Some of my readers have a warped view of my political bent.
“You are a right-wing, [naughty word], [another naughty word] conservative,” one e-mail said.
“You’re a [very naughty word with several syllables].”
Another e-mailer put it more succinctly: “[Slang term for the lower end of the digestive tract] fascist [slang term for a person who sells his or her body for sexual purposes].”
Even more succinctly: “[Three-word recommendation involving an anatomically improbable act].”
There were also e-mails containing suggestions so vile, I couldn’t quote even an edited version in a family publication such as this one. Although, the idea involving the zip-lock bag, the banana, the fire hose, the automatic garage-door opener and the porcupine was certainly creative.
Fortunately, the person who sent that message has been apprehended by police.
This spate of spite from my fans seems to have been prompted by recent columns in which I gently chastised our elected leaders in Augusta for attempting to raise taxes, for spending money foolishly, for making it difficult to earn a living and for breathing oxygen better conserved for those with a functioning nervous systems above the neck.
Looking back on my output from the last few months, I can see why these opinions might have led some people to the erroneous conclusion that I’m a Cheney-hugging, war-mongering, Constitution-trampling, ACLU-hating tool of the corporate power structure with a bumpersticker that reads, “Trap a Canada Lynx for Jesus.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. As a member of the news media (at least until the next round of layoffs), I’m required to embrace liberalism (otherwise, the copy editors beat me up). I’ve also stopped practicing my religion during working hours (co-workers complained about the odor from the animal sacrifices).
Nevertheless, this latest round of feedback clearly indicates more is required to prove my devotion to leftist causes. Listen up, comrades.
I’m in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in Maine.
For the wrong reason, but, hey, it’s my vote that counts.
I don’t think gays and lesbians should be able to marry because of some ethereal principle of fairness. Life isn’t fair.
I don’t believe their unions should be sanctioned so they can get tax breaks. No tax break could justify most marriages.
I’m not swayed by religious arguments about morals. The Bible is full of polygamy, incest and “The Song of Solomon.”
And I’m not buying the economic claims in that wacky study, which concluded Maine inns could earn millions of dollars in new revenue by soaking honeymooning gay couples. Bed and breakfasts already charge too much.
I support same-sex nuptials because the government shouldn’t be deciding which unrelated adults are eligible to get hitched and which aren’t. Unless, the government wants to stop Alex Rodriguez and Madonna.
If that reasoning doesn’t get me an invitation to give the keynote address at the next Green Independent Party state convention, I don’t know what will.
Except possibly my support for the medical marijuana referendum that’s likely to be on the fall ballot.
Pot isn’t my drug of choice, but then, neither are cocktails made with boysenberry-infused vodka, and you don’t see me trying to have them outlawed. (Although, now that I think of it …) But the medical evidence that a daily doobie or two relieves suffering for people with some serious illnesses is overwhelming. And while current Maine law allows patients with a doctor’s permission to possess small amounts of grass without penalty, there’s no legal way for them to get it.
Grow their own? Too much physical exertion for many sick people.
Buy it from the neighborhood dealer? Too much legal exertion, even for people who aren’t sick.
Accept a gift of homegrown from a kind friend? Still against the law, although a recent court case has made enforcement more difficult.
The referendum’s simple answer is to set up “nonprofit dispensaries,” where those with proper identification could obtain a sanctioned supply.
Big argument against it: Dope fiends would somehow gain access to this legal pot. The reality: Dope fiends are too busy breaking into pharmacies to steal opiates.
Finally, there’s another initiative that will probably end up on the November ballot that would cut the annual excise tax on cars in half and eliminates the sales tax and three years of excise tax on new vehicles that get at least 40 miles a gallon.
Liberals hate this idea. Me, too.
If it passes, municipalities will lose $70 million a year (supporters’ estimate) or $88 million (opponents’ guess) in excise taxes. Cities and towns would likely make that up by raising property taxes. Conservatives call this sort of tax scam “shift and shaft.”
Wait, did I say conservatives? But if conservatives are against shift and shaft, how come they’re for the excise-tax con game? Which comes off like something dreamed up by …
Polite or profane, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.