April 04, 2020
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Friday, February 21, 2020: Sen. Smith’s legacy, we need a vaccine for disinformation, responding to voter discrimination, reasons to consider Warren

Sen. Smith’s legacy

Sen. Margaret Chase Smith will live in our hearts and minds for many more generations for her courage to buck Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a fellow Republican. Having had outstanding senators, Edmund Muskie, George Mitchell, Bill Cohen and Olympia Snowe, who made us proud, it is a shock to be so let down by Sen. Susan Collins. She had the opportunity to join their ranks.

Mort Mather

Wells

Reasons to consider Warren

Maine boasts the one of the highest voter participation rates in the nation. In 2016, fewer than 3,500 delegates — about a quarter of one percent of the state’s populace — cast the final votes in the Democratic caucus. On Tuesday, March 3rd, many more Democrats will have that opportunity with the less chaotic process of a primary vote.

Maine Democrats should give Sen. Elizabeth Warren a long look as they consider their upcoming choice for a presidential nominee. She can and will defeat the incumbent in November. She is the only candidate in the field to defeat an incumbent Republican in a statewide race in over 25 years. She did this as someone who had never previously run for elected office, in a state that had never elected a female senator. She overcame an initial 17 point deficit to defeat the incumbent.

She is bold, strong, intelligent, highly prepared, and entirely unafraid of the petulance, hatred, misogyny and outright lies of the democrats’ opponent.

When the American people put a former public school teacher in office, they will elect someone who knows that nearly 60 percent of Americans’ bankruptcies are the result of the exorbitant cost of medical care, because she co-authored such research more than a decade before her political career began.

She promised to fight as hard for your family as she fights for her own. Electing her will give us more conviction when we tell our daughters that they too could become president someday.

Ryan Swanzey

Monmouth

We need a vaccine for disinformation

“Yes on 1, Reject Big Pharma” signs are spreading like a contagion in Maine. Question 1 in Maine’s March election would allow families to opt out of vaccinations on religious or philosophical grounds. But the slogan “ Reject Big Pharma” is deceptive.

Yes, drug companies make profits from vaccines. Yes, they’ve been guilty of gouging consumers. But Question 1 won’t remedy that. “Reject Big Pharma” signs divert attention from the real issue: the high social cost of undermining vaccines, which are effective only when a critical mass of people are inoculated.

The Centers for Disease Control states that vaccination will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths among children born from 1994 to 2013, helping Americans save $1.38 trillion. Thanks in part to vaccines’ suppression of tuberculosis, measles, diphtheria, and other diseases, our collective life expectancy is 31 years longer than our grandparents’.

Many people opposed to vaccines cite a long-discredited study that linked autism to vaccines. Others subscribe to unproven theories that have gone viral on the Internet. If only there were a vaccine for that.

“Reject Big Pharma” signs are symptoms of the Disinformation Age: they appear to aim to distract us from the real issues. Why? Because “Big Pharma” is an easy mark. But more important: how do you argue against sparing children from once widespread and deadly diseases; how do you argue against reduced health costs, hospitalizations, deaths and increased life expectancy? You don’t. The “Yes on 1” signs practically admit as much.

Carol Gardner

Alna

Responding to voter discrimination

Senators have had an opportunity to sponsor the Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill that would strengthen voting rights by expanding and strengthening the government’s ability to respond to voting discrimination. The measure has 46 cosponsors — 43 Democrats, one Republican and two Independents. Sen. Susan Collins has not cosponsored this act; it languishes in the Judiciary Committee. Maybe after the election her replacement will vote to pass it.

Sarah Holland

Camden

Consider home births

Pregnancy is a wonderful thing that many women get to experience at least once in their life. What most women want during pregnancy is comfort and to deliver their baby as safely and efficiently as possible. Home births can be quicker, and allow more privacy and freedom.

Most would think home births are dangerous and more likely to result in infant deaths. Studies actually show that planned home births for low-risk mothers and babies with the assistance of a midwife result in no increase in complications compared to a planned hospital birth. Home births, in fact, are less likely to result in an emergency c-section. This is because hospitals use medications, restrict movement during monitoring, and can be very stressful for the mother because of the flow of medical personnel in and out of their room and the loud noises within the hospital.

The option of home births gives mothers a voice over their pregnancy. The mother can have more privacy to focus on her baby’s birth and can move as much as she pleases to help her labor. Home births can be a better experience during labor, and mothers should consider them.

Brooke Moores

Amherst

Troubled by ‘electability’ talk

I find this trendy word “electability” troubling. It’s a snarky buzzword for business as usual. This is the first election cycle where I’ve even heard that irritating word. It’s a term pompous pundits invoke to make themselves sound smart.

Whatever happened to just being popular with voters, a winner? We know who is popular with voters. Hint: He’s a U.S. senator from Vermont and the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Steve Cartwright

Tenants Harbor

Reject ‘Big Pharma’?

Of course! The pharmaceutical industry is complicit in the ongoing opioid crisis and has been accused of price gouging on essential medications like EpiPens and insulin, whose development has long ago been paid for.

Question 1 is not about that. It’s about opposition to vaccines and about exposing vulnerable children and adults based on the feelings of a few. The campaign slogan “Reject Big Pharma” is deceptive.

Don’t be misled — vote no on Question 1. This will require most students to be vaccinated to protect those who, for medical reasons, can’t be.

Frank Cassidy

Union

 


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