May 28, 2018
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Pardon my anger: BDN editorial arrogant, haughty

By Alan W. Boone, Special to the BDN

The lead Bangor Daily News editorial of Oct. 20, “Anger Management,” should deserve a special place in a museum of press arrogance. If there isn’t such an institution, there ought to be. Let’s review some of the main points you mentioned:

Voters “should evaluate candidates on their political values,” the editorial suggests. I thought that is what we do. Political values usually determine their position on the issues. The only exception to this advice that I’ve seen recently is some people urging us to vote for Libby Mitchell because she’s a woman.

“Shouldn’t voters demand leaders whose breadth of experience and accomplishments are beyond the norm?” the editorial asks. Don’t I wish they had. Our president, whom the BDN endorsed two years ago, had a few years as a community organizer, a few years in the Illinois Senate (voting “present” on many contentious issues), a few months in the U.S. Senate (most of which were spent campaigning) and no executive experience at all that I can determine. And at a time of the nation’s “Great Recession,” he has a Cabinet in which none has had experience at an executive level in the business world.

“Most distressing in this electoral climate is the disdain many voters have for intelligence,” the paper says. This statement has to be “Exhibit A” in anyone’s collection of monumentally haughty pronouncements. There could be no better example of elitism. We know intelligence when we read a life story, when we hear the candidate address the issues, and it doesn’t require the candidate to be a “lifer” in the Legislature to rate the status of smart. There are many very intelligent and accomplished people out in the private sector who have not had the opportunity or the inclination to pursue advanced degrees, to spend years in foreign lands or to devote a lifetime to politics.

“Governing, which has become a dirty word, is working within a two-party system to find an approach that … moves the ball forward,” the editorial says. How does that relate to the Democrats ramming the horrendous health care bill through to passage over the unanimous opposition of Republicans (and several brave Democrats), with dubious legality as to the means? “Bipartisan” has come to mean that a few Republicans agree with the majority Democrats. So much for that argument.

Governing isn’t a dirty word, but it ought to be when it repeatedly demonstrates that it is not “by the people.” When the Legislature goes against the will of the people, and the proposed new law has to be negated in a state-wide referendum, that’s not good governance. Many hope the same thing will happen in a somewhat different way with “Obamacare.”

Yes, many of us are angry. I struggle with my own “anger management.” Our collective debt, contributed to by both major parties, is truly staggering, dooming us to goodness knows what financial disasters ahead. We see our country sinking into Euro-Canadian statism, where our lives are directed right down to what light bulbs we shall use, what cars we shall drive and even what food we shall eat (or not eat).

It is indeed time to be angry, to “throw the bums out” and try, as we must, to save Lincoln’s “last best hope of Earth,” for us, for our children and for our grandchildren.

Alan W. Boone of Bangor is a retired physician.

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