Letter to the Editor: What’s become of us?

2 mins read

I am a Democrat today, but I was raised in a Republican household. My parents agreed with the fiscal conservatism and conservative viewpoints of people like Senator Hugh Scott, George Will, and Paul Harvey. My boy scout leaders never discussed politics with us, but scouting was always patriotic and overtly paramilitary, to the point of visiting Army facilities and learning the manual of arms. And I was aware that different parties had different opinions on how the country should be run, but terms like “the loyal opposition” were still in use then, and politicians regularly worked across the aisle, and socialized together after hours.

I know that our country was not a paradise in those days, but you still had the sense that people were willing to work with each other on common goals, regardless of their party affiliation, in local government, church groups, and school boards. Contrast that to what we see today. Imagine how we must look to people in foreign countries, where our allies cannot rely on our current government’s word, knowing that it might be totally reversed by the next election cycle. Where one of our political parties has aligned itself with autocratic, antidemocratic leaders like Viktor Orban and Jair Bolsonaro. Where the ideal of negotiation and fair play in government has devolved into rudeness, political violence, and ideological gridlock. And where democracy itself is not seen as something worth guarding and preserving? We have a lot of things to talk about as a nation. How can we reclaim our sense of a well intentioned collective of individuals, working together for the common good?

Hank Washburn
New Sharon, Maine


Opinion pieces reflect the views of the individual author, and do not reflect the views of the Daily Bulldog, Mt. Blue TV, or Central Maine Media Alliance. Publication of an opinion piece does not equate to endorsement of the content of the piece.

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