GOP turned upside down
When I moved to Maine, I registered to vote as “unenrolled.” When I reached voting age, we had a Republican president, Richard Nixon, and the country suffered under his presidency. The notion of conservative, normally associated with the GOP, has been distorted and by now turned on its head. We now have a president who mocks the very concept of conservatism.
So low has the party sunk that there is a move away from the party by conservatives such as George Will, David Brooks and Bill Kristol, who said: “One really is conflicted. I really could make a case that the country would be better off with the Democrats running the House, because, if the Republicans aren’t willing to check Trump, someone has to.”
Some years ago, Maine Democrats put forward a retread of a candidate for governor, and they haven’t done much better lately, either. I then decided to register as a Democrat so that I could vote in the primaries to help avoid picking losers to run for office. While Democrats are too often clueless and spineless, they have not totally abandoned all principle, integrity and honesty.
If you count yourself as a Republican, you need to ask if this president reflects your values. If the answer is “no,” then the imposters running your party and representing you in Congress have to go because they have utterly failed you and our country. Hold your nose if you must, but vote them out so we can restore the integrity that has completely gone from our government.
Pray for Trump
When I was a child, I can remember my father telling me, “don’t do as I do — do as I say.” Quite a mixed message, right? Can this same thing be applied to our president? Let’s see.
What does he say? For example, he called someone a “ SOB,” and then he called someone a “lowlife” and “dog.” These are just a couple things out of many. Is our president a good example of how we should live our lives, and how we want our children to live their lives? Hardly. But, it seems like the majority of his base applaud just about everything he says or does.
Our country is in a mess and our only hope is the soon return of Christ. Only Christ can take a “potty mouth” and turn it into a clean mouth. Let’s pray for our president, that God will bring about a “new birth” within him.
Just as we set the example before our families, friends and coworkers, our president is setting an example before the entire nation. I, for one, cringe every time I hear one of my children use a bad word or say something bad about anyone. Just as I cringe when I hear someone call people “trailer trash.”
Who do we think we are? Have some of us forgotten where we were when Christ came to us and saved us? I understand it when the unsaved say such degrading things, but when degrading things come out of the mouth of those who claim to be saved, I cringe.
Child welfare system flawed
Addressing the current crisis in Maine’s child welfare system is long overdue. Through recent reports by Department of Health and Human Services caseworkers, and in light of the tragic deaths of two young girls last year, it’s clear this system is overburdened and struggling to protect our most vulnerable children. We must now assess the systemic flaws that led to these deaths and contribute to caseworker burnout.
Whenever there is a tragedy, there is an impulse to swing policy in response to it. Information about the governor’s proposed bill and policy changes within DHHS indicate a move away from supporting families in crisis and reunification after removal, and toward immediate removal of the child. While there are circumstances in which children need to be removed from homes, research says it is, most often, in the best interest of the child to remain with family. This separation at a young age is deeply traumatic, and we know the ill effects that kind of adverse childhood experience has on children. Additionally, we lack capacity in our current foster care system to place children in care who might be better placed with a family member, or monitored and supported with parents in their homes.
We must listen to teachers, caregivers, health care professionals and caseworkers to determine the best interests of each child. Administrators and policymakers must engage urgently in a systemic, transparent analysis of our child welfare system, so changes can be made to support and ensure better outcomes for both caseworkers and children.
Give workers more voice
Maine’s federal elected officials (Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin) should support S 2605, the Reward Work Act. The bill would require large corporations to take into account the well-being and interests of their employees by mandating that a third of their boards of directors be elected representatives of those employees.
Its passage would be a massive win for workplace democracy and workers’ rights because, by ensuring that workers have representation and a seat at the table, our interests will guide the decisions corporations make. Too often the desire for shareholder profit is what motivates corporate decisions, and this often comes at the expense of workplace safety, worker benefits and the environment. In addition, workers often know best what kinds of workplace changes will make production more efficient.
By giving democratic representation to workers in the workplace, this bill can fight the exploitation of workers, make companies more profitable and prevent the shipping of jobs overseas. After all, a board of directors will not want to cut costs by sending jobs elsewhere when that board is controlled, if only partially, by the very employees who would lose those jobs by such a decision.
Democracy should not end at the steps of one’s workplace, and workers deserve to have a say in the work we do. I hope our representatives recognize the value of workplace democracy and stand up for the working class by supporting this bill.