Letters to the Editor -- The Camden Herald

Apr 20, 2017

What’s really going on with Republicans/conservatives

Republicans -- America’s quintessential “other?” America’s poorly educated have just been sold a pig-in-a-poke which is just now being unwrapped for all to see. What exactly do we see? What is the underlying mischief the Republicans want to foist upon us?

The contemporary big-picture answer to this question was scoped out by William F. Buckley in 1955, and is still the driving force behind Republicans/conservatives today: think Freedom Caucus for example. These hard-core conservatives were primarily responsible for the defeat of (Ryancare) Trump’s recent attempt to do away with the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare.

The Freedom Caucus brought down Trump’s repeal and replace initiative because they believed it didn’t go far enough with stripping away health care from America’s most needy! They want to strip away all government programs, in all sectors! Yes, that’s right  —  all governbment support for health care in our society. How can this be?

What kind of people would actually support such unconscionable action as to take away health care from Americans, and especially poor Americans?

This question, then, is at the nub of most of our problems in America today: Republicans/Conservatives want to undo the social progress made in the United States over the past 90 years. They want to take us back to the days of Calvin Coolidge and to pretend that Franklin Roosevelt never existed! Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid all must go to satisfy these circling ideological vultures.

I do hope you ask why at this point!

It’s all about conservative Ideology. Remember, ideology is a system of ideas and ideals, especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.

Republicans are single-mindedly and obsessively driven by the ideology of conservatism. And with the aid of voter suppression, plus egregious lying, plus the impact of Citizens United, plus the long-outmoded Electoral College, the United States was just served up the presidency of Donald Trump, and our country is now in the clutches of a disastrous political royal flush: ace -- president, king -- Senate, queen -- House of Representatives, jack -- Supreme Court, and 10 -- attorney general, all with the expert assistance of Russia’s fundamentally corrupt President Vladimir Putin via Wikileaks.

Friends  —  it could not get much worse. As a society, culture, country, we are in grave sociological danger. Because of this highly improbable confluence of dark synergies: extreme American conservatism; unevolved, obsessive ideological corruption; and oligarchical Russian interference (collectively) produced Trump’s presidency. Oh, woe is me!

So just who are these Republicans/conservatives and what is the ideology that drives them?

Back to William F. Buckley: Government’s sole purpose is to protect its citizens' lives, liberty and property. All other activities of government tend to diminish freedom and hamper progress, and must be avoided or removed. The growth of government, Republicans say, was the dominant social feature of the 20th century, and must be fought relentlessly, and rolled back. Think again: the Freedom Caucus.

Well that’s what they’re up to, my friends. Beginning with our health care law: Republicans want to repeal our Affordable Care Act, and to just let people die: of diabetes; of cancer; of botched pregnancy terminations; of (you fill in the blank)! And health care is just the beginning: Law enforcement, tax breaks for the wealthy, infrastructure deterioration, neutering Environmental Protection Agency regulations through science-denial, gutting agreements to improve policing, stripping away educational funding, stacking the Supreme Court…everything, in short, is fair game in the interest of conservative ideological domination.

If Republicans get two terms or more this time around, our country will be unrecognizable and quite possibly ungovernable  —  our Founding Fathers must be well and truly rolling in their graves! Can you even imagine what Washington and Jefferson and Adams and Franklin would think of the present Republican cabal? I’m certain we’d all be puking together!

J. Brian Smith

Camden

MCC thanks community for successful fundraiser

Midcoast Community Chorus thanks all in our generous community who supported our first-ever auction. Our mud season Food, Fun & Foolery event was a great success, with close to 300 attendees in spite of the April Fool’s snowstorm. The Elks Lodge was a welcoming venue, with wonderful ambiance for both an auction and our musical entertainment. Bruce and Becky Gamage volunteered their talents as auctioneer and auction manager.

MCC choristers provided abundant food, in addition to volunteering at the auction. They offered creative auction donations and solicited them from the wider community. Thanks to the Courier-Gazette for advance coverage. We want to encourage all of you to thank the area businesses who made donations (more information about their generosity is available at our website, mccsings.org/content/concerts_events/auction_items).

Among the 216 items up for auction were donations from area businesses, artists, and craftspeople:

Alan Winick Tidepieces; Archer’s on the Pier; Archipelago; Astrology and More with Ananur; Asymmetrick Arts Gallery; Barley Joe Greenhouse; Bay Chamber Concerts; Beauty Mark Salon; Brenda Cotton Massage; Bridal Bouquet Florist; Café Miranda; Caldbeck Gallery; Camden National Bank; Carrabassatt Coffee; Carver Hill Gallery; Cashmere Goat; Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA); Clan MacClaren Restaurant; Clean Bee; Coastal Maine Art Workshops; Coffee on the Porch; Cone Home/Home Bakery; Cordwainer Shop; Country Inn in Camden; Coyote Moon; Cuzzy’s Restaurant; Cynthia Anderson Massage; Deer Foot Farm & Café; Down East Magazine; Eastern Tire and Auto; Eve Hupper Photography; F.W. Webb; Farnsworth Art Museum; Fireside Pottery; First Bank; Flowers by Hoboken; Grasshopper Shop; Green Store; Greg Mort; Hannaford’s; Harbor Square Gallery; Hartstone Inn; Heart to Harp Music; In Good Company; James Zoller; Jess’s Market; Just Friends Hair Design; Liberty Graphics; Lois Anne Studios; Lucy Goulet Massage; Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Magazine; Maine Sport; Martha Jackson Massage; Marti Stone Photography; Maxine Freedman Jewelry; Midcoast Maine Closets; Mid-Maine Forestry; Miner’s Creek Bluegrass Band; Mr. Wat Sushi; Mussel Ridge Market; Myrtle Street Tavern; Nature’s Choice; Neal Parent Studio; Ogunquit Museum; Owl and Turtle Bookstore; Park Street Grille, Primo, Puffin’s Nest, Reflections Hair Salon, Rheal Day Spa, Rhumb Line Restaurant, Rock City Café; Rockland Café; Salt Water Farm; Samoset Resort; Schleppinghurst Garden; Schooner Appledore; Schooner Heron; Schooner Isaac Evans; Schooner Lewis French; Schooner Mary Day; Schooner Surprise; Sidecounty Sports; Slipway Restaurant; Staples; State of Maine Cheese Company; Strand Theater; Susan Barnes massage; Sweet Sensations and 3 Dog Café; Tess Gerritson; The Good Table; The Wine Seller; Theo. B. Camisole; Time Out Pub; Todd’s Lawn & Landscape; Trackside Station; Trellis House B&B (Ogunquit); Uncle Willy’s Candy; Washington General Store; Waterfront Restaurant; Windjammer Angelique; and Woodshaper Workshop of Maine.

In keeping with our mission “to sing as a community for the community, we look forward to supporting Meals on Wheels at our June 17 benefit concert. Proceeds from the concert will go to support them, and we are grateful that they supported our auction. Please support the businesses who are such generous supporters of our Midcoast community. And join us for our concert at the Strom June 17!

Chris Williamson

Chair, MCC Development Committee

Rockport

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