Some like politics hot
Never in my memory has the political scene been on such a roller coaster ride. On the national scene, new scandals regarding Hillary Clinton and her time spent as secretary of state erupt like mushrooms after a summer rain. Republicans, too, at least in Maine, have seen unprecedented vitriol and strife.
For instance, who would have ever thought that our governor, a man who has done so much by way of restoring individual freedoms, growing the economy and who has bravely tackled sensitive topics such as welfare reform, would now suffer from the “self-inflicted flu?”
The governor has apologized for his ill-chosen words left on a message to a Democrat rival, but for Democrats, that just isn’t enough. They seek his dismissal. For a while Gov. LePage was on the feathery edge of resigning, and now says that he isn’t going anywhere. None of this helps the Republican or conservative cause.
If the Democrats don’t succeed in impeaching the governor, and that is a very long shot at best, the damage will still be done and there really is no way to successfully repair it. No one really knows what will happen next, but suffice it to say it is such a shame when anyone from either party finds themselves out of favor and in deep trouble because of their own words or actions. From ourselves, Lord, please deliver us.
As mentioned before in a previous column, President Obama has until January to create a legacy for himself. This legacy includes an expanded war on use of any fuel source excepting for solar and wind energy. And before leaving the White House, the president is sure to use executive privilege to enact even more Draconian regulations designed to put the kibosh to our abundant natural energy resources such as wood, coal, propane, oil and natural gas.
America has enough resources that we could, by now, be energy self-sufficient. But if Democrats continue to hold the seat of power, that will never happen.
Very often Mainers feel insulated from whatever deviltry occurs in Washington. But that is no longer the case. For example, the president has, by fiat, created a new national monument in our North Woods. This was despite strong local opposition.
Not long after taking a significant portion of Maine out of action, he next expanded the size of an underwater national monument in the waters off of Hawaii. Specifically, the president has expanded the size of the Papahanaumokuakea (say that three times fast) Marine National Monument to a staggering 582,578 square miles.
Fishery management experts in Hawaii had called for discussion and debate, not to mention presentation of science-based facts. But that was too burdensome for the president. Obama’s actions prevent American fishermen from plying their trade in healthy waters, where the fishery is not even a little bit endangered. The lives ruined, the cost to individuals and families, industries and local economies is beyond computation.
This executive action forces American fishermen to compete with other countries in international waters. The trouble here is that fish, especially tuna, only last so long on ice. The time taken to reach areas where they may lawfully fish, time spent fishing as well as time for the return trip, add up to our fishermen returning to port with fish that can no longer be considered fresh.
This, in turn, will eventually mean that less domestic and more foreign-caught fish will fill supermarket and fish market shelves.
But wait. There’s more. The Gulf of Maine, a place New England fisherman depend upon for their livelihood, already has a large area that is conserved and off limits to fishing. And now President Obama, on Sept. 15, has established the first national monument in the Atlantic Ocean. A huge swath of ocean off Cape Cod, Mass., will be off limits to fishing, oil exploration and any other activity except tourism.
Arbitrarily creating and expanding national monuments without congressional consent is just one example of what a retiring president can accomplish during the last months in office. So from now on don’t be surprised at anything coming out of the White House because just about anything is possible.
For those wanting political signs or who simply want to talk with fellow Republicans, the Waldo County Republican Headquarters is located at 132 High St. in Belfast. The office will remain open through Nov. 9.
Finally, for Maine conservatives, there is hope. I recently drove to Rockwood on Moosehead Lake and was heartened by what I saw. After leaving Waldo County and its wide array of Hillary (and Bernie) signs, I saw not a single Democrat sign.
Instead, Trump signs and Vote No On 3 (another proposed gun control measure) were more than plentiful. Some people even went so far as to decorate their yards with American flags and red-white-and blue bunting.
So excepting for Southern Maine and the Midcoast, where they are outnumbered, Republicans are out in force. And for the sake of our state and nation, that’s a good thing.
Tom Seymour is a freelance magazine and newspaper writer, book author, naturalist and forager. He lives in Waldo.