Trump versus the media

I see Donald Trump is at his old tricks again. Blaming the media for his own faults and errors is an old trick. Well, why not? It’s an easy target after all. News organizations or “the media” are always detested, especially when the don’t toe the line.

But Trump’s old trick is a lot older than the Donald. Manipulating journalists and news organizations is what people like Trump have done throughout the ages. If you can undermine them or if you can get the population to turn on them, then it makes it easier to lie, obfuscate and manipulate people’s opinions and perceptions.

Why do you think that when a coup erupts in a third-world country one of the first things they do is take over the news outlets and shut them down? Lack of information, especially accurate and critical information, makes taking over so much easier.

So what Trump is doing is logical for him. Criticism, especially accurate criticism, is killing him because he keeps creating the conditions for it. But if he can shut them up, if he can make this about him versus the “media,” then he’s halfway to getting what he wants. The question then is, are we going to let him get away with it? I know that it’s easy to hate, but news organizations serve a purpose and one of them is to not let people like Trump get away with their lies.

Ed Woods

Newport

Collins throws away her vote

Susan Collins, a U.S. senator, has decided to throw away her vote, walk away from her civic responsibilities, and may write in a candidate for president this fall.

I suggest she take a walk through Arlington National Cemetery and see the graves of all the men and women who have given their lives so we Americans can vote.

Jim Alciere

East Machias

Maine can lead on voting

I urge Maine voters to support Question 5 in the November election, a citizen’s initiative to establish ranked-choice voting for Maine’s U.S. senators and representatives, governor and members of the state Legislature. The initiative will allow us to rank all candidates for these offices in order of our personal preference and will ensure that the winner can only be elected with support from a majority of voters. Please learn more about how ranked choice works at fairvotemaine.org.

Ranked-choice voting encourages candidates to reach beyond committed supporters to appeal to a broad cross-section of voters since, if no one receives a majority, they will want to be the second choice of those who ranked someone else first. Ranked-choice voting will also enable voters to give first preference to a third-party or independent candidate while ranking their favored party candidate as second choice if their first choice is eliminated.

No system of voting is perfect. It may take voters seconds longer in the voting booth to rank multiple candidates. But Portland’s experience with mayoral elections and the experience of other cities that have adopted ranked-choice voting show that it works and that it brings the benefits its backers claim.

Maine would be the first state to adopt ranked-choice voting on a statewide basis. We have a reputation for taking the lead on new initiatives that make democracy work better, and a yes vote on Question 5 will allow us to lead once again.

Tom Bjorkman

Blue Hill

Support for Spear

John Spear is the Democratic Party nominee for House District 92, which covers Thomaston, South Thomaston, St. George, Cushing, Matinicus and Criehaven. He is precisely the sort of candidate we can all use in Augusta. Thoughtful and civil, a good listener and an advocate for an active, effective Legislature, he will seek solutions that work for the benefit of all Mainers, regardless of party affiliation.

I have worked with John, mostly on school financing matters, and have found him to be a person of strong intellect, balanced, a fact-based decision-maker with deep experience in local government and education. John has served as the town administrator in South Thomaston, town manager for both Vinalhaven and Waldoboro, and business manager for the former SAD 50. In those roles, he has come to understand and deal first-hand with the impact of state policies and legislative decisions on property taxes and educational quality, issues of primary concern to the entire electorate.

He has served his town — South Thomaston — as a selectman, on its planning board, budget committee and comprehensive planning committee. He has represented South Thomaston on regional planning boards and commissions and has served on the legislative policy committee of the Maine Municipal Association. From these experiences he will bring to Augusta a ground-level understanding of the problems and possibilities in our communities and the temperament, patience and experience to make state government work for all.

To get good government we need good people. I urge you to vote for John Spear.

Terry Driscoll

St. George

Workers unite

I’m writing to voice my trepidations regarding the continual breakdown of the “American community,” illustrated by Robert Putnam in his book “Bowling Alone.” While Putnam and I disagree with the causality of the alienation that workers and community members continue to experience, his analysis and evidence illustrates the nature of the growing disconnect between ourselves and our fellow persons.

While the Workers’ Solidarity Alliance was conceived before Putnam’s manuscript, we’ve been attempting to combat the alarming dismantlement of “community” since 1984, enabling neighbors to congregate via the democratization of workplaces. We’ve evolved into a coalition of members coordinating self-managed movements, with the goal of working towards a self-managed society.

With new members in southern Maine we hope to initiate a dialogue with the regional readership of the Bangor Daily News to ensure that we offer our comradeship to others. By way of exploring said relationships, we will be ready to organize against the challenges that are going to follow if the trend Putnam observed continues.

With the level of disillusionment currently festering amongst average Americans, evidenced by the distaste for this presidential election cycle, let us unite and refocus the contempt towards collaborative processes that will work to ensure solidarity among local communities as well as the national citizenry by developing upon the already established WSA foundation.

Bryer Sousa

Shapleigh