To the Editor: It’s not battery – it’s politics 

To the Editor: 

My friend Jill Goldthwait was often a constructive independent force in Augusta and remains a source of civic wisdom for our towns. I enjoy her State of Maine column. But I tire of her frequent gestures of anti-partisan independent purity. She ends her most recent column with “It seems there is no way to be thoughtful about the November elections. We will simply be battered into submission by the parties.” Lordy! 

Political parties do the hard, valuable work of developing broad coalitions that can contend for electoral favor. Issues are debated and points of view contend as partisan participants work their way to party platforms and nominated candidates. This is not battery but politics. As a proud if critical Democrat, I can stand up for both Jared Golden and Bernie Sanders. As an island citizen, I can help Acadia Senior College host Coffee Clashes this May for Republican Brian Langley and Democrat Nicole Grohoski, both candidates for our open state Senate seat.  

As Jill affirms, “The stakes are so very high this year.” The partisan process will focus our national confrontation. Will Republicans slip their Trump leash to capture Congress? Will Democrats win back working-class votes to move America forward? “All best” to the independent voices, but it is through political parties that we can and will shape our national future. 

I look forward to fighting through 2022 unsubmissive, unbattered and thoughtful. 

Jack Russell 

Mount Desert 

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