Opinion

Words can never hurt me

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In my 9/21/18 column, “Give Political Thugs the Bum’s Rush,” I told a story of Maine Senate Democrat Leader Beverly Bustin’s 1995 reaction to Maine voters electing Angus King as Governor, and a new Republican majority to the Maine Senate.

Here, in part, is what I wrote on 9/21/18:

I heard State Senator Beverly Bustin…tell a group of people gathered in Maine’s State House that the new GOP Senate majority was an aberration, a flaw in the electoral process. The election that year was clearly a [mistake].

Senator Bustin believed Maine voters were wrong. She believed…Democrats were the rightful majority.

The State Senator said nothing…of, “We respect [Maine voters’] choices and we look forward to finding common ground with Maine’s new Independent Governor and Republican Senate Majority.”

No, Senator Bustin vowed that in two years Democrats would regain their rightful place as Maine’s governing majority. Until then, Democrats had to hold the line against this rogue, short-lived GOP Senate Majority.

Spend time following the Congressional Democrats’ coup against President Trump. You see the seed of Sen. Bustin’s attitude grown wild, spreading like kudzu, choking the life out of everything that isn’t of the Left. As if all policies, ideas, thoughts, actions, even people, not of the Left are fair game for marginalization.

This is not good, not healthy, for the country. In my life I have had strong political opinions that include the benefits and wisdom of debating issues.

When was the last time you saw civil discussion of issues coming out of the Left? Instead, discussion is displaced by accusations, often with no basis in fact. Consider the case of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The Left tried to destroy the nominee’s life with false charges that, upon examination, crumbled like pie crust.

Yet, as I write, US Sen. Susan Collins’s opponents ignore the pie crumbs, and press on attacking the Senator. Her opponents ignore the evidence, the facts, the results of their day in court, and attack Sen. Collins for examining all sides of the Kavanaugh debate, and then drawing the only sensible conclusion: Brett Kavanaugh was being railroaded by the Left, and he deserved Collins’s support for his Supreme Court nomination.

The Left opposes discussion on college campuses, shouting down speakers they don’t like, and too often — as in the case of domestic terrorists Antifa — use violence to silence free speech on campus.

I vote we stop referring to media outlets such as the major TV and print outlets as the “mainstream media.” They are not. Since 2009, the “mainstream media” I grew up with, admired, learned from, abdicated its role as citizen’s watchdog against government, as America’s source of objective information.

Can a person seeking objective information on any major political issue or candidate expect to get that information from CNN? The New York Times? MSNBC? If we’re being honest, the answer to my question has to be, “No.” We are at a point in time when even those media outlet owners are giving you the same “no” answer.

What’s happened to the Who-What-When-Where-Why reporters? Growing up, those Five W’s of Journalism were essential for good reporting. Today and for many years now, political reporters are replaced largely by Left activists with little to no understanding of history, preconceived and ingrained ideas about people on the Left and Right.

Too often the same type of activists are embedded as school teachers. To the degree they teach American or world history at all, it’s lopsided to the Left.

It’s fair enough if, after studying an issue, or a period of history, or biography, the person studying draws a Left or Right leaning conclusion. That’s the America I know. But when schools teach and news sources report one side; when anyone not of that side is fair game for marginalization and career destruction — that’s no longer America.

Scott K. Fish has served as a communications staffer for Maine Senate and House Republican caucuses, and was communications director for Senate President Kevin Raye. He founded and edited AsMaineGoes.com and served as director of communications/public relations for Maine’s Department of Corrections until 2015. He is now using his communications skills to serve clients in the private sector.

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