Who was it that said “you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts?” I believe it may have been Senator Patrick Moynihan of New York many years ago.
Our policy here at Side has been to refrain from making this a shamelessly partisan site. We’ve mentioned candidates here and there, but have generally not used our platform as a megaphone to advocate for one candidate or another. We prefer instead to make readers aware of facts that bear on the choices on their ballots.
Sometimes we come across something elsewhere that cannot go without comment, and this happened the other day. You may not have seen the subject letter to the editor in The Ostrich, but we simply cannot let it pass without comment. This passage is the one that got our knapsacks all wrapped around our bicycle cranks:
You can be sure that on Election Day, members of the tea party will be out in full force for their candidate, Paul LePage. A vote for Libby Mitchell will ensure that Maine will continue to grow and maintain its quality of life.
Let’s set aside the fact that the writer couldn’t identify “the tea party” if she tried, because it’s not an organization; it’s an attitude. Instead, let’s look at these points of hers;
1) “ensure that Maine will continue to grow:” What has the writer been smoking?
We have businesses closing, school enrollment down nearly 20%, and declining by 3% a year as far as the eye can see. Youth are leaving, and those remaining are aging. Signs of “growth” are missing in action, unless she is referring to enrollment in public assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid, in which Maine leads the nation.
2) “maintain its quality of life.” Does the writer know what ‘maintain’ means? As in steady as she goes…maintain your speed, etc.
What is it she wants to maintain? Is it our aging? Our highest electricity rates in the nation? Our high tax burden? Our needlessly high health insurance rates?
Or would it be our business vacancy rates? And our very low average incomes? How about our last place business outlook?
Or the growth in dependency among our population? The highest % on food stamps and Medicaid in the nation?
Maybe it’s the departure of our youth for other opportunities she wants to ‘maintain.’
Does the writer really believe that Libby’s 32 years as a leader in the majority monopoly has had nothing to do with this? Does she really believe that Mitchell plans to reverse everything she enacted over the last three decades?
And now a question for you, dear reader. Is there any doubt why Maine is in a hole, and keeps digging it deeper?