Ranked-choice voting makes sense for Maine

Are voters satisfied with the fact that our leaders in Augusta and Washington can be elected with just 35 percent of the vote, or do they think it is time to require that they get a majority of the vote? That is the question that will come before Mainers at the polls in November.

Over the last 40 years, nine of our last 11 governors were elected with less than a majority of the vote, but that doesn’t have to stay the same. Once and for all, we can restore majority rule by switching to a system of ranked-choice voting for federal and state primary and general elections.

Mainers want more fairness and more voice in the election process. It’s that simple. They want to know that when the dust has settled that their ballot mattered and that the consensus candidate on a level playing field was chosen.

I urge folks to learn more about why ranked choice voting makes sense for Maine.

Bill Kapaldo

Waterville

Fight for a progressive future

In the midst of the Democratic National Convention, I feel unimpressed and uninspired. As a progressive, I do not feel welcome in the Democratic Party. The presumptive nominee, while qualified, lacks the bold, ambitious agenda to move the country forward. Actress Rosario Dawson said it best when she said Hillary Clinton is not a leader but a follower. As positions become politically convenient, Clinton adopts them into her agenda. While this is inconvenient for the American people, advocates and activists can find hope in her strategy.

If we truly believe in universal health care, criminal justice reform, free public higher education, climate action, and action on income inequality among many other positions, we must organize. We must work to keep the political revolution going through electing local leaders to public office, beginning with city council seats and to Congress.

Clinton, if elected president, will follow the trend we set. When we stand together, we find strength in unity. When we stand together, we realize we send forth a ripple of hope that we can change the rigged system. When we stand together, there is not enough wealth and power that can keep us down. Change is inevitable. The rigged political, economic, social systems we live in today are not permanent. We can make a difference. We must be the difference.

Bernie Sanders was right to say, “When we stand together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.” For the sake of every American, we must fight for a future to believe in.

Jared Mummert

Unity

Order over anarchy

Race-baiters, terrorists (both radical Islamic and homegrown) and Black Lives Matter and Black Panthers all advocate anarchy — unquenchable guerrilla warfare — in one form or another.

Those of us who have read any world history at all know anarchy exists when there is no government, no laws and no law enforcement, thereby allowing a breakdown in civil order and dreadful, bloody conditions that follow. One reason our Constitution was created was to provide the legal and societal means to avoid anarchy.

It’s difficult for Americans to understand what these anarchists want. A localized, temporary breakdown in civil order and the media attention that always follows certainly doesn’t help their cause unless all they really want is media attention. Every time there is a police ambush or terrorist attack, Americans legally buy more guns. As a result, America is a well-armed camp.

Our forefathers knew armed American citizens had at least some guarantee anarchists couldn’t possibly achieve a total breakdown in our civil society. Americans are not afraid of current day anarchists; we’re just angry, and these attacks divert our attention from the real problems of the day.

If ever these anarchists and others of one kind or another that are bound to follow make any more headway in disrupting the lives of everyday Americans, a partnership with those charged with enforcing our laws is sure to follow.

Richard de Grasse

Islesboro