That’s a Benjamin Franklin quote and it’s a handy one to keep in mind in both politics and in life in general.
My friend and fellow blogger Jim LaPierre and I were discussing our writing this week and he expressed frustration that the world is not pounding at our doors wanting to publish us. I told him I felt it’s because we are too honest, and really, nobody wants to hear the truth do they. That’s a benefit when writing is your hobby, and not your job. I don’t have to pander to anyone.
Jim’s job as a counselor is to help people discover the truth about themselves and the world around them. I know even in my conversations with him, he has a special ability to bring up a feeling, or a motive that he is sensing on my behalf and I always think, “How did he know that?”
While most of us are constantly claiming to be on a path in search of the truth, when it finally shows up we do not always welcome it!
Can the truth be subjective? Maybe, but it can certainly be distorted by perception if you don’t have all the information. For example, if I say that it is very warm out today that is my truth. I’m feeling warm. However, my feeling may be slightly influenced by the fact that I am a menopausal woman, who is always warm! So take that into consideration. Your truth may be that you are freezing and someone else could have a different opinion entirely.
However, if I say that the temperature right now outside is 50 degrees, that IS the truth, no matter how you perceive it. It is either 50 degrees or it isn’t. Do you see what I’m getting at here?
Now in politics, I find myself very frustrated this time of year by the inflammatory and highly skewed ads by folks who seem to think that the citizens of Maine aren’t really that smart. It insults me really, and I think you should be insulted too.
For example, Governor LePage can SAY he wants to save the taxpayers money. However, FACTS show that his refusal to expand Medicaid actually COSTS the state more money than it will ever save! AT first glance, the perception of the governor is that he is fiscally responsible. Is that the truth? If this is important to you in this election you should find out!
On the other hand, when Mike Michaud talks about understanding the struggles of the working class it is very easy to prove that this is true. Mike punched a time clock in a mill for 29 years. That is a fact. Mike has consistently voted with the best interests of Maine workers in mind. There is a public record to prove it. Mike has consistently fought tooth and nail for the veterans of the State of Maine and the expanded service for veterans around the state is solid evidence of his commitment. This is not campaign rhetoric or opinion it is part of history!
Another example, Emily Cain says she is the only candidate in her race that has consistently voted for Maine women’s rights to make their own healthcare decisions. That is not an opinion. That is fact. Emily’s voting record is easy to find and she has earned a 100% voting rating with the Maine Women’s Lobby. If this matters to you, know these facts!
When city council candidate Sean Faircloth and probate judge candidate Amy Faircloth asked me to support them, I could have just gone with my gut feeling that they were good people. My gut feeling is often very correct and they both have lovely smiles, don’t they! Instead I looked them both up, read their resumes, read everything I could find out about them online, and came to the conclusion that the TRUTH was that they are both incredibly experienced and highly qualified for the positions they are seeking!
I could go on and list all the candidates I support, dear friends and State Representative John Schneck and City Councilor Joe Baldacci among them, but you get the point. Before you accuse me of only voting for Democrats, let me assure you, that is not always the case. In FACT, if you look up MY voting record, you’ll see that’s true! (Although I apologize for some of the choices I’ve made in the past, I really do).
Are you seeking truth? If the truth you are seeking is personal, I recommend you contact my friend Jim LaPierre at Higher Ground Services in Brewer where they specialize in truth.
If you are seeking truth in those who seek to represent you in government, I suggest you throw out all those little cards that come in the mail. I suggest you ignore the growing forest of signs on every street corner. I suggest you do a little reading, and a little research. In this day and age, political truth is easy to find IF you make sure you wade through all the nonsense. When you read articles online, know the difference between fact and opinion. My blog is opinion; of course you should have figured that out long ago. For facts, I go to Amy Fried and her blog Pollways because she is an experienced political scientist who has spent decades studying politics in Maine.
Another great place to visit is votesmart.org. Plug in your candidate’s name and click on their voting record. There are no pictures of babies or puppies to distract you, just facts plain and simple. Still need to know more, contact the candidates directly. Most of them are more than willing to speak with you about your concerns!
Unfortunately, in this world, we can’t always count on the integrity of others. Those who speak to us most often have their own motives and goals in mind. Our interests are quite secondary to them. That’s just human nature. So it’s up to us to take an active role in our lives, and in our politics. It’s up to us to seek truth.
I trust you Maine Voters to make good, informed decisions. Many of this year’s candidates are counting on you to NOT be educated or informed about your choices!
Let’s prove them wrong okay!