Yesterday’s shooting in Virginia is yet another example of how some people take their political opinions too far. Politicians say there are a few things that caused this divide and tell us what can be done to repair it.
The political climate in our country is like the weather, if you don’t like it today, wait until tomorrow. Local representatives say incidents like yesterday’s shooting make them pause with concern but will not deter them from serving the people.
Rep. Greg Leding, (D) District 86, “Yesterday’s event really brings into focus our job. Our job isn’t more dangerous than a lot of other professions and there are far more dangerous professions but it is something to consider.”
Rep. Charlie Collins, (R) District 84, “For me, my greatest concern and my greatest fears have to do with our young people in school.”
Politics have always been emotional and passionate but retired University of Arkansas Political Professor Hoyt Purvis says it’s different now.
Hoyt Purvis, Retired Arkansas Political Professor, “The level of division and the level of animosity and the anger is distinctive i think.”
“The political vitriol really became elevated coming out of this very bad economic time in ’08-’09 when people started feeling very desperate. As they start to have more confidence in that the vitriol in the politics will also begin to recede and we won’t be as negative and emotional as we are today,” said Collins.
In spite of yesterday’s attack, Arkansas Representative, Charlie Collins says the two sides will be more unified than ever.
“When we are attacked we come together and stop focusing on the things that we differ and we start focusing on the things we believe even more deeply,” said Collins.
Purvis says respect would go a long way in calming people down.
“We need some more mutual respect and more willingness to express our views in a way that is not demonizing the other side,” said Purvis.
Professor Purvis also said involvement in politics is crucial to a healthy and functioning country but without love and respect for one another, we lose sight of the ultimate goal, which is a better country for everyone.