Trump’s bankrupt ideology

Donald Trump’s presidency marks the logical endpoint for a political system that has consistently promoted the idea that corporations are people. His gold-leafed surname, emblazoned on the facades of airplanes, skyscrapers and “universities,” also is the name of his corporation. The boundary between body and business is blurred. Sadly, under the outsized judicial influence of Citizens United, Trump’s blurry, bloated and bigoted brand is everybody’s business.

What is perhaps the most ironic aspect of this is that Trump used populist rhetoric aimed at big money in politics to be “ the voice” for an economically-forgotten electorate. But he is the big money in politics. He even said as much in his primary campaign: How does he get favors out of politicians? Give them money.

We will have a “ blue-collar billionaire” in the Oval Office, but he doesn’t understand blue-collar folks. He will surround himself with big-money good ol’ boys who know how to package political messages. “Making America great again” will look a lot like attending Trump University: deepening debts, a slew of lawsuits that we cannot possibly win and the indoctrination that businessmen will save us. Our country is not a company, and we are not employees of some CEO looking to cut costs.

When will we realize this political ideology is bankrupt? Is it when Republicans defund our schools? Is it when Republicans have gerrymandered the country to the extent that 10 “blue” votes are weighted the same as every “red” vote? Or will it be too late by then?

Bea Vigiland


US flag a symbol of strength

Recently, I read a letter from a woman who wants everyone to fly their own version of the American flag that represents their views. I guess she never served our country.

Try being in a wet foxhole all night, in a foreign country, wondering if you would ever see your home again and the only thing that gives you comfort is seeing the stars and stripes still flying over your fire base.

I’ve witnessed soldiers die for what our flag stands for. The flag unites us in times of tragedy. It’s a symbol of hope and strength during troubled times. I wonder, what sort of flag would she would want flying over the 9/11 memorial site? A homemade flag with daisies painted on it?

Way too many Americans have done little, but they have no problem taking everything for granted. Military personnel and first responders should be outraged at this woman’s idea for everyone to fly their own version of the American flag.

William Rutolo


Congress takes action on Alzheimer’s

I want to thank Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin for co-sponsoring the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act. This bill will help create a well-trained palliative and hospice care workforce through training, education, awareness and enhanced research.

This bill is crucial for people in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease and their families. The Alzheimer’s Association is concerned about the availability and quality of palliative and hospice care. Less than half of surveyed nursing homes report having some sort of palliative care program. Of those that do, only 42 percent include consultation by a physician certified in palliative and hospice care, and only 28 percent had a designated director of palliative care.

As caregiver to my husband, Roland, who suffered from Alzheimer’s for 10 years, I would have benefited from this bill with access to well-trained professionals who would have provided me with information on relieving symptoms and stress while providing the best quality of life for my husband. He was diagnosed at age 63, and at that time, he was still active as a pilot and owner of an aviation business. I saw first hand just how hard it was for him to give up everything he worked so hard for because of this terrible disease.

Thousands of families living with Alzheimer’s or dementia across Maine will benefit from this bill thanks to our congressional representatives’ support.

Elizabeth Martin


Alzheimer’s Association, Maine chapter