Tell me what’s on Poliquin’s mind
Perhaps I should have submitted this to the classifieds rather than as a letter to the editor. I am seeking a psychic, and I would be willing to pay handsomely for his or her services. A mind-reader, to be precise; someone who could achieve the extraordinary.
You see, I am a constituent of Rep. Bruce Poliquin. I would love to know my representative’s stance on the issues that concern me most, but it appears that Poliquin does not believe I am deserving of such information.
Throughout his tenure, Poliquin has displayed a knack for sidestepping tough issues and dodging tricky questions. As a result, I am left with many unanswered questions about where he stands on the issues that matter.
For instance, does Poliquin believe that human activity contributes to climate change? Calls, letters, and emails to the congressman’s office have done nothing to help answer this question. Hasn’t he had enough time to make up his mind?
Alas, while I can dream about having a representative who courageously makes his or her positions known to constituents, for now I have Poliquin. It seems my best bet is to keep searching for a mind-reader.
Leaders who listen
It seems the majority of our legislators, both state and national, have lost the ability to compromise. Thankfully, there are exceptions, but their numbers are dwindling and I fear they will be unable to protect citizens from the narrow visions of their counterparts. As citizens, we need to think carefully about who we elect in the future if progress is to be made.
I propose a new litmus test for candidates. In the usual debate format, one candidate chooses not to answer the moderator’s question, but uses that time to state his or her winning stance. This is followed by the opponent declaring it ridiculous and proceeding to his or her winning sound bites. Nothing new is learned. All the audience can base a decision on is perceived stumbles in performance as pronounced during the media analysis.
Instead, I would propose that each candidate state his or her most pressing concern along with a solution. Opponents would be tasked with restating that stance, without critique and with civility, thereby showing effective listening and analytic skills. One could only hope it included learning something from their opponent by truly understanding differing viewpoint. Voters would have a better understanding of the people they are entrusting to make decisions regarding our well-being.
We need leaders who know how to listen, can learn from others, and understand compromise regardless of their party affiliation. It is time to take the word “blame” out of any political discourse.
In his defense of the Senate health bill, Douglas Holtz-Eakin explains in a July 1 column how it will fix Medicaid by putting “this piece of the social safety net on a sustainable financial path — in sharp contrast to Medicare, Social Security and the other financially challenged programs.”
That sounds like an agenda to me. Actually, the Better Care Reconciliation Act will “fix” Medicaid by starving it to death. The Senate GOP health care bill proposes slashing federal spending on Medicaid by $772 billion from 2017 to 2026.
Apparently, we just can’t afford to make these programs sustainable. But there’s no problem increasing our bloated military budget by $54 billion and slashing taxes, 40 percent of which will go to the top 1 percent of earners.
Paul H. Gray
Keeping solar viable
I want to send out a big thank you to Sen. Joyce Maker and Rep. Will Tuell for their votes on LD 1504 to keep solar energy a viable option in Maine. I hope they will stand firm against an attempted veto from the governor.
We have the right to produce our own clean energy for ourselves and our communities without being penalized by net-metering or any other thing that makes it difficult and expensive.
It is past time for us to move into the future with clean energy instead of looking backward. Leaders lead forward. Thanks, Will. Thanks, Joyce.