Soon we will be electing our “leaders” for the next two years. It is unusual to have a single party in control of our state and the federal government. In the current election cycle, Democrats control the Presidency, the Governorship, and both houses of the Federal and State governments. In Maine and Washington, Democrats can introduce and pass any bill they want or, inversely, can prevent passage of any bill they do not like. A state of emergency has been used to amplify the role of the government and to diminish the protection of liberties guaranteed in our Bill of Rights. It has been an opportunity to see what our government looks like when handed unfettered power. We sacrificed the freedoms of: assembly, travel, religion, medical decisions, business opportunity, and speech. All our sacrifices were forced by government edict. Some countries and states chose a less heavy-handed authoritarian approach. Maine chose to shut down businesses, churches, and to impose strict limits on numbers allowed to assemble. Other states were not as strict and their citizens were allowed more freedom.
Now the data and tell-all books, on how we were manipulated, are coming with comparisons of the different approaches. Maine people have had a hard two years. We have lost businesses, jobs, careers, and sacrificed liberty. We have lost loved ones with no opportunity to support them and say goodbye. Maine children may have suffered most of all with the loss of two years of education and development. Our government officials, state and federal employees, and teachers were spared the hardship and loss of income, jobs, and benefits which divided us into two groups, the haves and the have nots. The working people, small business owners, people not in unions, fishermen, wormers, wait staff, and those without a voice have been dealt most of the harm. So, what did the sacrifices achieve? A middle of the road success during the pandemic. Now, we are facing inflation, shortages of food and goods, high energy costs, empty storefronts, the recent announced closure of yet another paper mill, a recovery that is lagging other states, and an increasing unemployment rate with a declining labor participation rate. The current situation is the results of the in place federal and state administrations. We need a change in course. Business as usual keeps us digging deeper into the hole. It is time to stop digging and send a new team to Washington and Augusta.