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Cheez Whiz and lye 

Mr. Sniffles' ardent fans often attempt a diversionary tactic to deflect each and every criticism of their much-prayed-for sweet potato.

Cheez Whiz and lye

Mr. Sniffles' ardent fans often attempt a diversionary tactic to deflect each and every criticism of their much-prayed-for sweet potato. It's an old debating trick to ignore the critics and instead demand an immediate and compelling explanation of why the alternative candidate is the better choice. The tactic usually follows this erudite and genteel form:

"You better give it up, right now. Splain why Hillary would be a better president or shut your dang pie hole!"

How should one respond to such devastating brilliance? The recent words of a life-long Republican and Birmingham lawyer suggest the answer. Here, shared with his permission, is his take-no-prisoners response to an unfortunate soul named Louis:

"Actually, no, Louis, I don't have to give it up. Nor do I have to explain why Hillary would be a good president; I don't particularly think she will be. On the other hand, for me to advise you to eat Cheez Whiz rather than lye does not require me to explain why Cheez Whiz is good for you; it simply requires me to remind you that lye is poisonous and Cheez Whiz, whatever its flaws, is not. Which is sort of analogous to what I've been doing ever since it became apparent that Trump would be the Republican nominee."

He then adds ...

"Hillary, I think, is an uninspiring person who will likely be a fairly mediocre president (others disagree, and I'm not debating that in this particular post). Trump, on the other hand, is a racist, ill-informed xenophobe who speaks without regard for the truth or, as the game show would have it, the consequences either. There is simply no comparison between the two, and the suggestion that, well, in order to speak against Trump, I must be a fan of Hillary's is without foundation."

And finally, he concludes ...

"I speak against Trump because I'm a fan of the survival of humanity and of the survival of basic American principles."

Drop the mic, Mr. Birmingham Lawyer, sir. Debate over. Huzzah, huzzah ...

John Ragland

Hot Springs

The so-called protest vote

Well, now, here goes the radical right again with their dire predictions of the future! Obama is going to declare martial law following the election. Is that like he was going to take away your guns? He didn't. Is that like he is Muslim and is going to impose Sharia law on our land? He isn't and didn't. And despite this overwhelming evidence contrary to their paranoia, adherents to the radical right continue to spew doomsday.

I chalk this up to a combination of things — increased fundamentalism, decreased quality public education and this ubiquitous culture of fear that seems to be uniquely American. Couple those with a nearly unlimited access to guns and ammunition, and you have the makings of a very scary, deadly state of affairs. Namely, we are looking at a sadly uneducated, highly armed ogre afraid of its own shadow. This is the stuff of which nightmares are made.

The rest of you, hear this: Voting for a candidate other than those supported by the two majority parties is not a vote for the other candidate. Does that seem like a non sequitur? It isn't. Such a view is a load of paranoid bunk that has been promulgated by well-meaning and/or ill-advised and/or manipulative people of both political stripes. There is no doomsday.

Some people refer to voting outside the two major parties as a protest vote. In some cases, I suppose it is. But for many of us, it is something else entirely. Neither major party candidate speaks for us. Trump is a racist, sexist, classist, egomaniacal liar who believes that he knows everything and can fix everything. I need provide no more proof here because he does so on a daily basis. Clinton is a well-polished politician (read someone who changes opinions according to the political winds) who believes that more of the same ol' same ol' is what we need. One look at her record shows that she was proud of her conservative roots as a Barry Goldwater Democrat; no, wait, she's a progressive. She supported family values through DOMA; no, wait, she believes that the LGBT community deserves equal rights. She supported every single aggression the U.S. had undertaken since she was first elected to office; no, wait, she made a mistake about the Iraq war (among others!). 

The situation is frightening, yet I won't vote for the major party candidate who appears more closely aligned with my personal values. In truth, neither of them is. I refuse to be driven by the fear that my vote will help elect the other candidate; indeed, I reject this view entirely.

Voting for the lesser of two evils still begets evil. I don't buy that a vote for anyone other than a major party candidate is tantamount to voting for one of them. While such a vote may not — indeed, will likely not — result in my choice being elected, my vote has also not contributed to the ongoing evil. In my opinion, that's what counts. Similar dire warnings were issued during the Bush II vs. Gore vote when I voted for Nader. Even though Bush II got in because of some serious shenanigans, his presidency did not bring about the cataclysmic events predicted by the left. Was his presidency bad? Most definitely. But again, it wasn't the Apocalypse. We survived. We will also survive whoever wins this election.

Leeann Bennett

Little Rock

From the web

In response to an Arkansas Blog item on Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's televised defense of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's refusal to release his tax returns:

My question is when did her Southern accent become so drawn out and pronounced? I don't remember it being that thick when she campaigned to be attorney general, if any at all. But when she gets on national TV she has an accent to rival Gomer T. Pyle. It was great when [Bob Schieffer] asked if opinions would hold up in court and he said that she has seen more courtrooms than him. Oh Bob, you don't know Leslie like we do. She has about as experienced in legal matters as the aforementioned Gomer T. Pyle. She just lets her minions do all the real court work, and then just attaches herself to already existing cases to make herself look busy. I hope the next election rids us of Mrs. Gomer.

Conway Michael

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