To the Editor:
Unless you have been taking a long nap this winter, you know that these are not normal times in our nation.
News of questionable activities by the new administration and acts by Congress that will harm Mainers and all Americans breaks with such frequency that if the stories were waves, the conditions would certainly be choppy enough that none of us would take our boats out to sea! Never before has a foreign government tampered with a U.S. presidential election, never before have we had cabinet members appointed to lead agencies that they think should be abolished, never before have millions of Americans signed up for affordable health insurance only to have the coverage threatened and the health of their loved ones endangered.
And never before has our nation targeted refugees from six nations for exclusion from our country based solely on their religion.
As citizens, we can employ many strategies to engage with our legislators, and in normal times, many of us would employ the one described by Jill Goldthwait in her 9 March “State of Maine” column: scheduling small-group meetings with members of Congress or their staff. This is certainly one tool in our toolbox that should be used. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
We did not send out an email blast asking “Where’s Susan?”, but we did call each of our members of Congress and ask for a calendar of public appearances. None was forthcoming.
We called the offices of Sens. King and Collins and Rep. Poliquin again to ask for a town hall with each of them because we, their constituents, are eager for answers to our questions to ease our uncertainty about the direction of our country.
Our congressional delegation is hardworking, and their staff does an excellent job of assisting constituents. Our calls for town hall meetings are not primal screams, nor are they noise; they are respectful acts of good citizenship.
And it is responsible citizenship to use every tool in the toolbox to fix all that has been broken by this administration in two short months.