Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Improve America

We're fractured. Whether it happened when George Bush Sr. chose not to invade and occupy the Middle East in 1991 or when his son did invade and occupy the Middle East in 2001 is not important. What is important is that we acknowledge it isn't helping us as a nation.

Politics isn't going to fix this because it got us into this. What I mean by this is that our politicians are easily swayed by lobbyists who demonstrate an ability to influence public opinion. As a result they rarely ever lead these days.

At this point you're likely asking, "and how do you suggest we resolve this problem, genius?" Well, that's up to you, by which I mean it comes down to our ability to have honest conversations with one another. To do we'll have to cast aside the direction we receive in the form of talking points from agenda driven sources.

Our only agenda from here on out should be improving America. Since we know that hasn't happened through divisive politics it is time to compromise as our founders did with one another in order to establish and maintain this union. It would be a shame if we were to do further damage to those noble efforts.

Jamie Beaulieu

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17 Responses »

  1. Good point made.
    The only question is, who still be the first one to be better.
    Who is willing to take that "risk" and step out there in the great divide without malice and offer love for their neighbor?
    So far....
    Who is willing to "lead" ?
    I'm betting we would abandon this partisan hate and gratefully follow.
    Who will it be?

  2. Actually, talk with someone over a beer (when we can do that again) or in small in person groups, and we find really quickly more unites us than divides us. Talk on online forums and other places where people can imagine the other as a caricature, then suddenly agreement becomes much more difficult!

  3. How much are you willing to change or give up to travel in a new direction. History teaches a lot if you let it and the one sure thing I have found is progress or change allways comes with a price tag.

  4. Our founding fathers while coming from vastly different backgrounds, Samuel Adams was a die hard Puritan and worked in the family malthouse, he wasn't overly book smart, but he like the other founders had a common goal, getting out from under British rule. But even back then the people were divided into 3 major factions. The Patriots who wanted absolute autonomy from the British. The Neutrals who wanted to be semi-autonomous but still backed by Britain, and the Loyalist who wanted tor remain under British rule. And they couldn't agree and it lead to a war, with the Patriots winning in 1783.

    Unlike those days though, today people especially the people of the left, want people divided not only by political beliefs but by assigned social class as well. The freedom of religion, our founders didn't care what religion you were, only that you had the right to practice it. The freedom of Speech, they didn't care what you said, only that you had the right to say it. But today, if you take a Christian stance on abortion, well you must be a hater and against women's rights. If you defend American history, Confederate statues to be specific, you must be a racist, if you don't accept the myth of systematic and institutional racism, you're a racist, if you don't support same sex marriage, you're a homophobe, and whatever "phobe" the left wants to assign to people who don't buy into their philosophy or don't want to be in the social group they think you should be in.

    Governance and politics should NEVER be mixed. Our leaders are not elected by just one social group or the other, but by ALL of us. Pete Buttigieg's sexuality should not even be factor into whether he got voted for or not, Obama's skin color should not have been a deciding factor for voting for him. A candidates gender shouldn't matter, but only that they are able to do the job that they are being elected to do. So far Trump has done a good job of running the country as is his job. His job is not catering to blacks or whites or any other race, it isn't catering to this gender or that one, or this religion or that one. His job is to cater to America as a whole, and that pisses the left off to no end, because he refuses to play social politics with them.

  5. Hrtlss, you're making the error you accuse people of the left of doing. You want to divide by political beliefs, accusing only the left of doing that is ironic, as in so doing, you are doing the same thing! I know lots of liberals and lots of conservatives. Most of them respect each other's beliefs, and they are actually almost all close to each other in values. It's in forums like this that one group - either the left or the right - caricatures the other group and accuses them of being the cause of all of today's problems. Note that this isn't about President Trump - there are many conservatives who are as harsh on the President as liberals are. A conservative group is running ads against him, I'd even say Trump isn't a true conservative. Those of us who dislike Trump will at the same time praise many Republicans - Trump's problem isn't his politics, but his character and weakness as an individual. There are many Democrats who also have character flaws who I would not want to be President. But if you point to the left as the cause of division, you're doing exactly what you accuse them of doing!

  6. "We're fractured. Whether it happened when George Bush Sr. chose not to invade and occupy the Middle East in 1991 or when his son did invade and occupy the Middle East in 2001 is not important. What is important is that we acknowledge it isn't helping us as a nation."

    You DO realize, don't you, that you just added to the problem by blaming ALL of the ills of the country on one political ideology. Not a word about "MoveOn", ha ha (which is when the REAL divide began, 2000/2001).

    Calls to 'unify' only offer a temporary cease-fire during with the left finds more ways to slice and dice society up in ways that better suit their agenda. Just like North Vietnam did during the Paris talks. No thanks; I think we'll remain divided. I'm told (by Liberals) you're 'global citizens first', so go to it - we'll remain Americans first. Fool me twice, shame on me....

