Fight The Powers-That-Be!

So I’ve been knocking on a lot of doors all across Hancock County. I especially like knocking on the few doors that have Louie signs in the yards out front.

Many of the people I’ve spoken with weren’t even aware that I was running in a primary against Louie. I always tell them more or less the same thing. I respect Louie as a person. I think he’s a fine human being—a far faster runner than I’ll ever be (a marathon in 2 1/2 hours is absolutely insane—imagine sprinting as fast as you can, then imagine doing that for 2 1/2 hours, and you’ll have an idea of what that entails). Really, one of the best Maine has to offer.

At the same time, I disagree with his voting record. I tell people they don’t have to take my word for it—just google Louie, take a few minutes to read the articles, and they’ll see why I’m bugging them on their doorstep.

I also have some research. 3 pages of it. Every statement in that research is backed with references to the Bangor Daily News, the Portland Press Herald, and legislature.maine.gov. Readers are free to check and make sure that I’ve accurately represented Louie’s record. I hand out this research whenever people seem like they would appreciate it.

Yet I just received an interesting phone call from the powers-that-be. I won’t say who. I won’t even say what gender. But he or she essentially told me to stop distributing the research. I asked if there was anything factually inaccurate about what I had written. He or she reiterated: stop distributing the papers. I said I wouldn’t, he or she angrily wished me well, and hung up.

I told my wife about this, and she said: “This isn’t North Korea.” Spoken like a true American.

All I’m doing is holding up a mirror to Louie’s record. If he doesn’t like that, maybe he should have voted differently—and introduced different bills.

But you know, I feel for his campaign. I really do. How are they supposed to attack me? What is there to attack? I’m a dad. A husband. A son. A teacher. And a writer.

Speaking of which, one thing I learned, as a writer, is that you have to try to write and act and speak as though everyone will see everything you do. Absolutely everyone. But I think sometimes politicians hope that no one will look into their records—or that they’ll be up against opponents who are so crazy it won’t matter. When I’m in Augusta, I intend to vote and introduce bills as though I will be challenged by a progressive in a primary.

And, actually, this isn’t the first time I’ve been told by the powers-that-be to shut up. It’s happened in private and in public multiple times. Readers of this post were doubtless present when I was told to shut up at an event in Ellsworth—and the guy who told me was booed by the audience!

It was a three-hour event (or it felt like three hours), and I spoke for five minutes total—about how I was fighting for universal health care. “Shut up!”

I’ve knocked on hundreds of doors in Hancock County. I can count on one hand the number of people whom I would call strong Louie supporters. The rest are undecided, or support me. Quite a few are fed up with the establishment telling them that moderates are the key to victory. The establishment is wrong. Half the time moderates lose, and if they win, they vote like Republicans when they’re in office—so we lose regardless.

All the establishment knows how to do is lose. Yet fighting it is probably harder than fighting the GOP. The GOP, with its medieval votes on gay conversion therapy and its domination by a foreign power, is stuck in the 13th century. The Democratic establishment has made it to the 1990s, but still hasn’t realized just how left-wing (a better word is “basic”) the vast majority of Democrats have become. We’re beyond ready to join the rest of the world when it comes to basic services like universal healthcare.

As a result, progressives are winning primaries and elections across America. The Blue Wave is coming to Hancock County, and the powers-that-be are panicking. They’re worried you’re going to elect someone who’s got your back 100% of the time—not just with social issues, but with economic issues, too.

Dan Carlin (a famous podcaster) said that all he wants is “America as advertised.” A place where the American dream is reality. That’s what I’m fighting for, too.

I’d like to reiterate that if Louie feels as though I’ve inaccurately represented his record, I’m happy to debate him any time, any place, with any moderator, and virtually any rules. I’ll debate him at his family’s home, with one of his family members as moderator, if he wants, although I don’t blame them if they aren’t interested.

I’ve already asked him to meet me privately to explain his record. He might even have been able to get me to drop out and endorse him! But he refused. Could it be because “the Secretary of State told me to do it” is an excuse that convinces no one? Doesn’t the buck stop with you? I inquired with legislators as to whether they are legally obligated to introduce legislation on the behalf the Secretary of State. The answer was: no, and usually it isn’t difficult for the secretary or the governor to find someone to introduce legislation on their behalf. In a system of checks and balances, senators and representatives answer to their constituents. Not to the governor or the Secretary of State. If you disagree, please check with your nearest fifth grade social studies class.

However, there was one mistake on the research I’ve been giving out. After the Bath Ironworks Tax Scam passed with Louie’s vote, the Machinists Union objected to the company firing a bunch of workers. They did not necessarily object to the tax scam itself (edit: as Lynne Williams has pointed out, they voted 50-50 not to endorse the tax scam). I apologize for this mistake. The research has had eight words redacted. 792 words remain! Anyone who wants to is free to read it, by the way.

That’s it, for now. I have to go pick up my kids. Sorry for how long this post was!

We’ll keep fighting, and we’ll win!

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