Letter to the Portland Phoenix editors, October 19, 2012
GET THE RHETORIC RIGHT
Why do some Maine politicians keep talking about businesses as "job creators?"
Under capitalism, the purpose of a business is to make a profit. No business starts out or keeps on operating to create jobs.
So, don't call them "job creators." Call them "profiteers."
FIND COMMON GROUND
Most of us would probably agree that the deep divide between Democrats and Republicans is one of the major problems facing our society. This does not just apply to Washington or Augusta, but also to us regular people. We need to relearn how to talk and listen to the other side, and stop voting for people who are divisive, unwilling to find common ground with the opposition, and have no positive vision for the future.
At a meeting for the candidates in Hartland, I asked Senator Doug Thomas why he scored lowest in the Senate on the environmental scorecard of the independent group Maine Conservation Voters. He wanted to answer referring to a specific bill. I chose LD852, Land for Maine's Future, a $5 million bond issue that helps protect working farms, forests, and waterfronts. The bill enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support. Thomas was one of only six senators (out of 36) who voted against the bill. His reason was money, he said.
When I think of people who bought a farm for little more than a song in the '60s and '70s, or Baxter who bought Mount Katahdin, it seems a no-brainer that this $5 million would be a wonderful gift to future Mainers that otherwise are mostly inheriting problems from our generation. This is a vision for the future that I share, apparently, with the overwhelming majority of the voters and state representatives and senators. Here are some exceptions: Doug Thomas, Debra Plowman, and Ray Wallace, who has the dubious distinction of a flat zero on the scorecard: He is even OK with BPA in baby bottles, although it "might cause some women to grow little beards."
This kind of extremism cannot help us overcome the Great Divide. Let's elect people who can talk and listen to and reason with fellow Americans of differing opinions. Herbie Clark, Dave Pearson, and Dusty Dowse are such people.
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