  7. Dan Buckley

    As I read the comment section of the Daily Bulldog and compare it to paper newspapers that I read there is one glaring difference, in print newspapers to get your opinion published you need to identify yourself and in some cases where you live. This difference seems to improve the civility and content of the submissions in the latter. What I see in the Bulldog in many cases is people with anonymous nicknames insulting others and objectifying them or their positions with catch-all political descriptions. These diatribes are probably in many cases neither accurate nor objective. For the people who self identify, you have my respect whether or not I agree with you. For the many who choose to remain anonymous since you do not care to back up your opinions in full daylight then I can not give them the same consideration.

  8. Hrtlss You had me 'til the second paragraph wherein you proceed to vilify "the left" and inject spurious assumptions about folks who do not subscribe to YOUR worldview.

    And in the third paragraph, the balderdash about Trump and the added 'left' vilification is Really 'a bridge too far'.

  9. Scott Erb, Addressing a group of people by the group which they themselves claim membership in, isn't me putting them in that particular group, but rather is me acknowledging the existence of the group. For example, I will never address blacks or colored people as African Americans as they are not all African, but if they are US citizens, they are Americans. I will lay blame where blame is due, when Republicans publicly call for violence against people as Maxine Waters has done, then I will say they are being divisive. Unity means one, there will never be unity as people think there should be because some play identity politics and others don't. Leftism and liberalism are not the same thing. Tulsi Gabbard is a liberal democrat, Sanders and Warren are leftists. Trump is a liberal republican, He wants the government to help out when it should, like now during COVID-19 pandemic and not help when it shouldn't, Sanders and Warren think the government should help out all the time. Buttigieg also played identity politics choosing to address the individual social groups rather than America as a whole.

  10. "As I read the comment section of the Daily Bulldog and compare it to paper newspapers that I read there is one glaring difference, in print newspapers to get your opinion published you need to identify yourself and in some cases where you live. This difference seems to improve the civility and content of the submissions in the latter. "

    That's fine, Dan. Sorry you don't like anonymity, tho printed newspapers are just about a thing of the's all online now, with 'nom de plumes' and all - which have been around for 100s of years. People often choose to use a 'nom de plume' in order to avoid things like the Cancel Culture which abounds in Liberal states, and Maine has been no exception. If people here pick up on something being said that they don't approve of...true to the Puritan roots of many of them, they jump to suppress and punish.

    In order for someone like me to be able to exercise my 1st Amendment right to speak out against government policy in a state full of activist bullies, as Maine is, it is necessary for me to disguise my identity so that Liberal intolerance isn't taken out on me at my store. I feel threatened by this level of intolerance, and the Lib's willingness to actively force their own beliefs on people and demand they follow them. It's not ALL of them, of's ENOUGH of them. And it's a problem.

    I bet pretty soon the call will go out to stop anonymous ballots in elections, too, right? Because people like you just DON'T LIKE IT. We've seen this movie before.

  11. Dan, I have used the Hrtlss Bstrd nom de guerre for 20 years and had pieces printed in USA Today, Washington Post, New York Times, Morning Sentinel, Sun Journal, Portland Press Herald and the Boston Globe. What is said is more important than who said it. For example, "It is not truth that matters, but victory." probably quite a few people don't know who said it, but can see the meaning in it, especially when Biden says "We choose truth over facts."

    Mark, I injected nothing, facts don't lie, the leftists love their identity politics. But the funny thing is a majority of people don't want to be in the group that the left has put them in, it's why the leftists can't win anything more than local elections. Warren has been playing identity politics all over the country, she didn't even win her home state. And the other leftists were out even before their states' primaries occurred. Bernie is the exception, he just wants to embrace his socialist/communist ideology and people are following him because they want free stuff they aren't entitled to. Biden is a quasi-moderate democrat who is more liberal than leftist.

  12. Hrtlss - you suffer from selective perception. You notice a quote from a relatively obscure and extreme Democrat and use that to paint the left. But what about Trump supporters in the KKK, or Trump's own comments hinting at violence. I have seen people call for Democrats to be tried and executed for treason. I could use that to blame the right and blame Republicans. I'm smart enough to know that cherry picking can always lead to the conclusion you want to make. Instead, I stick with the facts: Most Americans left and right share common core values. Most Americans left and right believe in each other's right to express themselves and act, without violence. Extremes in the media on both sides generate revenue and "market share" by stoking emotions. That's been true a long time, that's why yellow journalism was more popular than real journalism.

    Identity politics? Sure, some on the left practice it. Trump practices a white identity politics in a lot of his statements, and of course many of his followers say racist and xenophobic things. Again, your perception is selective. You have a conclusion you want to reach, and you cherry pick some bits and ignore others in order to do so. The problem in this country is not "the left." It is not "the right." Its people putting their gut over their heads, demonizing the other side and not listening to each other.

