Franklin Countys First News

Politics & Other Mistakes: Old and in the way

Al Diamon

As usual, Maine is going about it all wrong. We can’t cure the problem of our aging population with feeble programs designed to attract more young people.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Office of Statistical Weirdness, this state is plagued with the largest number of old coots per capita in the United States. I’d tell you our average age, but I seem to have misplaced my reading glasses.

What I do know is that with the exception of Maine College of Art graduates now employed as restaurant workers, investment bankers turned into drunken craft-brewery employees and musicians who are former members of bands that almost made it but didn’t, everybody in the state is legally decrepit.

To correct this situation, politicians keep proposing ideas to lure more young people here, such as free tuition at the Maine College of Art, because we have a desperate shortage of wait staff and dishwashers. Or how about paying off the college loans of new graduates who agree to live as indentured servants in rural Maine, where they would be required to tend pot crops. Housing subsidies for anyone under 40 who’s willing to live in Millinocket. Free health care for millennials who promise not to get sick.

None of this worked. Young people ignored these generous offers and continued to reside elsewhere, while using their fancy “apps,” listening to awful “hip hop” and playing their so-called “video games.” As if you can’t watch “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” right here in Maine.

The answer to their indifference is to abandon our futile attempts to make this state appealing to whippersnappers who believe they’re entitled to high-speed broadband everywhere they go, and don’t appreciate the scenic beauty of decaying paper-mill towns and the social opportunities posed by opioid addicts breaking down the shoddy doors of their substandard apartments.

Instead of trying to attract youthful ne’er do wells with no aptitude for cleaning toilets and scrubbing floors, it’s time for a fresh approach:

We need to get rid of the old people.

Sure, that’s harsh, but it doesn’t need to be heartless.

For instance, the upcoming Census in 2020 may well show that Maine no longer has sufficient population to merit two congressional districts. That means either Democrat Chellie Pingree of the 1st District or Republican Bruce Poliquin of the 2nd District will have to go. One codger eliminated.

Even before that can happen, GOP Gov. Paul LePage will be leaving office at the start of 2019. LePage, who currently resides at the publicly owned Blaine House, has sold his only property in Maine, so it seems likely he and his wife will be relocating to their place in Florida. Two more geezers gone.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King is heavily favored to win another six-year term in this year’s election. But there’s no reason a senior citizen who spends most of his time in Washington should be counted when we figure out Maine’s average age. Let King’s 70-something years burden the District of Columbia, instead.

Same goes for Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who deserves a cozy retirement abode at the Donald Trump Home for Geriatric GOPers of a Moderate Persuasion, soon to be built in a swampier portion of the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

In the state Legislature, there are numerous examples of politicians mucking up our demographics. Democratic state Rep. John Martin of Eagle Lake was first elected during the Spanish-American War, and survives to this day only by taking annual baths in the blood of political virgins. Prevent him from doing so, and he’ll dissolve into dust. Republican state Rep. Paul Davis of Sangerville makes his living by selling fossilized pieces of his extremities to tourists. One decent day of sales and most of him will legally reside in Massachusetts and New York. Democratic state Sen. Bill Diamond of Windham began his legislative service before the advent of computers or even typewriters. We’re overdue for a law preventing him from submitting bills written in cursive.

Once we’ve evicted the doddering class from their fancy condos in Portland and their elegant summer homes on the coast, there’ll be plenty of cheap housing for hipsters and young turks. Once we’ve cleared the board rooms of elderly eccentrics, there’ll be all kinds of openings for clueless youth. Once we’ve gotten rid of everybody with experience, Maine can start wasting its time reinventing the wheel.

And maybe figuring out who’s going to change the oil in our cars, fix the plumbing in our houses and keep the lights on.

You kids get off my lawn, and email your apologies to

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11 Responses »

  1. Well said, Al!!!

  2. You are pretty hard on our younger generation.....they are our future!!

  3. That's the scary part just saying. So many of the youth out there today have zero work ethic and have a hard time getting out of there pajamas before noon. You can see any number of them when you are on the road driving smoking cigarettes on there porch in their pjs. It's a sad day when they become the leaders of this country. Maybe we can reset all the clocks in the world to accomodate them waking up when they feel like it when the time comes. Better yetwe could all become lazy and sleep half the day never get dressed and just let others pay our bills and have everything we need just handed to us......

  4. In the 60`s there were alot of pot heads, protest going on and the same was said about them. Most of them turned out ok so lets give our yourth a chance.

  5. Enjoyable read Al. I don’t agree with Pete at all. Yes there were pot smokers in the 60’s but they weren’t coddled like the high percentage of lazy youth among us now. They had government surplus powdered eggs not an EBT card, giving them the incentive to at least wash dishes.
    And I’ll take an old geezer any day over a young adult that wears pajamas in public!

  6. Yes Jesse you do see young people doing the things you say. And (if you care to notice) you see many very squared away young people doing very good things.
    But you focus on a few PJ's.
    I see people of all ages doing that.
    You sound bitter about something.

    People are people.
    The Young folks love in a different world than previous generations of they are to survive. They are not going to act like us old geezers necessarily. And that is fine.

    Chill out.

  7. Every generation thinks the next generation will bring about the end of the world. There is always some new invention that keeps them from doing the things parents want- Cars, Radio, TV, etc it’s video games and computers. Almost every single one of us has had an easier life than our parents did and much easier than their parents and so on and so forth...

    I agree with much of what Jesse said, however I believe one needs look at the crazy world in which these kids are living. Can’t trust news, politicians, doctors or pharmaceutical company’s.
    Authority of any kind is looked at in negative light because people from are generations sold out truth and honesty for who knows what.

    I know my parents thought I was lazy and compared to them I was, but compared to their parents they were as well.

  8. " don't harsh my chill, man ". I have no problem with anyone sitting on their porch in pj's doing whatever they want as long as they support themselves.
    Click, click, click, gurgle, gurgle. gurgle, cough, cough, cough.

  9. Why is it so easy for some to fester petty assumptions about powerless people than it is to question and challenge the abusive misdeeds of our so called leaders? To all the over opinionated Critics, (Al get a pass because he is an intentional Socratic humorist and his critique says more about the lack of opportunity for hard working and willing younger gen than their laziness) you obviously don't know the youth I know. They work hard but what is missing is decent opportunity to work towards something better so most of our neighbors get stuck accepting what is given while a few make it harder for anyone else to succeed. I know most of you have created a personal identify as a proud working man/woman but don't assume everyone has the health or opportunity that you have. And please don't ever let me catch you hanging out in your p.j's on your day off.

  10. And maybe figuring out who’s going to change the oil in our cars. . .

    Oil is not needed for the car of the future, Al. Just ask Senator King; he has a lot of hip staffers.

  11. Sam, with Maine unemployment at 3% there is a job out there for anyone with a pulse. May not be glamorous but its how all of us that weren’t born with a silver spoon started a path to success. However to get even the lowest of jobs you need the ambition to get out of your pajamas.