Finding Common Ground


Finding Common Ground
Jim Hendren

One of the many frustrating things about the current political climate has been the extremism espoused.

A mayor in a Texas town served as an example of extremism last week. On a community Facebook page for Colorado City, residents asked when power might be restored after last week’s winter storms left some of them without heat, light or water. Colorado City Mayor Tim Boyd responded:

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“The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING! I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout! If you don’t have electricity you step up and come up with a game plan to keep your family warm and safe. If you have no water you deal without and think outside of the box to survive and supply water to your family.”

One would think that paying utility bills and taxes would mean that one was, in fact, owed electricity and water and some level of governmental concern. But not, apparently, in the eyes of Mayor Boyd, who resigned.

All of which is a roundabout way to bring us to the announcement last week by state Sen. Jim Hendren, Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s nephew and a member of the most politically powerful family in Arkansas, that he was leaving the Republican Party to become an independent. Hendren, citing division that “has been taken to a whole new level,” added that he was forming a group called Common Ground Arkansas, “an organization that will work to find and support leaders willing to come together instead of continuing to push us apart.”

Absolutism is a dead end. For example, it’s possible to believe both in secure borders and in the value immigrants bring to this country. Most sensible people realize this.

Nothing productive comes from extremism. Sen. Hendren is on the right track.