It was almost 40 years ago when I learned a couple of exceedingly difficult and expensive lessons about our legal system. I had always been taught that people were required to tell the truth in court and legal proceedings. I expected that. Then I learned that lawyers, at least some of them, define the truth as: “Whatever I can get the judge to believe.”

Sadly, lots of lawyers also become politicians and while politicians telling the truth is something expected by nobody, ever, it is particularly infuriating to be assaulted and insulted by articles, interviews, and advertisements in which we know not even the punctuation is factual.

One such advertisement, paid for by Senate Majority PAC, attacks Sen. Susan Collins for voting seven times against Maine citizens with pre-existing conditions. A small inset momentarily flashes the instances, too quickly for most to read. But they must be read and researched. The instances are: 1) S Con Res 3 – Vote 26 – 1/12/17, 2) S Con Res 3 – Vote 1 – 1/04/17, 3) HR 22 – Vote 253 – 7/26/15, 4) S Con Res 11 – Vote 171 – 5/5/15, 5) S Con Res 11 – Vote 135 – 3/27/15, 6) S Con Res 8 – Vote 51 – 3/22/13, and 7) S 223 – Vote 9 – 2/2/11.

Anyone can, though probably none will, look up these votes (govtrack.us/congress/votes). There is no need to research anything to see the list includes duplicate information on the same bills, including procedural votes, and includes votes reaching as far back as 2011. In fact, research would show that none of these votes dealt with pre-existing conditions. The truth is that Sen. Collins has been a champion for coverage of pre-existing conditions and verification of that is easily found, starting with her own website. Nobody, anywhere, legitimately thought otherwise.

The advertisement also suggests (plainly says, in this viewer’s estimation) that corporate contributions influenced those votes. There is no evidence that the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in pre-existing conditions, but that aside, if accepting pharmaceutical and insurance industry contributions is a legitimate denouncement, any ethical reporter would point out her opponent has taken far more from those industries.

Apparently, Democrats (at least those who make the most noise) and their media allies are still apoplectic that Donald Trump won in 2016, that the Mueller “investigation” showed there was never any basis for the Russia hysteria, that their campaign against Justice Kavanaugh failed and that their baseless impeachment effort failed. Any search including the senator’s name on Bing or Google returns a virtual blizzard of articles denouncing her votes to confirm Kavanaugh and acquit our president but none of that changes the fact that Justice Kavanaugh is appointed for life and Donald Trump is our president. Voters will decide whether Democrats’ actions and words are punishable in November.

Voters will also decide whether the gleeful anticipation of continuing the COVID-19 lockdowns through the end of the year bespeak genuine concern over public health or a more sinister motivation to damage the U. S. economy as much as possible ahead of the November election.  Voters must also consider whether there is a motive to condition the people to accept arbitrary executive orders nullifying constitutional rights and bypassing the legislative process.

There is no longer any question of the impropriety of actions by the FBI director. We will soon know whether Judge Emmet Sullivan is removed from the Flynn case and beyond that looms the results of the investigation by John Durham, due out well before the election. We know of Hunter Biden’s financial dealings in the Ukraine and China. The issue is not whether the law prohibits those dealings, but people concerned about abuse of office surely question whether any legal or ethical framework that permits such dealings is crafted to protect against corruption or facilitate it.

We are told, by some, that unmasking of U.S. citizens is routine in the Intelligence Community. Whether that is fact is almost immaterial. Having attended yearly USSID 18* training session for three decades, I can say without hesitation that unmasking should be, and was intended to be, rare. If it is indeed routine, that proves the laws protecting Americans’ privacy are being disregarded and that should alarm and infuriate every American.

Responsible voters will evaluate what is true and what is not and most, hopefully, will brutally punish those peddling falsehood, protecting corruption, and subverting our institutions. Others will continue to insist the Russia-gate matter was not the biggest political scandal in American history, that the accusations against Kavanaugh were plausible, and that the case made by Adam Schiff was convincing. They will believe, or claim to believe, whatever justifies voting for less individual freedom, a weaker America, and more of other people’s money being redistributed to them by tyrannical politicians.

What will you do?

*United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18 – Policies, Procedures, and Responsibilities for safeguarding the constitutional rights of U.S. Persons.

Another View is a Maine Press Association award-winning column written by Midcoast conservative citizens/writers Jan Dolcater, Ken Frederic, Paul Ackerman, Doc Wallace and Dale Landrith Sr.