The legislature is out of regular session although we will be traveling to Augusta this Thursday to deal with bond issues. Many people do not realize that and so when I run into people I know, they usually ask how it is going in Augusta. The Maine Legislature will come back together in January to officially begin the second and shorter session of the two-year term. However politics and life do go on. Perhaps no rest for the weary applies here.
I recently read a somewhat new congresswomen turning away from a campaign promise to go to Washington to help defund "Obamacare." Her defense was her new found understanding of how things work. She said something like "I use to complain about politicians and now I am one." I guess I know the feeling. The enthusiasm of running for office and being elected become dulled by the realities of Augusta, political parties and of course Washington itself. Our Governor was recently accused of making another inflammatory comment. He says he did not say it and I will choose to believe him, however this scenario has occurred enough to allow the thought that he could have said it. Republicans will support him and democrats will condemn him (of course the same thing is happening with our President in reverse) and life will go on. The Governor's activities do filter down to legislators as we are asked about the situations often. It is a distraction and gets in the way of what we should be discussing with you.
As I am approached about his comments I think about how often this type of "bad behavior" shows up in our society. We currently see national politicians running for major office who have past issues, people in Hollywood who seem to strive to shock us more each day and professional athletes who are paid a lot of money and at times get into major trouble. Our news glorifies these people. You rarely read about that great teacher, a volunteer or someone who simply goes through life in a so called positive way. I find it hard to condemn the Governor when many of the others, are seemingly given a free pass. Perhaps the take-away in this is how we as a society are moving toward a certain comfort level with almost anything goes.
Society is changing, and fast. What we watch on TV may not have even been allowed a few years ago. Our representatives in Washington are creating laws that in some cases, they exempt themselves from. Washington feels too far away and perhaps Augusta does to some of you as well. Looking at issues debated in Augusta this past term, how many were about really helping people and creating jobs? Go to www.maine.gov and read the bill finder to decide yourself. There was a time we looked to certain people in society as role models and heroes. As society has changed definitions and expectations, the lines are blurred. There does not seem to be a clear right and wrong anymore. It depends on the person. Good things do still happen, we may simply just not see it or read about it. America is still an awesome country. The good news is you still can impact things. Start at your home, be a part of your community and do pay attention to the activities in Augusta and Washington. Really consider if elected officials are doing what is best for their constituents. “We the people” still stands for something.
Representative Mike McClellan
Maine House 103
Raymond, Frye Island, parts Poland and Standish