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Heroes next door
We read so many reports of people doing bad, selfish things. But every day, I have only to look next door to see good news.
Both my neighbors could be retired, but the husband is too busy: every day he finds and gets medical personal protective equipment for the people and hospitals of Bangor. His wife was retired, but she went back to work, every day, to feed all the hungry children in our elementary school.
Both of them do this every day, with a smile on their faces, despite pain and soreness. If that’s not the definition of “everyday heroes,” I don’t know what is!
The real U.S. Senate choice
Quite simply, Sen. Susan Collins’ positions on the issues facing the country have nothing to do with the election. If Collins is re-elected, then at the beginning of the new Congress she could vote for Mitch McConnell to lead the Senate. That would be her last important vote.
From then on, her own views, and our interests, will be buried in an agenda championed by McConnell and his supporters. Any speeches Collins makes later, and any votes she might cast, will be swallowed up in the McConnell program. Here in Maine, the real choice is between Sara Gideon and Mitch McConnell.
A choice for real change
Some people may wonder why voter participation in U.S. elections is so much lower than in some other nations. I think that, to a large degree, the answer lays in the fact that both the Democratic and the Republican parties are now, despite what they claim, much more concerned with looking out for the well-being of corporations and the rich than they are for the people of this country.
All one needs to do to see this is to take an open-eyed view of our country now. Unending wars that drain our national treasury but enrich “defense” contractors, a worsening climate crisis that has yet to meet a meaningful response from our government, unaffordable health care and an ever-growing gap between the haves and have-nots, to name but a few of the things we are facing.
Though some people don’t see or hear the emptiness of the rhetoric coming out of these two parties, many do, and it’s no wonder some choose not to vote.
This brings me to November’s election and voting to fill the seat currently held by Sen. Susan Collins. Although some media outlets in Maine have downplayed independent Lisa Savage’s candidacy, she represents a real and vital alternative to the policies of the two corporate parties and their candidates. If you want a real change, a candidate who will work tirelessly for people, planet and peace, then please vote in this ranked-choice election, and rank Savage first.
Liberty and justice for all
Thank you for publishing the recent letter that explained that #BLM means that “black lives matter, too,” and not the presumed “black lives matter, only.” Statistics like infant mortality, maternal health and life expectancy have long shown that the Black community has not lived the same American dream as so many others.
The tragic deaths of Emmit Till, James Byrd, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd momentarily force us to look at the facts, but then we allow ourselves to be quickly distracted. In rural Maine it may seem that these issues can be ignored, but as Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Maine was a free state, but contributed to the end of slavery. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” during her winters in Brunswick, and Joshua Chamberlain’s men held their ground at Gettysburg, all to end slavery. Let our contribution today be that we can fly that BLM banner with confidence. Just as abolitionists fought against slavery, we will fight against the obvious racism that lingers so long after the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement.
When the Unitarian Universalist Church in Sangerville was asked by a local to take down its “offensive” BLM banner, it became clear that we need outreach on this issue. Maine must teach civil rights in the schools, and practice “liberty and justice for all.”
I don’t believe it
Anonymous sources say that President Donald Trump called our war dead, “losers” and “suckers.” Just when I think the Democrats and many news outlets can sink no lower. I smell desperation.
Hillary Clinton said in the past that Trump supporters were characterized by “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” views. They were a basket of deplorables. Barack Obama called voters bitter clingers to guns and religion. Former President Bill Clinton said President Trump does not know how to conduct himself in the Oval Office. And he did?
I do not think I am alone when I say I am sick of this. We are told history is wrong. The founding fathers were idiots. Police officers are bad, and everything is racist. Everything. Well, I do not believe this and I am sure I am not alone.
NFL has been political for a long time
In the Sept. 2 OpEd, “I miss the days when sports were a refuge from politics,” Matthew Gagnon laments the latest intrusion by Black Lives Matter into what previously was, in his view, a wholesomely apolitical American institution: the NFL. Supposedly a sports fan, Gagnon must not have noticed that, for decades, the NFL has consistently staged elaborate pregame flag ceremonies, Air Force flyovers and military appreciation nights.
Whether Gagnon likes it or not, these displays were just as political as an “End racism” banner in the end zone. Until now, however, the NFL promoted exclusively a politics of jingoism and imperialism, and evidently, in Gagnon’s mind, it doesn’t count as politics if he agrees with it.
Gagnon attributes the NFL’s sudden shift primarily to opportunistic virtue-signaling by Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell’s hypocrisy is obvious, but the NFL’s acknowledgment of racial injustice owes less to Goodell than to its majority-Black players, whose activism appears earnest. The same can’t be said for the NFL franchises that accepted millions of dollars from the Department of Defense in exchange for televising patriotic pageants designed by military recruiters, back before the NFL’s “politicization.”