  13. Scott Erb, There are extremist supporters no matter the candidate, A Bernie supporter shot 3 people at a baseball game two were republican members of congress in 2017, a Warren supporter shot a bunch of people in a bar in Ohio in 2019, Obama had supporters who were members of the Black Panthers and the Muslim Brotherhood, Kamala Harris had supporters who are members of Black Lives Matter. Bloomberg has supporters who are former members of the Jewish Defense League.

    And you claim Trump is a racist and xenophobe, I don't recall him ever saying the white race was superior to any other or calling for violence. Maybe you are referring to his "China virus" comment, China isn't a race, it's a country, Wuhan is a province located in China, which is where SARS-CoV-2 made itself known, so yeah, it's a China Virus. And with just about everybody doing the whole "social distancing" thing, I'd say we are all xenophobic. And the last time we weren't leery about who we let in the country, it cost more than 3000 people their lives 19 years ago.

  14. The Congressional Budget Office tracks all government expenditures. This allows us to see the impact of government policy over the years. Search for a graphical representation of factors impacting the national debt or deficit since 2001 and you will find that three factors make up for the majority of debt incurred over that time. These factors are War in the Middle East, Tax Cuts, and the Recession of 2008.

    I'm not going to point fingers at either party here because I know both agreed to abandon the containment strategy that I supported as a Marine. The containment strategy I'm talking about was adopted to prevent nuclear, biological, chemical, and conventional weaponry and the unstable Middle Eastern leaders in possession of it at the end of the Cold War from becoming a bigger problem. Our national security experts recommended containment rather than invasion and occupation because no matter how many times they projected the outcome of invasion and occupation they saw instability spreading throughout the region requiring us to remain for at least a generation.

    The Marine and Naval Officers I served with in the late 90's were ready and willing to manage extremist numbers with periodic strikes while the CIA and FBI provided the security necessary to prevent them from carrying out attacks inside the United States. We had people trained in counter-terrorism, guerrilla warfare, intelligence, and a number of other specialties for this purpose because we knew as early as 1996 that some extremists plotted what the world witnessed on September 11, 2001. The only reason it wasn't prevented is because Washington refused to fully support the containment strategy.

    Recent estimates suggest that we have spent upwards of $6.5 trillion since 2001 in an effort in the Middle East that experts consistently said would not work. And it hasn't. Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and several African provinces were destabilized as a result. And the extremists in these regions have significantly increased in number and in strength.

    Why do I go on about experts and the things they say? Because, as I see it, one of the biggest problems that we face today is a lack of respect for expertise. In fact, all three of the biggest factors behind the nearly $17 trillion added to the debt since 2001 would not be a factor if Washington had listened to the majority of experts in national security and economics.

    We aren't getting what is promised. Not in foreign affairs and certainly not in economic improvement. The tax cuts that were sold as a means to increase tax revenues have been entirely paid for with debt spending. And both the war and failed tax policy are arguably behind the Recession of 2008 which further reduced tax revenues and forced the government to spend more on economic recovery.

    Both parties have a habit of turning a blind eye to what they don't want to believe, namely that divisive politics doesn't work. It's just too easy and too satisfying for them to avoid arguing for the sake of arguing. You see it here every week as one local resident disparages another along party lines rather than engaging in honest discussion.

  15. "Social distancing" is meant to prevent contagion from a virus. It has zero to do with xenophobia.

  16. Jamie, People tend to listen to expertise when that expertise goes along the lines of the agenda of those individuals. The League of Nations in 1926 held a commission about the disarmament of its members, the experts said that there would be no need for them to have large armies because if people had small armies/navies they would be less apt to attack, this was primarily aimed at the Germans, Soviets, Italians and the Japanese. Many member states in the region that would become the Eastern Bloc refused to disarm citing weakness from western threats, chiefly Germany, who had ravaged the area during WW1. In 1933 an upstart named Adolf Hitler came into power and proved the Eastern Bloc correct in their assessment about threats from the west, as Hitler ignored the disarmament treaty and swept over the Eastern Bloc like the plague and then headed to western Europe. And Russia attacked Finland in 1939, All of the experts said disarming was the way to go, it clearly wasn't, because Germany had amassed a massive airforce and navy, almost entirely unnoticed by the rest of the world. If Russia, the US and Britain had disarmed, WW2 may have had an entirely different outcome.

  17. We look at the world through our eyes and our value of life which is mistake number one. The laying down of arms and being nice is considered a weakness in many cultures in the world. Do your homework you will not become an expert by a longshot but you will get a feel for who they are. I agree that guerrilla warfare can give you back far more then what you put into it but I dont allways feel comfortable exporting a steady diet of it to other countries. We made a statement as a country when we invaded and I believe this is as necessary to keep things real and out of the world of shadows. Was any of it necessary is another whole story.