LePage, Clinton, Trump: are we getting what we deserve?

I realized that there’s a recurring theme running through more than a handful of my recent posts:  things that don’t make sense. Of course, the presidential election cycle with its two highly disliked presumptive primary candidates is the doesn’t-make-sense big kahuna. But it’s everywhere, like a plague on our public and political discourse.

Or like a category on a “Jeopardy” game, if the characters in “Alice in Wonderland” had played “Jeopardy” while visiting the Mad Hatter.

Mad Hatter, I’ll take Doesn’t make sense for $1000.

This person recommended that Donald Trump read “Team of Rivals:  The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. In the summary on amazon.com, Goodwin’s depiction of Lincoln was described as follows:

… he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.  It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

This person has also been in the news recently for playing chicken with the feds, basically gambling with the hundreds of millions of dollars feeding almost 1/6 of Maine’s population. Also for having an administration that took 9 months to respond to a request for one month’s worth of letters (1800) from constituents asking him to resign.

Who is Governor LePage, Hatter?

But it’s not just Trump, Clinton and LePage — oh and LePage’s inner circle that’s letting him run around saying, at times, some pretty nonsensical and relatively fact-free things. If readers haven’t had a chance to read the annotated text of LePage’s recent town hall meeting in Richmond, provided by the folks at the BDN, please take the time — click here—. It’s an eye opener on many levels, especially if read along with analysis previously hyperlinked — click here.

It’s all of us, though. This not making sense thing. We’re not making our leaders make sense because we seem to be okay with things not making sense.

Like the gun policy debate, which is so out of nonsensical control that Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush and Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger seem left of center in hindsight. Sorry for recycling the hyperlink, but for those of us old enough to remember those names as pillars of conservatism, it’s a bizarre plot twist, even allowing for the passage of time.

In the wake of recent posts regarding gun policy, I’ve had readers compare gun rights compared to speech rights, which doesn’t make sense. I can think of more than a few differences between a gun and a word, starting with the fact that one of them can kill. Therefore, it would follow that restrictions on gun rights can and will continue to be different than restrictions on speech rights.

There are also many differences between a gun and an alligator (see annotated Richmond Town Hall meeting again), but we don’t need to revisit the reasoning of LePage.

More than one reader has brought up the subject of rape as a justification for owning any kind of weaponry they want and doing whatever they want with that weaponry. As in, don’t I think it’s important for people to be able to stop rapes in progress — as if I as a woman should be fearful of such a thing?

Rather than continue to address this technique one reader by one reader, I’d like to make a declaration to anyone past, present or future who may go down that road with me. Bringing up the subject of rape or hypothetical rape prevention as a convenient debate tactic is a disturbing manifestation of a rape culture run amok.

Three out of four rapes are committed by someone known to the person, and in my personal experience, most rapes don’t usually happen in public where some random person may intervene.

Further, besides being disrespectful, it makes NO sense to bring up rape as a debate tactic with someone who has actually been raped. And molested. And who snapped once and actually stopped an assault in progress, which I have.

And it didn’t take a gun. I’d go into details, but I wouldn’t want to leave any male readers walking a little funny today, maybe even twitching a bit. Point being? Please cut that crap out, unless you have something reality- rather than fantasy-based to contribute to the subject of sexual assault.

We need to start having conversations that make sense whether it’s about gun policy or anything else. People who are okay with things not making sense get and deserve political leaders who don’t make sense.

I’ll take Doesn’t make sense for $200, Hatter.

This collective invested countless investigative and floor debate hours on an incident involving one person, one job, and one organization instead of looking into why significant portions of a social service safety net were being dismantled and mismanaged and childhood poverty was increasing.

What is the 127th Maine State Legislature, Hatter?

And can I skip “Final Jeopardy?”

Patricia Callahan

About Patricia Callahan

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