Nobody can agree on anything in Washington.
We can’t figure out if we need more or less gun control. And we’re getting closer to the next presidential election without knowing if one candidate has paid taxes in the past decade or if the other is an anti-American Muslim Manchurian candidate sent here 40-odd years ago to turn America into a socialist nation in the early part of the 21st century.
However, there are a few things we can agree on (mostly):
—Leaving a child in a hot vehicle when the temperature outside is in triple digits is not an accident. Spilling a glass of milk is an accident.
A child’s death from the heat inside a vehicle usually isn’t an accident. Three youngsters have died in recent days because they were inside vehicles that acted like baking ovens.
One child’s death was an accident, with the toddler getting into the vehicle and then not being able to get out.Of course, who was minding the child is a relevant question to ask. One man was going to work and should have dropped his child off at day care, but forgot. Forgot.
These are tragic situations that happen far too often. What should the penalty be for adults who fail to care for children in their care and let them die in such a horrible way? The unChristianlike response that comes to mind is to park them in a vehicle somewhere for a day.
Maybe we can’t all agree on the correct punishment, but surely we can agree that one child’s death in this manner is one too many.
—The growing backlash against ethanol is gaining steam. For many years, some politicians and agri leaders pushed corn-based ethanol as a renewable energy source that could lessen our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. But as we’ve used more and more corn for ethanol, leaving less and less for food products, that thinking is changing.
Plus, two other factors are at work. One, natural gas drilling is becoming the energy darling, and it produces less greenhouse gas when burned. Two, ethanol just doesn’t work well in some engines, especially smaller engines such as lawn mowers and boat motors. The jury might still be out on this one, but consensus is building to leave the corn for food.
—Arkansans are festival-loving folks, but there are good months for festivals and bad months for festivals? May — not bad. July — horrible. October — good. August — awful.
Tradition plays a role in many of these events, but, folks, honestly, who wants to walk around outside on a July afternoon? There’s something to be said about a good funnel cake or chicken on a stick, but there are many more good words for air conditioning. Perhaps the governor could proclaim that all festivals must occur from October through May.
—Show of hands: Who won’t be sick of campaigning by the time the general election rolls around in November? Who believes a roadside watermelon should cost less than $10? Who can’t wait for high school or college or NFL football season to start? Who remains impartial when the Olympics crank up?
See, even in our fractured society, there are things we can agree on. Even when it seems that we argue and fuss about everything under the sun — often with good reason — we can come together to acknowledge that "reality" TV will probably lead to the end of our civilization.
But, we can disagree, too. American League or National League? Cherry or grape slush? Kardashians or swamp people?
Takes all kinds.
Rick Fahr is publisher of the Log Cabin Democrat in Conway. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.