*

Scott Loftis

From the Editor

Scott Loftis is editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is SLoftis@cherryroad.com

Opinion

We could do worse, and we have

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Bryan King and I disagree on a lot of political issues. In fact, itís probably fair to say we disagree on most political issues.

Given that, it might be surprising for some readers to learn that Mr. King and I talk fairly frequently. It makes sense for someone in my position to talk to someone in Mr. Kingís position, and vice versa. But at least from my perspective, the conversation is always enjoyable and pleasant, and I believe Mr. King would say the same thing.

As he told me on the phone this morning, we both recognize our political differences but have enough mutual respect to have a civil, even pleasant conversation without saying or believing that the other is an awful person for believing what he believes.

Itís a little sad that the bar is set so low these days for civil discourse, but it is.

Iíve even criticized Mr. Kingís political beliefs in this space, namely his opposition to Arkansasí Medicaid expansion. As a matter of fact, we once had columns with our differing points of view published on the Opinion page on the very same day ó which I thought was wonderful because it gave readers an opportunity to consider both our points and form their own opinion on the issue.

And, amazingly, Mr. King didnít call me a radical leftist afterward and I didnít call him names, either. We simply agreed to disagree and continue to have civil conversations about the issue.

Itís hard to be a moderate these days, on either side of the political aisle. Iím not calling Mr. King a moderate, to be clear. Iím not sure heíd appreciate that label or that itís completely accurate. But heís no extremist either, certainly not in the mold of Jason Rapert or Trent Garner or that other Republican state senator with a history of mortgage trouble and delinquent taxes.

I wonít go so far as to say Iíll vote for Mr. King, although I do plan to vote in the Republican primary. But I do believe we could do far worse in a state senator. Indeed, we already have.

A year from now, weíll have an extremist governor. Thereís no way around that. My hope is that Sarah Sanders will be too distracted by national politics and future ambitions to pay much attention to whatís actually going on here in Arkansas. Thatís a sad commentary but itís a more palatable idea than the thought of her actually making real policy decisions. The state legislature isnít likely to do much more than rubber-stamp whatever it is that Ms. Sanders decides she wants to do, either.

It would be nice to have a state senator whoís willing to vote his conscience rather than go along to get along. As much as I might disagree with Bryan King politically, I absolutely trust him to stick to his principles.

And if he doesnít, Iíll give him a call and weíll talk about it.