“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
George Bernard Shaw
I kind of liked the yanny or laurel debate sweeping the internet and the news last week. Maybe that’s why we are having so much political turmoil because most of us are not hearing what the other side is saying. It goes without saying that much of that happens because the other side doesn’t even want to listen, and that’s a shame. Take for instance those who don’t want to read what I write, and I am sure that they feel the same about others who would side with me. It’s often been stated that there are two sides to a coin, and of course that goes for politics and politicians as well.
I remember some time ago I wrote a letter to the editor about bicyclists having to pay the same fees as I do to drive my car on any road anywhere. That included the costs of a driver’s license, insurance, vehicle registration and fuel taxes for example. Oh, the outrage and threats that were made to me were hilarious, including the fact that I should never have a letter in that paper again. Now I have to believe that they might get upset if I said the same about their letters. I have to say I spent 20 years in the military and that’s the response I received. I don’t think that they heard either yanny or laurel but rather could only understand their own words. I read every column in this paper and I’m glad that it finally has a good cross-section of political views.
I wish that someone would explain how this country ended up with such political hatred. Did it start in our nation’s capital or did it drift out of the partisan politics of our two major political parties? Just take what President Trump said about the vicious gang known as MS-13; he called them animals. All of sudden those on the left accused him of calling all immigrants animals and it digressed from there. I don’t agree with him very often but I certainly did this time because it’s the truth. I steadfastly believe most of the crimes that they commit should come with the death penalty in every state and U.S. territory. Then there’s the media coverage, which during some days probably wouldn’t even cover a nuclear terrorist attack so that the attacks on President Trump could continue. At least the coverage of the royal wedding was a welcome break, but I understand the cost was something like $45 million tax dollars for the citizens of the United Kingdom. Still, I am glad that it took an American to shake up how royal weddings usually happen.
I could go on and on about politics in Washington, Augusta, Windham or anywhere else, because the lack of trying to understand one another has actually impacted the citizens of this nation and of Maine. I have stated many times that a couple of problems not addressed by our founding fathers is politics becoming a lifetime career and two-party politics becoming so nasty. The shame about having two major political parties is that that they are not in the true majority when it comes to people like me, an independent. If the figures I researched on the internet are true, as of April of 2018, 45 percent of us are independents, 24 percent of us are Republicans and 29 percent of us are Democrats and if you add that up, more than a few of us appear to be missing.
What’s sad is that the two major political parties tried to distort those figures by stating certain percentage of independents were leaning one way or another for a political party. I don’t know, maybe somehow out of all the major political warfare a third party might form that could be stronger than the two major parties, especially if more citizens could agree to compromise and get things done.
Lane Hiltunen of Windham is taking a break, not because of yanny or laurel.