Trump legitimizes hate
The tragedy in Orlando, Florida, reminds us there is much hatred and many haters in the United States. Sadly, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has given legitimacy to this hatred and these haters.
His racist statements about Mexicans, his plan to bar Muslims from entering the country and his offers to pay the legal bills of those who attack his hecklers gives people permission to proclaim evil sentiments and to act on those sentiments, such as the man who punched a protester who was being escorted out of a rally.
A Trump presidency would threaten our nation as we know it.
Maine wants a national monument
I attended the congressional field hearing on June 1 to speak in favor of the national monument proposal because I did not want the agenda of a few congressmen and our governor to overshadow the needs and dreams of a region I call home. I asked Rep. Bruce Poliquin if he had ever been offered a gift so unbelievable, so unexpected, so undeserved that it blew his mind. I have only received a gift like this twice, with the birth of my children and grandchildren. This national monument rises to that level, except it’s a gift to the entire Katahdin region, Maine and the nation.
Forty-eight people spoke in favor of the monument, only 12 against. Hopefully, Poliquin was keeping track. At one point, the chairman of the Patten selectmen, a fellow supporter, asked us to stand so the congressman could see how many in the room want him to be on the right side of history. To his credit, Poliquin did turn in his seat and took a long, hard look at the overwhelming majority who stood, cheered and want his help to accept the gift he has been working to prevent us from receiving.
Now that he has seen our local voices elevated in unison, he and Sen. Angus King need to ask our president to designate the monument today.
National presidential primary
A national presidential primary is needed. How can this be accomplished?
Those who wish to run for our for office would not be permitted to declare their intentions until April 1 during an election year. The national primary election day would take place the first Tuesday in August.
The ballot would have the candidates listed by party. Early voting would be an option. All citizens of voting age would be eligible to vote in the primary.
The political parties would hold their conventions to confirm the candidate and develop their platform for the upcoming election season. The presidential campaign would run from Labor Day weekend to the second Tuesday in November.
Americans are perfectly capable of deciding their choice for president without enduring two years of campaigning. Under the new system, we could limit the big-money influence of the super PACs in the election outcome. Streamlining the primary process through the elimination of individual state primaries and caucuses would certainly help clear up the rules and confusion about the process.
Finally, every voter counts. The needed change in the selection of presidential candidates would give the voters an opportunity to help preserve and strengthen the democratic voting elements of our precious democracy.
Unkindness and misunderstanding toward transgender humans is disturbingly inhumane. Children with gender identity disorder must be accepted, protected and nurtured in school and society. Parents, family members, teachers, peers and the medical community must help provide transgender inclusion in all aspects of life. A mean-spirited society and religious dogma make the transgender process more difficult.
Transgender people are our children, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors, co-workers and friends. Transgender people are victims of bullies and hate-crime perpetrators for attempting to fit into society in their unique way. Transphobic people must evolve to love all children and teach inclusive values, lessening phobias, offering psychological support and causing less bigotry and hate crime toward transgender people of all ages.
Fulford stands with LGBT community
Belfast’s first gay pride parade on Saturday, June 11, was at least 300 strong, maybe 400. Colorful, spirited, joyful and ordinary people from all walks of life gathered together to support the LGBT community. Jonathan Fulford, a candidate for the state Senate, and his contingent was at least 30 strong, maybe 40.
We came together to say LGBT rights and recognition are important, that we love and value our neighbors no matter what their sexual preferences or identity may be. Good people are good people; it’s that simple.
We marched that beautiful day with innocence. It was all about celebrating freedom to be who you want to be. More than that, we were there to honor the struggle all LGBT people are engaged in just to live their lives peacefully.
Our innocence was shattered with the news of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. It was a bloody, horrible reminder that there is hatred just below the surface sometimes, and it shook us to the bone.
For Fulford to stand proud and strong with a community that is a target of hate and violent repression is something to think about. I want readers to know that every one of us who support his candidacy will always stand strong with the LGBT community: You are us, we are you. Together we will defend you, your safety and rights, we will be there for you. And so will Fulford, if elected to the Senate.
Parent a Maine artist
Neal Parent, like his mentor, Jane Day, is a Maine treasure. His images of Maine are spectacular. Not since Kosti Ruohomaa has a photographer had the ability to capture so clearly these moments in time. Pictures that tell a story far beyond just a photograph.
He is a living example of an artist with a camera, whose work stands equal with the great photographers of the past: Joseph Stieglitz and Ansel Adams. We are so fortunate to have him here in Maine, though I wish he were still in my hometown of Camden. Thanks, BDN, for the article on a well-deserving subject.