Introducing Mainely Thoughts

Mainely Thoughts is just that— thoughts about what’s going on politically and socially.  I wish I could clearly establish whether the thoughts will be more liberal or more conservative, but I can’t.  I have viewpoints that could be perceived as liberal, others as conservative, and even others as libertarian.  I am a cynic who remains hopeful because I believe in people, in our state and in our country.

Trish Callahan

Trish Callahan

I am one of the majority unregistered voters.  This status is not the result of apathy, as party diehards like to convince themselves.  This status is the direct result of spending too much professional time at the juncture between government and the citizens it is supposed to represent and serve.  From that view it looks like government has become a tool of the parties, who are the tools of whoever in them has the most money.

Money dictates the policies and platforms of both parties while we citizens muddle along voting and pretending we have some say in the whole mess.  At this point the difference between the two parties isn’t so much an ideological one as it is a difference in the ideologies and interests of their funders.  Smart funders keep hands in all pockets.  Others opt for one hand in one pocket real deep.

Our two party system sets all issues on an either/or axis, which leads to thinking we can solve complex, multi-dimensional problems with a simple linear equation.  Take any hot button issue:  healthcare, welfare reform, abortion, gun control, etc.  These are complex, dynamic issues that our current political climate paints in such facile “for or against” colors that don’t necessarily reflect reality or how people feel.

Further, such simplicity glosses over aspects of issues that don’t fit either party line.  While we are all arguing for or against Obamacare, no one is asking if any healthcare system is actually sustainable in light of the fact there are fewer young people to finance the waning years of the baby boomer generation, and those fewer people are working with stagnant wages.  Picture a pyramid upside-down.

I’m not numbers wonk, but I just don’t see how it’s possible.  A private insurance system will require enough funding to administer actual care and allow for a profit margin; conversely a single payer system will require enough funding to administer actual care and allow for the bureaucratic incompetencies and inefficiencies that might accompany a government program that size.  Just the anticipated costs related to Alzheimer’s and dementia-related conditions alone seem enough to cripple any system financed by the millennials.  (

Both parties preach their side of the axis like gospel.  I tend to think liberals err more on this one, but some issues bring out the worst of the fire and brimstone in both.  Neither side talks about abortion in a way that resonates with me.  I’m off the line, floating somewhere in the middle on this one.  On one hand, life is full of crises and unexpected situations, and I am not sure government belongs inside the organs of someone experiencing such a situation.

On the other hand, I am adopted and have said countless times, “at least I’m not an abortion.”  I’ve said it so many times.

So I don’t know that it’s so cut and dry—something that could get me condemned by pro-choicer’s and pro-lifer’s alike.  I do know for sure that I am for improving adoption systems and support systems for single parents to help women make a different choice when their unique situations allow.  And I do know turning down the volume of the rhetoric on both sides would improve the social climate in which women make these decisions.

And I know that throwing abortion down in an introductory post is about as good as an introduction to me as a reader can get.  I ask questions like, is a minimum wage increase a part of healthcare reform?  My thoughts go where they go, be it tough subjects or lighter fair; and I am hoping they might occasionally be of use or interest to someone.

Thank you for your time.

Patricia Callahan

About Patricia Callahan

Trish is a writer who lives in Augusta. She has worked professionally in education and social services.