heavily on the minds of fellow Americans in 2021. National polling clearly shows how displeased the vast majority of us are with the radical direction in which we've been steered by those who inspire zero reassurance that they know what they're doing to benefit every American citizen.
Reaction to column
Charles Britton responded to my recent column about some who have replaced common sense with the nonsensical "wokester" rationale. To me, this "woke movement" consists of those who would eagerly lecture others on their misguided morals and beliefs if they happen to be different from what the radical woke mob believes.
Britton quoted Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can also make you commit atrocities."
That wisdom was followed by a quip from comedian George Carlin: "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."
Those pearls of understanding pretty much summarize the feelings of millions of Americans who will never begin referring to our "mothers" as "birthing people," calling virtually every white American a racist, or believing biological males and females are whatever gender they feel like becoming in that moment.
It's difficult for me to believe rational adults who respect science would believe such immature nonsense.
Former pastor Brian Keith Herring, formerly of Harrison (now Fayetteville) has found himself in a pickle.
The 46-year-old former Harrison city councilman and minister at Faith Assembly of God was arrested the other day in Fayetteville, charged with stealing, using a church credit card, over a half-million dollars from his former church.
The missing money was said to total $525,634.
Herring is free on a $50,000 bond as police continue their investigation to determine whether anyone else connected to the church might have been involved.
I find it hard, but certainly not impossible, to believe one man could siphon that much money from a midsized church without being noticed.
Efforts to track the church's finances over Herring's electronic devices proved difficult for police since the laptop, an iPad and two iPhones owned by the church he turned in had been reset to factory settings. That also led to a charge of tampering with evidence, according to a story in the Harrison Daily Times.
Time and the process of jurisprudence will reveal if Herring is guilty of being a purloining pastor.
Meanwhile, if the reverend is still preaching the word when all this passes, might I politely suggest a sermon he's likely to have delivered at some point about the love of money being the root of all evil?
Now go out into the world and treat everyone you meet exactly like you want them to treat you.
Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master's journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.