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Correcting our behavior

“What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger,” is common verbiage. Our democracy has just survived its most aggressive attack. This attack was not external. It was internal. Structural weaknesses have been demonstrated.

These two are significant. First, a distinction between a nationwide election and a statewide election needs to be made structurally. A highly infectious, virulent pandemic is the worst case scenario that needs to be offset by a nationally standardized structure via mail-in ballots using state-of-the-art machinery for tabulating those results. Second, when every voting-age citizen is responsible for electing federal and state governmental representatives, truthfulness is supremely critical and absolutely vital during all campaigns just as truthfulness in our court procedures must be without question. Such is the motivation behind penalties imposed for perjury.

There should be penalties of equal or greater magnitude for promoting lies during campaigns as there are in cases of perjury. Evidence in a court of law is required for determining whether the accused committed a crime. The requirement of verifiable evidence is no less important to the process of electing governmental representatives than required by our court system. We become stronger only if we correct our behavior.

Ward Jarman


A Gettysburg Address for 2020

Today, how would President Abraham Lincoln compose the Gettysburg Address? Maybe something like this:

Twelve score and four years ago the first United States citizens brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal. Now we are engaged in a tumultuous year, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are engaged in a test of the foundation of our nation. We are living with a pandemic, an economic crisis, social unrest, and threats to our democracy from within and from without. But now we need to pause to recall the ideals for which many gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot accept, we cannot champion – we cannot idealize this time.

The brave humans, living and dead, who struggled for this country, have honored it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what those citizens who came before started here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated to the unfinished work they who worked and struggled here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from the efforts of those who struggled to improve, to strengthen, and to unite this country in the past we take increased devotion to that cause for which they have toiled — that we here highly resolve that those who worked before us through times of division, strife, and struggle shall not have strived for unity in vain — that this nation, where religious diversity is a constitutional right, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Deborah Curtis


Respect workers by wearing a mask

While Maine businesses must require customers to wear a mask while inside, there are still many stores that do not enforce this rule. In some larger stores, there are still people that will not wear masks while shopping, and it is risking the health of many.

Even though the CDC recommends the use of masks and there have been many scientific studies that have proven that masks work, there are still many people that will not comply. As a teenager who works as a cashier at one of these larger stores, I personally help hundreds of different people every day. While most of the customers that I help wear masks, there are still plenty that do not, which could affect my health and life outside of work.

While all essential workers are wearing masks themselves, it is still important for all customers to wear a mask as well to help prevent the spread. These essential workers often have other responsibilities or duties outside of their work and customers should be respectful towards them in order to keep everyone safe.

Workers should be able to feel safe at their job and not have to worry about whether their customers will comply with this rule or not. It is important to be respectful to all essential workers by wearing a mask.

Savannah Libby