Wednesday, March 8, 2017: Public doesn’t trust the media, oppose Judge Gorsuch, monument draws visitors to Katahdin region

Posted March 07, 2017, at 11:01 a.m.

Give Trump more time

After the BDN’s trashing of President Donald Trump and his policies, a Feb. 27 BDN editorial quoted a recent Quinnipiac University poll that found while 90 percent of American voters felt the news media should hold public officials accountable, only 52 percent trusted the media to tell the truth about important issues. Thirty-seven percent of those polled said they trusted Trump to tell the truth about important issues.

Trump’s legacy reflects less than 50 days of service. This is not sufficient to determine the character of a president. The mainstream media is able to redefine not only Trump’s political views but also his personality, and it utilizes this capacity to continually smear and attack him. That 37 percent of Americans don’t trust him to tell the truth shouldn’t be unexpected.

The public’s loss of faith in media integrity is the real issue raised by the Quinnipiac poll. Our founders assigned responsibility for maintaining liberty to a free and honest press, which according to nearly half of those polled we no longer have. For the BDN to compare the percentage of Americans who trust the media to tell the truth to those who trust president, who is governing a deeply divided country, is disingenuous.

The BDN has published divisive anti-Trump commentary and editorials since he announced his candidacy. Even the lord rested on the seventh day. Perhaps the editorial staff should do the same.

Darrell Dunn

Mariaville

Democracy needs a respected press

In his hatchet job on the Associated Press, Matthew Gagnon fails to mention in his March 2 BDN column that the Trump administration did not respond to requests for comment until after the Associated Press reported on a leaked memo that purported to show that the Department of Homeland Security was considering using National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.

He is right, of course, when he says that trust in the media is at a historic low. But this is the result of a sustained campaign of disinformation from the extreme right. It is not because the press reports “fake news.”

We have a compulsive liar for a president. The man who told us that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered the collapse of the World Trade Center, who maintained for years that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and who claims that thousands of voters were bussed into New Hampshire to vote illegally in 2016 has labeled the news media “ the enemy of the American people.”

If our democracy is to survive, we need a free and respected press. Overwhelmingly, the mainstream media report in a responsible, factual manner. Gagnon presents himself as a responsible conservative. If he is, he should be defending the media, not aligning himself with scurrilous attacks from the far right.

Arch Davis

Belfast

Oppose Gorsuch for Supreme Court

Judge Neil Gorsuch is well-educated, qualified and generally well liked for his amiable demeanor. For this reason, he may have been mistaken as a “moderate” choice for the U.S. Supreme Court who should sail through the confirmation process.

But as an avid constitutional “originalist,” he holds conservative views. He makes his rulings based on interpretations of the presumed original intent of the U.S. Constitution as written in 1789, without consideration of subsequent history or modern realities. He ruled in favor Hobby Lobby when it sued the federal government over the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, granting that corporations have “religious rights.”

Despite the overwhelming public opinion against big money in politics and calls to “drain the swamp,” Gorsuch supports increasing corporate influence in politics, suggesting that donating to a politician is a “ fundamental” right that ought to be afforded the highest form of constitutional protection, which is known as “strict scrutiny review.” Furthermore he has a history of ruling in favor of concentrating corporate power and wealth and surpassing fair open markets through numerous rulings that erode antitrust laws.

With Gorsch as a Supreme Court justice, corporations would become more powerful and hold more influence over our government and existing laws involving everything from civil rights, voting rights, environmental protections, labor standards, reproductive rights and more could be reversed. Eighty years of progress is at stake. We could lose America as we know it for a very long time.

Sarah Holland

Camden

Monument draws visitors to Katahdin region

The Katahdin region is in the beginning stages of resurgence thanks to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The governor’s opposition to the monument is beyond me. The monument already is getting new people up to the region, where they are spending money at local businesses while they explore this incredibly beautiful area.

I recently visited the monument with several friends. We spent four days at Bowlin Camps on the East Branch of the Penobscot River. We took day skiing trips on the incredible land that straddles the river. We skied to different falls and up mountains, getting in some turns on the way down from the lookout. We saw people from other parts of Maine enjoying the trails. In addition, Bowlin was playing host to snowmobilers, who were there to enjoy the area.

Local businesses such as Bowlin Camps can help people enjoy the area, no matter their interest or skill level. My friends and I already are making plans to go back this summer to canoe, fish and hike.

Businesses are benefiting from the increased tourism that’s already started. I join the vast majority of Mainers in agreeing the monument is a positive development for the region and the state. I encourage Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins and Reps. Bruce Poliquin and Chellie Pingree to stand up to any attempt to damage the economic and recreational benefits helping local businesses and Mainers who want to enjoy them.

Roger Renfrew

Skowhegan

Abandoning Collins

I have called Sen. Susan Collins’ Washington office several times over recent weeks. She has a voicemail that states that I can speak to a staffer. When I dial zero, as instructed, I am told to leave a message. Where is her staffer?

I have called Sen. Angus King’s offices, and I talked to a staffer each time. I called Rep. Nancy Pelosi in California, twice, and each time I spoke with a staffer. Collins has abandoned her constituent. I am abandoning her.

Nancy Larson

Orono

 

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