Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Addressing climate change as Republicans

Today’s youth are in agreement about one thing: we must address the impending climate crisis if we want a future. Somehow this imminent threat has become a partisan issue. If the GOP wants to bring in younger voters, they must focus on addressing young people’s concerns about the environment. As a young Republican, I believe the GOP should lead the way in addressing the current climate crisis with a unique proposal known as the Baker-Shultz Plan, and invite our friends across the aisle to join.

In direct contrast to plans like the Green New Deal, the Baker-Shultz Plan is a realistic solution to the current climate crisis that holds big business accountable and rewards the American people for turning towards a climate-friendly future. The plan does so by incorporating a sensible fee on carbon to send a powerful signal to businesses and consumers. All the proceeds from this carbon fee would be returned to the American people. However, these dividends are not “handouts.” Dividends are earned by reducing our carbon footprint. The Department of Treasury estimates that 70 percent of American households would come out ahead under such a program.

The Baker-Shultz Plan is a simple strategy that will strengthen the economy and elevate the economic prospects of the nation’s hardest hit, all while saving the beauty of places like Maine.

Anna Zmistowski

Chair

UMaine College Republicans

Orono

Bev Uhlenhake will find solutions

With the crises we face, I am looking for strong leadership, not people who duck the hard decisions.

As schools reopen and everyone worries about safety, and with so many families and businesses close to collapse, I feel abandoned by Republicans. The U.S. Senate had since May to consider the HEROES Act, passed by the House. This bill would have provided $1,200 to individuals and dealt with coronavirus’ impact on businesses, schools, public health and state and local governments. But Senate Republicans refused to even consider the bill.

I believe the Maine GOP has also abandoned us. Unlike teachers and other essential personnel, they refused to go to work, to go back into session, even to the Augusta Civic Center, where social distancing could be maintained. Their leaders stated: “It is grossly presumptive to have members return to finish their committee work, placing both legislators and staff at risk of exposure to the virus.”

Maine Senate candidate Bev Uhlenhake for District 8 won’t run and hide. As Brewer mayor, city councilor and high school trustee, she’s balanced budgets. She supports technical schools, broadband and infrastructure projects that create good jobs and prepare us for the future. She supports prevention and treatment of addictions to give people a second chance and help seniors stay at home.

I will vote for Bev Uhlenhake for Maine Senate. We need people who won’t stop until they find solutions.

Joyce Schelling

Orland

Susan Collins’ experience and influence

I am a long-time admirer and supporter of Sen. Susan Collins and the many accomplishments she has achieved for Maine and its people in her 24 years representing us. We need her experience and influence to continue.

We are now all witnesses to the fierce battle by the Democrats on the national level, to tip the Senate balance of power to that party in Washington. On the national level, unseating Collins is a secondary goal to a shift to the Democratic majority in the Senate, regardless of what she has accomplished for Maine and Mainers. The party is using a shotgun approach aimed at all Republicans with Collins happening to be one of them.

Collins has worked hard in bringing both sides of the aisle closer together and Maine’s residents and businesses have benefitted. I don’t think Sara Gideon has either the view or the experience to accomplish this. The politics and tenor of the U.S. Senate today is indeed a far cry from the Maine House.

Mainers have supported Collins over the years and the results have been positive. Federal support of Maine businesses and jobs has been clear. Without her continued presence and status in the U.S. Senate, it is very likely that we will face a six-year drought in what Maine can expect from Washington.

Bill Shook

Bangor

Susan Collins’ failure to speak out forcefully

Several elementary school friends had mothers who were German immigrants to the U.S. They

had married American soldiers stationed in Germany after we and our allies won World War II. My friends’ mothers were kind, generous people, and they planted a subliminal, enduring puzzlement in me that neither history lessons nor lifelong reflection has dispelled: How did the German people allow fascist Adolf Hitler to seize absolute power and destroy their Democracy?

Now in the U.S., I believe we are challenged similarly by an elected U.S. president, Donald Trump. Sen. Susan Collins has failed to use her power as a senator to stand up to Trump’s distortions, outright lies and admiring comments for dangerous dictators like Russian President Vladimir Putin, while he disparages our heroes.

Unlike Sen. Margaret Chase Smith who opposed McCarthyism and Sen. Bill Cohen who

would not let President Richard Nixon use criminal manipulation of power as president, Collins has been relatively silent.

I would welcome Collins as a neighbor, but her failure to fully renounce Trump endangers our democracy. It is not too late for her to answer her constitutional oath. She can speak out to

Mainers who are not aware of Trump’s misdeeds and mismanagement.

Susan H. Brawley

Orono

Making our voices heard

Do people care about this election enough to reflect and take note, consider and make a selection, and make their voice heard through their vote?

Does it matter who runs the country, the city, the county, the state? Will people be part of the process of choosing the best candidate? Then whether their choice is elected, if their candidate wins or loses, it won’t be because they neglected to show whom they choose.

And they shouldn’t forget all the issues. Their vote means that they have a voice in how future plans may develop. Don’t people want to be part of that choice? If they simply ignore November, will their conscience keep them awake?

I’m asking people to please vote in this year’s election. There are so many issues at stake. If people care about the election, then I ask them, please, to take note, research, reflect, consider and prayerfully choose how to vote.

Sarah M. Menkin

Bangor