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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Who are Arkansans? | On progressive ideals | Hire the right person

May 22, 2022 at 1:50 a.m.

Who are Arkansans?

I feel hopeless when I live in a state that allows guns everywhere with few background checks; looks the other way after mass shootings; elects leaders who distort the truth as if truth doesn't matter; condones a coup to overthrow the election; believes the election was rigged and stolen even though proven otherwise; calls itself "pro-life," but ranks highest in food insecurity and lowest in maternal health; refuses federal money for rental assistance; wants to control the medical decisions of women; spreads the conspiracy theory of white replacement; restricts voting and uses redistricting to keep people in power; controls what teachers teach, yet ranks last in education; offers tax cuts to the wealthy while cutting health care to the poor; believes vaccines are harmful and refuses to be vaccinated or wear masks; has representatives who remain silent in the face of hate; votes no on all legislation in a desire to obstruct; and has people in government who have lost their moral compass and forgotten the oath they took to defend the Constitution and democracy.

Our democracy is being destroyed by hate, racism and misinformation. A democracy where money buys votes and power is more important than truth. Ask yourself: Who are we as Arkansans and Americans? What kind of world will we choose for ourselves and our children? Will we choose democracy or autocracy? A state where power and profit are the guiding principles, or honesty and respect? A country where hate and fear rule and evil and corruption win? Or will we chose to love one another with tolerance, acceptance and truth?

Who are we? What kind of state and country do we want to live in? Time will tell.



On progressive ideals

The late Bob Compton of El Dorado enjoyed telling the story of his uncle whose tombstone was inscribed with the epitaph: "Here lies Buford Compton, Methodist and Democrat." It always drew a laugh.

I was reminded of Bob's story when I read Steve Engstrom's obituary in last Sunday's paper. Steve was a widely admired lawyer and Democratic Party loyalist. His family requested that memorials to Steve be made to the national or state Democratic Party. Steve, like Buford Compton, was a committed Democrat to the end.

While most of your readers will surely disagree, I believe we would be in a much better place if more people shared Steve's progressive political ideals. Steve was a bright fellow and he knew full well that electing Democrats in deep-red Arkansas is a quixotic endeavor. But Steve would not be deterred and he never gave up trying.

My check is in the mail.



Hire the right person

Blame the owner, not the hired help. If you hire a plumber to do a heart surgeon's job, results may be below expectations. If you hire a heart surgeon to do a plumber's job, results may be below expectations. Both have to do with the flow of liquids, but the skill set to do the job is widely different.

We hired a professional politician to run our country. Wrong skill set. When in danger of being held responsible, a politician always blames the opposing party rather than fixing the problem. The lack of skill set does not allow them to fix the problem.

The Peter Principle says everyone will be promoted to at least one level beyond their capability. The Peter Principle has been achieved in our Congress, our president and our military.

Our system of political parties vetting candidates to offer only someone that can do the job and win has failed. The lessons learned that affect our pocketbooks are the ones remembered. We are learning those lessons now because we employed the wrong hired help.

It is time for the owners to admit they made a mistake and correct the problem. Mass firings are in order.



Ignore the noisy few

It appears that that the whole country strongly supports Donald Trump, our U.S. Congress is full of extremists, and white evangelicals have taken over the country. That's what the media would have us believe, but let's look at the reality.

According to the Public Religion Research Institute, in 2021, white evangelical Protestants constituted just 14 percent of the country. Even if they all support Trumpism, they won't decide the election.

The U.S. House has 435 members. About six of them make the headlines with outrageous statements. We don't hear much from the other 429, who are quietly legislating. The noisy few make it sound like the whole House has extreme views. Not so.

The U.S. Senate has 100 members. How many of them make the sensational headlines? Four or five? Again, the noisy few give the impression that our whole government is going off the rails. You would think from both public and social media that Congress has 100 Ted Cruzes and 435 Marjorie Taylor Greenes, but they are the outliers, not representative of the whole.

A Gallup poll showed that in 2021, the Democrats were 47 percent of the country and the Republicans were 42 percent. This figure includes the independents who lean toward one party or the other, but when counted separately, the independents were 42 percent. Independents will decide the next presidential election, not the radical right or radical left.

The press has to report something, and the more sensational, the better. They can't report "Nothing happened today." But it's time we stopped paying so much attention to the noisy few. They thrive on our attention, and we don't need to keep giving it to them, especially on social media. The public contributes to that directly, and the public can stop responding.

The monsters that grow are the ones we feed.



Paying out the wazoo

Y'all keep voting for those Democrats and maybe we can get gas up to $10 per gallon.


White Hall

Print Headline: Letters


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