Conservatives fear too much today

"What's a conservative? A liberal who's been mugged." I've written here about neuroscience identifying conservative minds with fear and defensive hostility, liberals with curiosity and trust. However, liberals now fear muggings in the political arena.

Facebook memes claim liberals' anti-logging lawsuits burned Montana forests; standing up for immigrants and athletes taking political stands are twisted into attacks on patriotism; mainstream news media are dismissed as liberal fakes because they deny the president credit for supposed successes, offering no free pass for his vices and failures. Liberals fear they are ruled by a hostile minority, the 26 percent who support Trump. Election math makes it worse: 80 percent of U.S. senators represent less than 50 percent of Americans. Post-2010 gerrymandering gave Republicans disproportionate power in the U.S. House and swing state legislatures. Right here in this space, Dakotans worry supposedly corrupt coastal elites will suddenly overrun pure, wholesome us if we lose any small-state advantages, electoral fairness not an option.

Is there hope? Yes. It may be a sign that the tide of hostility against the common good has turned, that Pennington County Commissioner Ferebee has been fined for claiming the Constitution freed him to foul our aquifer, refusing sanitation rules fellow citizens follow.

Peter Hasby

Rapid City

Entertainers need to pay their dues

I have a great idea. The next time there’s a war keep our boys home and send entertainers. Let them sleep in a hole in the ground and wallow in the mud when it rains. Let them try to sleep with bullets and bombs flying. Yes, let him hold a good friend in his arms and watch him slowly die, choking to death on his own blood.

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Let him see and smell the blood of men and women who just minutes before were living human beings. Then, let his pay be 1,000th what he was receiving as an entertainer. Let him limp while he marches along with no doctor to tend to his every joint pain or bruise.

Then, let him come home in one piece so when the National Anthem is played he can still bend his knee; or will he stand and proudly salute Old Glory as a person who appreciates what that beautiful banner stands for. Perception is important isn’t it?

Don Kopp

Rapid City

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