The people picked Clinton

“The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let’s give them a voice. Let’s let the American people decide.” Thus spake Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, when he refused last year to even consider any nominee from President Barack Obama to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat.

And what did the American people decide? By almost 3 million votes, we favored the vision of Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. The president, of course, is not elected by the people, but rather by the Electoral College. But it was the American people, not the Electoral College, that the Republicans said they would let decide. Republicans said that this was a matter of principle. Let’s see.

Sol Goldman


America comes first

As a newspaper, the Bangor Daily News should be aware that millions of freeborn Americans have resented, ignored and held contempt for the two-party system as practiced by that good-old-boy network establishment in Washington.

Now we have the option of seeing what an individual who does not see everything in Democratic or Republican terms can do to get this country moving in an America First direction. Let’s tend to our own knitting and let the other nations handle their own affairs.

I am sick of messing with other countries’ affairs for the twits in both parties who think that everyone’s business is our business, and I am sick of illegal acts by illegal immigrants whether Muslim or whatever. A dead terrorist is a good terrorist.

Frederick Mendel


Travel ban disheartening

I have never been more disheartened with the actions of a president. The latest, a baseless travel ban for those with passports from seven majority Muslim nations enacted last Friday has me bowing my head in shame. In a rush to fulfill campaign promises made to attract those who feel it right to judge, group, blame and condemn people based on religious beliefs, skin color, or any other criterion of their making, President Donald Trump banned and seriously stifled travel from these countries in the name of “national security.”

The action was not based on facts. The action was not based on truths. The action was based on the continued manipulation of those who are willing to be manipulated by fear.

Those fears were used in the past to close our borders to the persecuted European Jews for fear of Nazi infiltrators. Look at history for the results of that closed border action. Our country was built on the blood, sweat and tears of thousands of immigrants from all over the world.

Have we forgotten how we all got here? Have the very people who are always preaching to learn our history so as not to repeat it, forgotten? The brave and strong generations who have held this country’s head up high with pride, honesty, love and hard work are weeping.

Tonya L. Troiani


Travel ban immoral

I am gravely concerned about President Donald Trump’s executive order prohibiting travel to the U.S. from the citizens of seven majority Muslim nations. This travel ban is immoral, inhumane and illogical. Countries where Trump has business interests, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, have been left off the prohibited list despite well-documented ties to terrorism. Other countries whose nationals have never committed terrorist acts in the U.S. are on it.

I am concerned that this ban will, in fact, make America less safe, as it will give groups such as Islamic State ammunition as they seek to convince potential terrorists that America is the enemy of the Muslim world. Finally, it is against all the American values that we hold dear. If we cannot welcome refugees and new immigrants, how can we call ourselves a free and just society?

I applaud Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins and Rep. Chellie Pingree for taking strong public stands against this un-American executive order. I am proud that they represent the Maine values of tolerance, acceptance and inclusion that I prize.

I am profoundly disappointed that Rep. Bruce Poliquin has announced that the executive order is not directed at any one religion, and that it is not a legislative issue. Muslim nations have clearly been targeted. I certainly hope Poliquin will listen to the voices of his many constituents who are outraged at his lack of leadership on this issue and change his position.

Susan Dickson-Smith


Fight Medicare voucher proposal

Without Medicare, I would almost certainly be bankrupt, perhaps dead. I’m no different than hundreds of thousands of Mainers who have paid into this uniquely effective health insurance system for all our working lives. But that lifetime of commitment is being threatened in ways that will deny us the benefits we have earned.

Despite President Donald Trump’s assurances during his campaign that he would “protect and save your Social Security and your Medicare. You made a deal a long time ago,” Republican leaders in Congress are pushing ahead with their long-simmering proposal to turn Medicare into a “premium support program.” That really means they intend to create a voucher system that would end guaranteed health insurance coverage for American seniors, replaced by a private system that will not fully cover the costs of health care.

That’s why AARP is launching a full-scale effort to protect the benefits we’ve all worked for, and we will need the help and support of everyone. We will be telling Congress that turning Medicare into a private voucher system will not be tolerated. We will be supporting our 230,000 members here in Maine who are also concerned about their own health care, and that of their families. Our voices must be heard — sign petitions, call or write your senators and members of Congress, make sure your friends and family know what’s at stake.

This is the most serious threat to the health and financial security of seniors ever. There is no time to waste.

Rich Livingston

Volunteer state president

AARP Maine