A politician is different from a public servant
Readers may recall seeing a bumper sticker that says "A politician thinks of the next election; a public servant thinks of the next generation. I've got some additional thoughts as a result of interacting with three different Fayetteville administrations over the past 25 years.
A politician thinks of the next election, thinks the end justifies the means, tells voters what they want to hear, diverts attention with circle talk, is prone to sound bites, sometimes mimicking a robot, will fake understanding, avoids taking responsibility for mistakes, knows lying is not against the law and takes advantage of that legal loophole, preaches convenience, steals ideas, time and energy, thinks politics is a game with winners and losers, is uncomfortable with whistleblower laws, spends taxpayer dollars to win votes from constituents, rubber stamps staff recommendations, defends mediocrity with great passion, and is self serving.
A public servant thinks of the next generation, knows the means used reflects one's character, tells voters the truth even when it's painful, will get to the point quickly, will delve into thoughtful discussion, will admit ignorance of an issue, is quick to own responsibility for mistakes, does not lie, preaches commitment, gives credit and payment where they are due, knows we are all in this together, advocates for whistle blower laws at all government levels, is conservative with taxpayer money, asks questions of staff before voting, inspires staff and citizens to "raise the bar," and works for the greater good.
We'd be wise to reflect on words of public servants from the past: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," John F. Kennedy, and "It always seems impossible until it's done," Nelson Mandela.
Border needs officers,
not wall, to protect
I am grateful the shutdown has ended, but not only if both sides can agree with the president. This is not what compromise and working together is about in a democracy.
I like what U.S. Rep French Hill said about the need to upgrade our screening process, surveillance technology and jobs, jobs, jobs to increase border agents and immigration judges. We need to examine every vehicle that crosses the border, thoroughly. That takes employed people to carry out border crossing protection to control drug traffic like meth, heroin and pharmaceutical opiates being driven or flown into the United States.
We do not need protection from families trying to find a better life for their children. We do not need an exorbitant ocean to ocean wall.
If the Democrats don't go so far as to support Trump's monument to segregation, it is not because they are trying to disrespect the president or his supporters. They are representing their constituents. Not everyone wants this wall. We do want immigration reform, and it looks like that is also what at least one of our Arkansas reps wants as well.
It takes people working together to improve our immigration policies in a way that benefits us all.
Special interests push
state Legislature bills
It's only been a few weeks, and our legislators are cooking up bills that, once again, do not help the people of Arkansas, but instead promote their own personal interests.
Sen. Bob Ballinger submitted a bill that goes against the voters of Arkansas who voted for the minimum wage increase. His bill states that "educational institutions, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, non-profits, and anyone under the age of 18" would not be granted the minimum wage increase. So, let's get this straight: Sen. Ballinger works for the people of Arkansas and the people emphatically stated they wanted a minimum wage increase, not for some, but for all, yet he's trying to backpedal our new law. There must be a reason he came up with this bill. I would like to see some investigative reporting from the Democrat-Gazette into his personal interest in this going forward, because it's clear that he does not care about the majority voice of the people of Arkansas.
Another alarming bill is Sen. Ken Hammer's so-called "free speech on campus" bill that alleges to protect free speech, but instead, makes it more difficult for campuses to regulate their own free speech policies. According to the American Association of University Professors, this legislation didn't come from Hammer; it came from an out-of-state conservative think tank and has been passed in other states. The intention behind this bill is to take away from campuses and other institutions their ability to figure out their own free speech policies and, instead, puts in a narrow set of rules that they must abide by. At stake here is the very eroding of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Oh, and yet another bill that is not originating from the will of the people but from outside sources is sponsored by Rep. Aaron Pilkington. It's the "stand your ground" bill. This law has proven disastrous in other states, so why do we need it in Arkansas? This bill could have many dire consequences. It should be something Arkansas voters have a chance to weigh in on. It is not something one legislator, most likely influenced by outside sources, should be able to put into law.
There is only one way for these "special interests" bills to quit coming up in our state, and that is for the people of Arkansas to demand that the legislators quit pandering to the lobbyists and special interest groups from out of state and start listening to the people of Arkansas.
Americans cannot afford
illegal immigration impact
When are we going to become Americans again? We all want Medicare for all. Illegal immigration is costing us $14 billion a month, according to One America News Network.
How can we afford this if everyone is allowed in?
Please write your congressmen and tell them we need new laws, not catch and release.
BentonvilleCommentary on 02/09/2019
Print Headline: NWA Letters to the editor