Friday, May 17, 2019

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,


“Mr. President, I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition.  It is a national feeling of fear and frustration that could result in national suicide and the end of everything that we Americans hold dear.  It is a condition that comes from a lack of effective leadership either in the legislative branch or the executive branch of our government.  That leadership is so lacking that serious and responsible proposals are being made that national advisory commissions be appointed to provide such critically needed leadership.  I speak as briefly as possible because too much harm has already been done with irresponsible words of bitterness and selfish political opportunism.  I speak as simply as possible because the issue is too great to be obscured with eloquence.  I speak simply and briefly in a hope that my words will be taken to heart.  Mr. President, I speak as a Republican.  I speak as a woman.   I speak as a United States Senator.  I speak as an American”

Those words uttered by one of our late, great US Senators, Margaret Chase Smith on June 1, 1950 on the Senate floor.  Her words, I believe, sum up the state of governing today, particularly at the national level.  Not much has changed in sixty-nine years.  “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”  And repeat it we have.

Smith goes on, “I think that it is high time the United States Senate and its members do some real soul searching and to weigh our consciences as to the manner in which we are performing our duty to the people of America and to the manner in which we are using or abusing our individual powers and privilege.”  Voters need to do the same thing.

Senator Smith goes on to say: “As a United States Senator I am not proud of the way the Senate has been made a publicity platform for irresponsible sensationalism. I am not proud of the reckless abandon in which unproved chargers have been hurled from this side of the aisle. I am not proud of the obviously staged, undignified countercharges which have been attempted in retaliation from the other side of the aisle. As an American, I am shocked at the way republicans and democrats alike are playing directly into the design of confuse, divide, and conquer.”

I challenge all elected officials from our city and town halls, our statehouses, the White House, the People’s House to visit:  Read Senator Smith’s entire speech, then do some serious reflection to see where you fit.  You might find some wisdom in her words.

We must bring the discussion home. Home, to the founding of our country. Home, to remember the reason so many of our brothers and sisters, moms and dads, aunts and uncles died, so that we may live in freedom.  Freedom from government overreach.  Freedom to say what our beliefs are without fearing retribution.   We must if our Republic is to survive.

Jeffrey M. Pierce, Windham

Dear Editor,

This has been a bad year in Augusta. Rights are being removed at a dizzying pace. First Amendment, Religious Freedom and Parental Rights are attacked almost daily. Yes, elections matter. The winners get to set the committee members, agendas and schedules. The winners get to blast forward. This majority is blasting forward even when "the people" say stop. There is good news. I have seen a large increase in citizens getting involved. I also see them staying involved as they are not listened to. 

More good news? Raymond/Gray representative Susan Austin is on your side. Case in point, the LD 1025 Conversion Therapy bill. This bill alleges that minors are being tortured to change their gender.

In looking into this, it turns out there has never been a complaint in Maine history of this happening. Further, the proponents of the bill added "talk" into the category of torture. Thus, if a confused teenager is not sure of their sexual direction, this law would say a counselor, therapist would have to remain neutral. For parents reading this, how did that work out on any issue your kids struggle with - you staying neutral? So, a young child who thinks they might want to take strong medications and even remove body parts to stop the confusion would not be able to get any advice from professionals. 

In the discussions there were many examples of science thrown out for debate. One of the only verified notations was that many kids are confused as teens as to their gender and 80% of them return to their birthright by age 25. One women (who thought she was a man for most of her life) spoke about the pain she now suffers from having surgeries at a young age. Rep. Austin knew all these facts and that there was no record of complaint. She still acted to create a bill that would end the idea of a practice of conversion therapy before it even started. However, she understood the value of professionals and was not seeking to make cultural change so her bill simply stopped what you and I would see as torture. Her bill was the only bill that would stop conversion therapy, if it ever did occur. The majority froze her bill and just passed LD 1025 which takes away many rights and offers our children as sacrifices to a cultural revolution. My kids are adults, I am ok. I do feel for a society without hope, that is so open to destroy life at any level. I live in Raymond but Rep. Austin is not my representative. I admire representative Austin's faith, core values and respect for life. This would be a great time for you to get involved before we lose more rights.

Mike McClellan
Raymond, Maine

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