Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Friday, June 24, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 25


home : letters : letters to the editor June 24, 2016

1/29/2014 2:00:00 PM

Newcastle chef author (and the LCN editor's wife) Cynthia Finnemore Simonds was doing a cooking demonstration at the Maine Agriculture Trades Show Jan. 8 when she ran into Gov. Paul LePage.

LePage was being escorted around the show, held at the Augusta Civic Center, by Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb.

As he is often described to be in such settings, one-on-one, LePage was cordial, charming, and funny. Simonds, LePage and Whitcomb exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes before LePage moved on.

A few minutes later, a gentlemen who observed their exchange approached Simonds and hissed some disparaging comments about the Governor, declaring something to the effect, 'I would never shake that man's hand.'

We understand the man's feelings to a point; he has a right to his opinion, but we strongly disagree that Paul LePage's transgressions rise to the level that he no longer rates basic human interaction.

LePage has earned and deserves his reputation as a divisive figure, but it is also true that as much as he has antagonized his critics, his critics have largely responded in kind.

As the Governor said in an exclusive interview with LCN in December, if he walked on water, the next day the Portland Press Herald would likely publish a story about how the Governor couldn't swim.

We think about this mess as we sift through the rubble of the President's State of the Union address Jan. 28. It seems like most of these stories could have been written last week, last month, last year.

You knew going in the President would use his outstanding rhetorical skills to paint the rosiest picture possible while making the case that regulations, government programs, and higher taxes are the answer to the problems of unfettered capitalism while Republicans would respond that lower taxes, fewer regulations and unfettered capitalism are the answer to the problems of big government.

The two sides are not talking to each other, they are talking past each other.

The fact is, we need government to handle issues best handled by government and we need a thriving private sector to handle issues best handled by private citizens.

The issue is not that one or the other is a problem that needs to be solved. They are both solutions to the same, shared problem, which is the long term health and welfare of the United States and its citizens.

That's the case nobody is making.

Getting back to Paul LePage, like him or not, he and his opponents are both part of the solution to the problem that is the long term health and welfare of the citizens of the State of Maine.

Simplistic as it sounds - it's true; we are all in the same boat. Refusing to shake hands isn't going to do anything to change that.

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