Opinion

Who elected these people? 

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Who elected these people? I asked myself that question a few times working in the Maine Legislature. I wasn’t being cruel. Neither was I being wholly dismissive of the legislators in question. Rather, I was thinking first about the duties, the job of being a legislator. It can take only one vote to have a majority of legislators raise taxes, end charter schools, end the definition of marriage, change the way we vote — the opportunities for legal mischief making are endless.

 

A legislator’s job is serious business, the business of making the laws governing our lives. They represent everybody with legal residence in their respective legislative districts. Your legislators are supposed to do their jobs with their district residents uppermost in mind. That is, when your legislator is wondering what to do, how to vote — he or she should be asking first: How will my vote affect my district? Will my district feel a net gain or loss from my vote?

 

Also, legislators should be thinking about how their votes will impact Maine at large. Will my vote make Maine a more attractive place for young couples to live and raise kids? Will business owners look at Maine as a promising place to start or expand a business?

 

Again, one vote can make a majority vote which, in turn, can have a major impact on Maine’s national standing.

 

A legislator’s job is serious business. Encountering legislators who, from my life experience, were unqualified for the serious business of lawmaking — stopped me cold. I wondered if these elected officials made any public campaign appearances. What was I missing? What did a majority of voters see in this person to make them think, yes, I want this person to be my eyes-and-ears in the Maine Legislature?

 

Who elected the members of Congress dedicated to overthrowing the 2016 election?

 

Since 2016, with the election of President Trump, I am weary of certain members of Congress who do nothing but tear down his work. In the process they cheapen the role of US Senators and US Representatives, they miss or ignore opportunities for doing good for the whole country.

 

I have said before, Donald Trump was not my first pick among GOP primary candidates for US President. But he won the primary election and the general election. Trump is the US President and he and his Administration have a strong, positive list of accomplishments. The full list is online at https://www.whitehouse.gov/trump-administration-accomplishments/ – but here is my short list:

 

Almost 4 million jobs created.

More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.

We have created more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs.

Median household income has hit the highest level ever recorded.

Women’s unemployment reached the lowest rate in 65 years.

As a result of Trump’s tax bill, small businesses will have the lowest top marginal tax rate in more than 80 years.

 

I was alive during the Jimmy Carter Presidency. In fact, I believe I voted for Jimmy Carter. Alive during Ronald Reagan’s Presidency, I was afraid of what would happen to America under a President Reagan. I was inexcusably ignorant of basic civics, of how government works. Candidate Jimmy Carter visited Bob Dylan at his house! That was reason enough for me to vote for him as US President.

 

American life under President Trump reminds me of life with President Reagan — only better. Life with President Carter was no fun. The basic difference? Carter saw an America in decline. Reagan saw an America whose best years were ahead.

 

American voters are free to vote as they see fit including voters who pull the lever for crackpots and authoritarians. But in 2020, at least, I appeal to eligible voters who often or always sit out elections, and ask them, please don’t sit out the 2020 elections. Help elect members of Congress who see America’s limitless potential, and who will vote to free that potential.

 

That will be something to see.

 

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. He now works in the private sector.

 

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