Camden Herald Letters to the Editor Jan. 9

Jan 09, 2020

A response to the Concerned Citizen

I was pleasantly surprised when I began reading the latest offering from our concerned citizens in last week’s Courier-Gazette. It was instructive, initially, to have a brief reminder about the basic tenets of our nation’s constitution. I hoped that this was a genuine attempt to affirm that true citizenship requires us to understand the core values of our national identity and to act responsibly in working to attain a more unified and bipartisan United States of America.

Then I reached the sixth paragraph and the extreme conservative partisan rancor began as I feared.

It is unfortunate that we have a fractured political system for the moment, one in which each 'side' plays to their respective party loyalties in order to score political points to the exclusion of the country’s best interests.

According to the Concerned Citizen who wrote last week’s column, this is totally the fault of the Democrats who are exercising "totally partisan" powers to pursue impeachment proceedings. If so, they are following the excellent example of partisan behavior modeled by Republicans throughout Barack Obama’s presidency. Two quotes from majority leader Mitch McConnell illustrate this fact.

In 2010 the National Journal reported this from McConnell: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for Obama to be a one-term president.”

In 2016 he claimed: “One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said: Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.”

This obstructionist ideology doesn’t make for good government and it’s shameful behavior from whichever 'side.' This is partisan power play, pure and simple, and it does come from both political parties. It’s time that the concerned citizens stop blaming only the Democrats for our troubles, as in last weeks’ column.

Additionally, I’ll note that there was a surprising inaccuracy following the author’s description of our Electoral College. In defending against President Trump’s undeniable loss of the popular vote in 2016, he claimed that this was “100% due to the voting in the New York City area, the Los Angeles area, and other large cities." Absurd and wrong. In fact, here in Maine, Hillary Clinton won 48% of the popular vote with 357,735 votes, beating Donald Trump’s 45% with 335,593 votes.

It’s become very tedious to have the concerned citizens fanning the flames of partisan discord relentlessly, week after week, and to what purpose I ask?

Last week’s column could have been different if not for the sniping political jabs which apparently animates these writers. It could have been instructive, thoughtful, inspiring and unifying, to remind us of our higher goals as true concerned citizens.

I’ll remind us of our national motto: E Pluribus Unum… out of many, one.

John Shepard



Thank you from Camden Rotary Club

You can count on it like the church bells that ring from the Chestnut Street Baptist Church every hour: the Camden Rotary Club’s holiday nut sales.

It’s not that we relish being out in the sleet and snow and freezing rain — but we are passionate about gathering all the resources we can to make our community the best it can be. That’s why we “go nuts” as winter descends, braving the elements and cajoling our neighbors and friends to buy a bag of almonds, pistachios, or other delights.

When you buy a bag of nuts from us, you’re getting more than protein or a nice hostess gift to take to a family gathering: you’re empowering the Camden Rotary Club to invest thousands of dollars in grants to our community.

Since 2011, we have awarded $202,500 in grants to nonprofit organizations in Knox County and Lincolnville. We have also distributed $104, 000 in scholarships to graduating seniors from Camden Hills Regional High School since 2017.

This has been a banner nut season for us. Thanks to the many people who purchased nuts, we have raised $6,000 to help fund this year’s cycle of charitable grants.

We are deeply grateful to French & Brawn Market Place for allowing us to set up our sales table in front of their store during weekends. We also greatly appreciate the generous assistance with in-house nut sales of these local banks and their customer service representatives: the Rockland, Union, Camden Square and downtown branches of Camden National Bank and the Camden branches of TD Bank and First National Bank.

In addition to selling nuts, we prepare and deliver food baskets to our neighbors in need. We were delighted to deliver our care packages of turkeys and all the fixings to 16 local families last month.

We wish everyone in our community a healthy, peaceful new year!

Joan Phaup, President

Camden Rotary Club

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