Football fans sound off
After seeing the video of the female fan (dressed in hounds tooth, what else?) engaging in an altercation with an Oklahoma fan and hearing (AJ) McCarron's mom and girlfriend's tweet about (Jameis) Winston's lack of English skills, I called my niece (a huge Alabama fan) and told her Tide fans were giving the rest of the viewing public a very unflattering picture of the state. Her response: "Half of those people never went to Alabama and have no class." So, I guess that means that mom and girlfriend are classless. I also might mention the tree assassin (Harvey Updyke) and the woman who called in ESPN and called Colin Cowherd Colin Cow--d. This was in response to Mr. Cowherd's statement about Gus Malzahn making a good call at the Iron Bowl that Auburn won.
JEAN MERRITT, Ringgold, Ga.
We should do the decent thing
A hearty amen to Thomas Lloyd's Dec. 26 commentary which concluded: "If we are truly a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, then it is our social contract to help those in need. This is not socialism or liberalism. It is simply the decent thing to do." How much better to "simply do the decent thing" than to choose to believe poor people are lazy (which conveniently relieves us of any responsibility toward others). How much better to "simply do the decent thing" than to choose to believe health care is available to all by just showing up at the emergency room. (How do we miss understanding that this constitutes indigent care that we pay for with our taxes?) How much better to "simply do the decent thing" than to choose to believe that building fences and deporting folks is somehow a "solution" to immigration. (No matter that all of us owe our lives here to those from distant shores, unless we happen to be Native American.) We err when we operate from greed and ignorance. The only progress we ever make is when courageous people "simply do the decent thing."
KATE STULCE, Ooltewah
The GOP and Southerners
In 1861, the Southern plantation aristocracy used the "states' rights" ruse to convince yeoman farmers and town people to defend slavery. Today, Republican strategists have likewise convinced middle- and working-class Southerners to cut their own economic throats and support the political agenda of the super rich. In 1968, Barry Goldwater avoided taking an outright stance on civil rights legislation but suggested some of it might be unconstitutional. Seizing on this, in 1972 Richard Nixon devised his "Southern strategy," and the seduction of the traditionally Democratic "Solid South" was underway. To secure a power base the GOP targeted the impressionable, auto-suggestive Southern evangelical fundamentalists. Nobody's fools, Republican strategists sidestepped the more immediate economic and foreign policy issues and focused on the highly emotional controversies of abortion, school prayer and gay rights. But since then the Republicans have done absolutely nothing they promised on any of these concerns. After more than 40 years, Roe v Wade is still on the books, church-state separation is stronger than ever and gay people are steadily gaining acceptance. But middle- and working-class Southerners ignore these realities and are as blindly Republican today as they were right after the big switcheroo. Somebody's been had.
GEORGE B. REED, JR. Rossville