December 10, 2018
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Friday, Feb. 16, 2018: Don’t let America sink lower, Trump threatens Republican values, relaxing child care standards

Trump threatens Republican values

For some time, I’ve felt like I’m living in the “Twilight Zone.” The conservative Republican Party is almost unrecognizable. For years, they preached family values and fiscal responsibility. Where the heck are those Republicans? Just last week domestic abuse accusations against Rob Porter and David Sorensen came to light. Some inside the White House knew about it for a year and did nothing.

Remember when Republicans were all about the red scare? Russia was a threat to democracy. They still are, but we can’t even get this president to enforce sanctions for interfering with our elections. President Donald Trump has never said a bad word about Vladimir Putin, but he’s certainly insulted many of our own citizens.

Trillion dollar deficits will be the new normal for our children. You can expect fiscal conservatism to resurface when they start making cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The excuse will be cutting the deficit. But first they’ll add to the debt with a wall we weren’t supposed to pay for and a parade for a man who wants to be saluted.

Republicans are even complicit in the worst abuse of all — the attacks on the free press. As Evan McMullen said, “Although some may laugh when Trump hands out his Fake News Awards, we should call them what they are: a dangerous assault on truth, the Constitution and American democracy.” Republicans control all three branches of government, but Congress is not providing the checks and balances we desperately need right now. I’d really like them back.

Lynn Weston

Relaxing child care standards

We absolutely need to make high quality child care a top priority in Maine. I am an early childhood educator at a center in Maine. I write in response to the Jan. 17 BDN OpEd about proposed changes to child care regulations. Three proposals — LD 1423, LD 1474 and LD 765 — will decrease the quality of programs available to parents, allow businesses to legally take advantage of parents desperate for child care, and put children at risk.

At the public hearing, committee Chair Sen. Eric Brakey asked if a “one size fits all” approach of regulating child care isn’t appropriate because children have varying needs and caregivers have varying skills. A more appropriate view is that we must regulate ratios to keep children safe regardless of staff experience. Keeping children safe within the given ratios is the bare minimum of care that should be provided. With improved skill, a caregiver should not increase ratios, but deepen their work, adding more value to their charges’ experience than what the bare minimum provides.

Families searching for child care should have the confidence a license and its associated oversight can provide that their children will be safe from hazards and people who might harm them, and protected from an overcrowded environment where their needs cannot be met. While I understand the desire to reduce regulations on small-business owners, this desire should not be prioritized over the well-being of our state’s young children.

Katherine Wright

Don’t let American sink lower

The president requested a military parade. Really? Has the United States of America sunk to Cold War displays? What has our country become? Who are we supposed to scare, North Korea?

Closing and moving inmates out of one jail to others in the middle of the night because the Legislature and public opinion are against the governor’s ideas?

Our governor and our president are acting more and more like an era of almost 100 years ago in Germany. Has the country sunk that low as to support these people and their actions? Don’t allow our country to sink any lower.

Gary King


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