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Join me in supporting Gideon

As an independent-thinking Maine citizen who comes from a family dedicated to public service, I value non-partisanship, candor and getting things done. Maine’s challenges are great, and we need to make sure that our elected representatives focus on the needs of Mainers over partisanship.

I am voting for Sara Gideon because I believe that she represents the next generation of leadership in Maine and has shown us that she knows how to lead from a position of building consensus.

Not so anymore with our long-time Senator Collins. I believe her time in Washington has changed her, and we need to count on leaders who will bring us together.

Though I have voted for Collins in the past, she has missed too many of her Sen. Margaret Chase Smith leadership moments. Who can figure her unsure rationalizing over her Justice Brett Kavanaugh vote? Who can figure either her past filing with the Supreme Court in opposition to the Affordable Care Act, or her critical vote weakening health care and setting the stage for the Supreme Court challenge to be heard the week after the election?

With all due thanks for her years of service, I think it time we give a strong, Maine leader, Sara Gideon, an opportunity to be the Sen. Margaret Chase Smith style leader Maine expects, needs and wants.

I hope people will join me in casting their ballot for Sara Gideon.

Susan W. Longley

Liberty

Lifelong Republican voting for Biden

I have been a Republican all my life, and was active in the GOP for 50 years. However, I will be voting for Joe Biden — not because I agree more with him on the usual issues, such as international relations, the economy, taxes, issues before the Supreme Court, etc., etc., but because I truly believe that our democracy is at stake.

I taught about American democracy for 36 years as a political scientist. I was dismayed as President Donald Trump continued his attempts to undermine confidence in the election and refused to respond to a question about whether he would abide with the result.

As I watched the “debate” between Trump and Biden, I was appalled. Once again, Trump trashed an institution of democracy. A presidential debate has always been a means for voters to compare the approaches and policies of the candidates. Not much was derived from that encounter.

I especially address this to my grandchildren’s generation. It suddenly has become a question of whether United States democracy can survive. What will your future be like? I urge people now to be sure that they are registered to vote. I urge them to plan their method of how they will vote.

Do not leave it to the last minute. I urge people to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket.

Douglas Hodgkin

Lewiston

A kind, compassionate leader

Over the last 24 years, Senator Susan Collins has proven to be a kind and compassionate leader who works hard to deliver for the state of Maine. She and her staff go above and beyond to be responsive to the needs of Mainers helping many in our state.

She is very hard-working in Washington and in Maine and I think we all love to see her here at home shopping or visiting with people. She is unique, and special, and we need more lawmakers like her in the U.S. Senate.

So please join me in voting to re-elect our senator, Susan Collins, this November.

Kathryn Hicks

Bangor

Your life depends on it

In its closing weeks the 2020 presidential campaign has been upended by the very issue that dominated at the start: COVID 19 and health care.

While COVID brush fires continue to burn swathes of the country, we are witnessing a super spreader COVID outbreak that is disrupting the highest levels of our government. Even now, President Donald Trump stands pat in his refusal to consistently do the proven — distance, wear a mask, and follow the science — even as this imperils the people around him.

The pandemic has thrown our national health care needs and weaknesses in stark relief. Our country should have been a model for the rest of the world in its response. Instead we have the worst COVID statistics of any developed country. Despite our national health emergency, the president and his party are poised to rip up the health care system that 20 million people rely on, the Affordable Care Act. Their case to overturn the act now goes to the Supreme Court and they are hoping Judge Amy Coney Barrett will give them all the votes they will need. And the administration has virtually no plan to take its place.

As with the pandemic, Americans would be on their own to fend for themselves. Vote as if your life depends on it, because it does.

Stephen Bien

Jay

US and the USSR

I grew up in Lithuania under Soviet occupation. My grandfather spent ten years in Siberian gulags for “crimes” fabricated by the communist party. I clearly recall a nightly routine of my grandfather tuning into the Voice of America to hear news other than the communist propaganda. For him and for millions of others behind the iron curtain, this was a way to stay sane when bullies and liars were in full control of the society, including all legal sources of information.

The Soviet Union is gone, to a large extent thanks to America’s unwavering stance against authoritarian regimes around the world, at great sacrifice. For the past 20 years, I have been living in the U.S., which would have been an outlandish fantasy back in my childhood days. Even more outlandish would have been the idea of the U.S. turning away from democracy.

Yet, I am starting to see things in America, that I saw in the Soviet Union: political leadership demonizing press that is not supportive of them; major news outlets turning into tools for spreading state propaganda and lies; threats to jail political opponents; intimidation of civilians by thugs with assault weapons being touted as an expression of freedom; the party in power trying to prevent people from voting; nepotism at the highest level so pervasive that it no longer makes headlines.

Did the U.S. win the Cold War to then betray the core values it was fighting for just three decades later?

Ramunas Stepanauskas

Nobleboro

Election notice

The BDN will stop accepting letters and OpEds related to the Nov. 3 election on Oct. 21. Not all submissions can be published.