I have been an enrolled Republican all my adult life. I cast my first presidential vote for Ike Eisenhower in 1952. The upcoming election is the most important I have ever seen. The administration of George W. Bush and the Republican Party has been the worst in the 220 years that we have had a federal government. I will not recount the lies, deceptions, corruption and incompetence that have characterized that administration; they are known to all.
I intend to vote for Barack Obama and Tom Allen on Nov. 4.
Barack Obama has a vision for the future of this nation. He understands the devastation to small-business people and wage earners alike, which the policies of the Bush administration have brought about. He understands that tax policies that permit the very wealthy to avoid payment of taxes through the use of tax shelters not available to the ordinary person mean that the tax burden on the rest of us is increased. He understands that the loss of American jobs to low-paid workers in China and India has devastated the middle class.
At one time, John McCain seemed to be a breath of fresh air among the arrogant and greedy leaders of the Republican Party. No more. He has sold his soul in his quest for the Republican Party nomination. In his very first test of statesmanship, he failed utterly. His cynical choice of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate revealed a stunning lack of good judgment as to the qualifications of someone “only a heartbeat away” from the presidency. It also displays a terrifying lack of concern for the well-being of this nation should a person with no visible qualifications for the incredibly difficult job of president be called upon to step in.
If John McCain seriously wanted a qualified and competent woman to serve as his running mate, he could have found many in the Republican Party. Just for one example, our own Olympia Snowe would have added real gravitas to the ticket. But his anxiety to play to the extreme right wing overrode the choice of a serious female candidate.
And for John McCain to present himself as a reformer boggles the mind. In this hour, when the chickens let loose by the deregulation frenzy going back to Ronald Reagan are coming back to roost, with the collapse of financial institutions whose greed was exceeded only by their cynicism, for John McCain to pose as our savior would be funny if it were not so frightening. For a quarter of a century, McCain has pushed for deregulation of the financial services industry. We are all paying the price for that folly. Fool me once, your fault. Fool me twice, my fault. No thanks, John; we’re not falling for that again.
As for the race between Tom Allen and Susan Collins for the U.S. Senate, we need a senator who does not carry the baggage of having supported the misbegotten war in Iraq, the aftermath of which will plague us for centuries; of having supported the failed tax and regulatory policies that have devastated our economy; and of having supported the appointment of Supreme Court Justices who seem determined to roll back a century of jurisprudence. Susan Collins carries all that baggage.
Tom Allen is a man of eminent good sense who has served the state of Maine very well in the House of Representatives, and will continue to do so in the Senate.
And that is why this Republican will be voting for both Barack Obama and Tom Allen on Nov. 4.
Clinton “Bill” Townsend has practiced law in Skowhegan for 50 years, and was twice elected Somerset County Attorney on the Republican ticket.