Trumpism takes over the base

Alabama may seem a long way from Maine, but Republican Roy Moore’s victory in the Senate primary should be a heads up for us here. Moore was touted as “Trumpier than Trump” much in the way Gov. Paul LePage has styled himself “Trump before Trump.”

Sen. Susan Collins’ formidable defense of traditional Republican values, however beneficial to the nation and to Maine, has earned her the anger of her party’s extremists and their cowed and craven enablers. President Donald Trump certainly doesn’t care about her long record as a reliable Republican vote and the Republican leadership cares only for the moment.

So folks, will LePage morph into the Steve Bannon candidate for Senate? Will Eliot Cutler yet again put ego over ethics and serve the LePage agenda? Will a sufficient number of Mainers be gulled into believing “vote your conscience” means doing whatever you feel like and empirical evidence be damned? Keep watching this space.

Annlinn Kruger

Bar Harbor

Anthem protests disrespectful

I’m a father, Maine veteran and football fan who is proud of my multiracial family. I have always rooted for the New England Patriots because they were Maine’s team and were, until now, non- political.

Clearly the Patriots and national anthem kneelers have totally lost touch with America and American football fans who have enthusiastically promoted them to be millionaires. Now they treat America, and we the fans, with disrespect.

They say they’re against racial injustice; all of us are. They cite police killing blacks when they must know the facts; in nearly every instance the black person threatened the police or refused to obey a simple, lawful police order. The kneeling players cite inner city problems, which are many, but to a large extent they stem from the breakup of the black family: 73 percent of black children are born out of wedlock, with a high percentage of black youths being raised by single women. No responsible father in sight. It’s no wonder too many black youths end up in prison.

I now wonder how many NFL players have fathered out of wedlock children? Think of what those kneeling players could accomplish if they stood, demonstrated and promoted responsible American father-ship instead of anti-Americanism. We fans would regain some lost respect for them and the game. We don’t have a lot of time.

Richard de Grasse

Islesboro

Trump’s tax giveaway

Well, the Trump supporters couldn’t screw millions of hardworking Americans out of their health care coverage, so last week they unveiled their new income tax plan. I spent a couple hours afterward reading various accounts of the proposed plan, and I have to say it is even more odious, deceptive and “give-back-to-the-rich” oriented than their health care proposals.

Here are a few examples from the proposal: The corporate tax rate could go from 35 percent to 20 percent. The top individual tax rate would go from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The estate tax gone completely.

Huge benefits for the top 10 percent. Crumbs for the rest of us. At a cost to the U.S. Treasury of $5 trillion dollars over the next 10 years. This at a time when we are already $20 trillion in debt, much of it to foreign countries, including a huge chunk to China, and climbing every day.

I have been following this stuff for nearly 60 years, and this is the most brazen swindle I have ever seen.

I will be calling my senators and representatives to ask that they oppose this. I will follow up with an email and will do it every week. I urge all of you to do the same.

I might add this comment on the latest hubbub, reignited and inflamed by Trump last month, about the national anthem at sporting events: Back in 1755, lexicographer Samuel Johnson said: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

Paul A. Cyr

Madawaska

Support ranked-choice voting

The Constitution was composed to “secure the Blessings of Liberty” for we the people. This freedom must include giving us true freedom in selecting our public representatives who give voice to our values.

Ranked-choice voting helps facilitate political competition, which gives us greater freedom in choosing our representatives. I cannot understand why some politicians love a free market in economics, but resist free competition in politics. But the benefits aren’t just more competition — it’s better, more civil, more constructive competition, with fewer negative ads and more focus on reaching out across divides to all families in Maine. I haven’t yet met a regular American who feels that the problem with this country is that politics aren’t nasty enough.

For these reasons, last November the majority of Maine voters passed ranked-choice voting, opting for more voice and more choice. It is fully constitutional for all primary elections, as well as all federal elections.

Of course, ranked-choice voting alone won’t be enough to single-handedly fix Washington or Augusta, but it’s a solid step in the right direction. As the Maine Legislature gathers in the coming weeks to decide the fate of ranked-choice voting, I hope you will join me in asking them to secure the blessings of liberty for voters right across Maine.

Cormac Manning

Orono

Dr. Seuss a racist?

I used to flinch when I heard the word racist. It’s been years now since that word has given me goosebumps or held the same evil as it did. The left has used it way too much in attempts to shut down debate on many issues.

For the first time, I laughed at hearing that word when someone said Dr. Seuss illustrations are racist. Dr. Seuss? Really? First Lady Melania Trump wanted to gift these books to children at a school in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I want to watch a football game with it not being a political statement. I think what some of these ready-to-be-offended people need to see is a member of our military handing a folded flag to a widow, mother, or child and tell me that’s racist.

Terry Shortt

Bradford