How it all falls apart
"Partisanship becomes equated with patriotism, and destroying the other side becomes the ultimate goal. This is how democracies fall apart."--Rachel Kleinfeld
Sadly, in our state of Arkansas, this objective has been achieved.
And what did the destruction of democracy in our state leave in its wake, post-midterms?
The governor's office--GOP; two United States Senate seats--GOP; four United States House Representatives--GOP; Arkansas lieutenant governor--GOP, attorney general--GOP; secretary of state--GOP; state auditor--GOP; state treasurer--GOP; state House of Representatives, 84 of the 100 seats--GOP; state Senate, 26 of the 35 seats--GOP.
Please read these numbers again, because they're appalling. It would be equally appalling if the numbers were the other way. We need two or more parties to keep our democracy alive. That's the only way it works, folks.
In 1787, when Benjamin Franklin was asked if our new government was a republic or a monarchy, he reportedly replied, "a republic, if you can keep it."
North Little Rock
Oh, to have his brain
I wish I was as smart as John Brummett thinks he is!
Our polarized nation
For the first time I can recall, I had to agree with some of Victor Davis Hanson's and Bradley R. Gitz's observations in Monday's paper. Usually, I consider both of these fellows political pot-stirrers, but Monday, both laid the cards on the table about the condition of the Republican Party and why the red wave wasn't much of a wave at all.
Hanson and Gitz both admitted Trump's misguided candidate selections and failed election guarantees. Hanson pointed out that although Dems accused Republicans of being violent insurrectionists and destroyers, the Republicans, in turn, never offered alternatives to Joe Biden's failed policies. All potential voters got was more of the same "liberal," "woke," "open border" blah blah.
Gitz offered three categories of Trump supporters. The first one, "anyone but Hillary." The second, trading Trump's adolescent behavior for tax cuts, deregulation and conservative judges. I totally understand this logic. The third category, MAGA faithful's worship of 45 as a "rock star" is right on the money. Donald Duck could have carried this group if he just spouted the right rhetoric.
All of this being said, take a look at Saturday's religion section and Paul Prather's piece on our perceived polarization. It really is a compliment to all of us, if we'll just take it to heart. Prather tells us that we are not that far apart and that about 7 percent on the far right and far left are the ones stirring up all the hate and division. I have no doubt this is true. Although I think it's sad that many ministers tell their congregants to never vote for a Democrat.
It's a huge mistake to vote straight party and not consider the quality of the candidate or their integrity. Clarke Tucker may never get a chance to serve this state in Washington simply because there is a "D" next to his name on the ballot. I have no doubt he could really have a positive impact for the state of Arkansas. He strikes me as a young man from the same mold as David Pryor, Dale Bumpers and Mike Beebe. Intellect and sound judgment.
On buses and police
All of these fliers coming in requesting more tax money for this and for that, but none for public bus transportation to the suburbs. Many will find they can no longer drive for one or more reasons. Being without a vehicle in Little Rock is like this: One cannot always get a ride; citizens cannot get to the bank, post office, church, grocery stores, shopping centers, medical offices, etc. Grounded until further notice; hardship!
Another thing that would help Little Rock tremendously would be a working police precinct in each separate neighborhood; 20-30 minutes from downtown is way too long a time for appearance.
I am thankful for the good in Little Rock.
MARI B. LEE