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Values that made America great

Dear editor:

Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt both visited Hot Springs during the 20th century. I hope their values and others quoted below still live here and in our nation.

T.R. said "Justice among the nations of mankind, and the uplifting of humanity, can be brought about only by those strong and daring men who with wisdom love peace, but who love righteousness more than peace." And, "There must be the keenest sense of duty, and with it must go the joy of living; there must be shame at shirking the hard work of the world." "Theodore Roosevelt: The Rough Riders/An Autobiography."

"Civilization is a tree which, as it grows, continually produces rot and dead wood. The radical says: 'Cut it down.' The conservative says: 'Don't touch it.' The liberal compromises: 'Let's prune, so that we lose neither the old trunk nor the new branches.' This campaign is waged to teach the country to march upon its appointed course, the way of change, in an orderly march, avoiding alike the revolution of radicalism and the revolution of conservatism." He added, "If I fail I shall be the last (president.)" Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1932 campaign speech.

"It is a base outrage to oppose a man because of his religion or birthplace, and all good citizens will hold any such effort in abhorrence." What Republican today will stand up for these words of Teddy Roosevelt? Or these immortal words of George Washington, that our new nation "gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance."

Author-Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham offered most of these quotes in his recent great book, "The Soul of America." I also recommend The Mueller Report. This must be a time of accountability for us all; for "Of the three classes, it is the middle that saves the country," as Euripides reminded an earlier great civilization. Or we can simply sit back and let President Trump "be the last one."

Jerry Rephan

Hot Springs

Society is the issue

Dear editor:

Another mass shooting, and once again thoughts and prayers are flying off the shelf ... all 20-thousand Democratic presidential candidates are soooo concerned. Trump tweeted, so he officially cares. Maybe? I don't know. I feel like I need a baby boomer to English translator for his feed. ...

But everyone is pointing to what is causing the problems -- TV, video games, racism -- and the list goes on.

But as I've continued to say, society is the issue. It's because everyone is mentally ill. We have a school shooting and everyone goes why! God why! Because kids are jerks. Most parents don't have a clue how big a jerk little Jack and Jill are and how they treat the other kids like they are white trash because they don't have the new shoe or shirt or didn't see that YouTube video. High schools haven't changed, still have cliques and kids that don't belong. But now those kids are so fed up they think shooting Jack and Jill is the only solution.

And the parents aren't paying attention because they're on social media worried about whatever stupid thing their politically charged group has told them to be mad about.

The other shooters just seem to give up. Mad about whatever it is. Probably said something on social media looking for help. And got dog piled and made fun of till they didn't care anymore. We are a country of bullies.

We make memes and will go over the edge about anything on the internet, because no one has room to respect the opinions of others. This used to be subjugated to the newspaper opinion section. I've written this paper a long time. I've had people call my home when we had landlines and show up to my home ready to fight over an opinion. ...

Hilarious to me, honestly, the news doesn't help with the 24/7 coverage. It allows more unstable people to see it and start to think that's the solution to the problems they have. Everyone thinks this is a new thing. But mass shootings in America go back to the 1700s before we were a country.

I think the media should cover these shootings like the mass shootings in the '80s, just a blurp and move on. ... But that's just my opinion that everyone in the United States is mentality unstable -- studies have proven that. Just don't shoot the messenger.

Ron Swanson

Hot Springs

Editorial on 08/09/2019

Print Headline: Friday's Letters to the Editor

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