Public weary of probes
Count me among those who, after witnessing the election meltdown in which most national pollsters wrongly predicted Hillary Clinton would become the 45th president, lost faith from the exposed political bias of most national polling. Nothing else for me explains such gross errors.
There’s an often insurmountable penalty in public opinion when a person or organization proves their words cannot be trusted. This is true both in life and human nature, especially when others can recognize apparent biases behind others’ words and actions.
Still, I found it interesting (while taking it with something smaller than a grain of salt) to see the results of a Harvard-Harris poll the other day which said 64 percent of the country believes the politically inspired investigations into President Donald Trump are damaging to our nation as a whole.
That’s intuitable. I can say with great certainty I am beyond dead-dogtired of what seems clear to me to be a calculated and intentional wall of opposition from certain members of Congress to biased courts and beyond against the president and his plans for the nation.
The poll consisting of 2,237 registered voters was composed of 35 percent Democrat respondents, 29 percent Republican and the rest either independent or “other.”
Adding to the widespread weariness factor was the finding that 54 percent of those polled believe it’s time for Congress to move on to issues other than alleged Russian collusion during the election, in which not a shred of hard evidence has been released after eight months of repetition and national media ballyhoo.
The respondents prefer that Congress tend to subjects I also see as truly relevant to our day-to-day lives including jobs, national security, health care, terrorism and economic improvement. The poll reported that 73 percent said the politicized and national media preoccupations with investigating Russian connections has caused Congress to lose focus on these very things that matter most. That result broke down to 81 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of independents and even 68 percent Democrats.
From wide-ranging discussions I’ve had, these poll results aren’t surprising. Americans by and large are more than ready to get on with improving our nation and our lives as a whole rather than endlessly watching ego-driven political parties throwing junior high food fights to see which can have the most power.
Truth is we are living the ugly scenario George Washington warned us about in his farewell address: Placing allegiance to political parties over the welfare and best interests of our citizens and nation.
A postscript on the recently demolished Ten Commandments monument on our state Capitol grounds. Sen. Jason Rapert, who sponsored the bill that allowed the monument to be built with $26,000 in private contributions, says it will be rebuilt in the spot since it has every positive reason and legal right to be there.
Rapert wrote in response to my column last week about the man who drove his vehicle into the granite monument a day after it was unveiled. He feels there’s a lot of confusion about placing monuments on public property, even, as in this instance, they aren’t paid for with tax dollars.
Here’s what Rapert told me. “There happens to be a lot of misinformation surrounding the Arkansas Ten Commandments monument— like any major story I guess.” He explained that Act 1231 specifically states zero tax dollars would be spent and the monument would be paid for by private donations. This particular monument was created and installed through donations to the American History and Heritage Foundation.
“Also,” he continued, “there is no court case clearing the way for any group to force a government entity to erect its monument or permanent display.” The court case Pleasant Grove City v. Summum speaks specifically to that notion. “It [that suit] happened to involve a Ten Commandments monument as well. There is no basis to even suggest the Satanic Temple or any other group can demand their offensive monument be erected on our Capitol grounds. They like to claim they can—but they cannot.”
Then, the District 35 Republican made what struck me as an especially valid point in the predictable conflict that surrounds these faith-centered monuments. “If the Ten Commandments are worthy of being displayed in multiple places inside and outside the United States Supreme Court building itself—they are good enough for the Arkansas Capitol, as well. I believe Van Orden v. Perry clears the way for our monument to stand and I pray it will.”
Keeping record straight
My original column item last week about Motown The Musical at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville repeated what was said more than once during the performance about how producer/musician Berry Gordy founded Motown with a check from his mother and family for $1,000.
However, the $1,000 figure I originally wrote was changed in my column to $800 based on research by Voices editor Brenda Looper during her editing process. So valued readers who last week enjoyed the same performance that I did, now know the historically accurate figure Gordy used to launch his phenomenally successful music company was in fact, $800.