Comes to education
Sadly, it appears that the central issue in our coming election will come down to a matter of intelligence. We are faced with a substantial number of voters, hopefully fewer than half, who are committed to ideas that are obviously untrue ("stolen election," sure!) and who accept an outrageous evil clown figure as fit to be president. How did we reach this sad state of affairs?
There is a hint in Tim Alberta's "The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory," the theme of which is how a string of sleazy preachers conned evangelicals into supporting the Republican Party and later Donald Trump. (Some heroes who preached the real Gospel are included.)
What is significant about Alberta's report is how gullible the bovine flocks of evangelicals were. They would believe any silly crap some preacher told them and think it was the word of God. They showed absolutely no critical-thinking ability. In the recent Iowa caucuses, unfortunately, evangelicals provided most of Trump's votes, and 70 percent voted for Trump in New Hampshire. Some have proclaimed him sent by God!
Beyond evangelicals, the largest demographic voting Republican has been white, with no college education. The strongest predictor of how states vote has been the percentage of college graduates in the population. More degrees, more Democrats. Prosperous college grads who used to vote red have shifted blue in substantial numbers. White working-class folks, many of whom have lost manufacturing jobs, have shifted red, clearly voting against their self-interest.
A recent posting on Facebook reminded us that "A national IQ test will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024." Wonder if we can break 100?
Let me note that Catherine Lamb of Little Rock recently wrote on a similar theme.
ROGER A. WEBB
Might regret opinion
It was so heartbreaking reading the opinion written by JR Cromwell of White Hall, but it was also eye-opening. It is a masterpiece in reminding us that we can still get desensitized to the sufferings of other people and dehumanize them to the point of committing genocide and live with a clear conscience after, like I am sure he does.
Mr. Cromwell probably sees Gazans as human animals or even less. He does not see children deprived of hope, fathers or mothers trying to raise families. I am sure he does not see a society of people of all walks of life. He only sees targets for B-52 bombers and probably insects that are better off exterminated.
I have always wondered how humanity allowed the Holocaust. But the answer is very clear in my eyes now and it is heart-breaking. Over time and with the right dose of propaganda and years of misinformation, they were desensitized. Mr. Cromwell, sitting thousands of miles away, never having seen the suffering of these people, probably never even met anyone from the region in person, calls for total annihilation of 2.5 million people.
Mr. Cromwell is also a prime example of how repeating misinformation can turn it into reality or, better, an alternative reality. He refers to Islam as a religion spread by the sword, a statement that contradicts Islam being the fastest-growing religion worldwide. It can't explain how the biggest Muslim country in the world today, Indonesia, never had a Muslim soldier step a foot in it. Nowadays Islam still thrives without the sword he refers to.
Lastly, Mr. Cromwell refers to the constant battles and fighting. I want to remind him that, unfortunately, this is human nature, built on greed and fueled by hate. Wars erupt more easily with more people like him calling for it.
I urge Mr. Cromwell to be careful about calling for mass murder or genocide. If he googles children of Gaza, if he still has a clear conscience, he might regret his opinion.
Print still best source
I have been seeing an uptick in your letters complaining about the letters of others as well as your columnists like Rex Nelson. Like most folks, I am liberal on some issues but conservative on others. Yes, sometimes letters make me want to throw up. However, I also hear a lot of complaining about freedom of speech or the lack thereof. Of course it is only the government that is restrained from denying this right, not social media, and certainly not this newspaper.
I think it speaks well of the paper that you are loath to censor your readers or your writers. I would note that you certainly haven't been reticent to print complaints from readers. I happen to love Rex Nelson's column, but I also really enjoy Professor Robert Steinbuch's musings, which will probably shock some of my friends. Everyone knows the personal politics of Mr. Hussman and the unapologetic conservative slant of the paper.
Nevertheless, there has been and is a clear line between news and opinion in the paper, and everyone who works there knows it. That's why I believe print media remains the best source of news and information.
Hot Springs Village
Letter was disturbing
I'm writing in response to a letter you published by JR Cromwell from White Hall titled "Peace isn't the point."
I'm greatly disturbed that you would print such a hateful, racist letter, especially as the writer endorses and calls for genocide of an entire people. The writer also makes baseless statements about Palestinians apparently wishing to kill all Jews. It's irresponsible of you to print a letter calling for killing people, any people, and making false and hateful statements about a religion. This letter incites violence.