By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
In the 1970s, there was a half-hour soap opera/comedy called “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.” It was very politically incorrect and written by people who possessed something absent in today’s writers: wit and imagination.
One of the shows involved a bank robbery gone bad. The bad guys had screwed up the bank robbery, leading to a tense hostage situation. Outside the bank, police were everywhere—pistols drawn, snipers with high-powered rifles focused on those inside the bank, a tense command center with hostage negotiators hanging on the every word of the perpetrators.
With the camera panning, the tense police presence outside the bank suddenly changed. An officer turned his focus away from the bank, laid his weapon down on the car hood and asked the officer next to him if he wanted a coffee. This officer said “yes” and put his gun on the hood.
Soon all the officers involved were putting down their weapons and focusing on the task at hand: a much-deserved coffee break.
This week a funny thing happened on the way to the United States House of Representatives. Our elected Democratic Congressmen and women thought it might be a “hoot” to recreate history by staging a good old, nostalgic 1960s-style sit-in on the floor of the House.
It was grand. There was Maine’s own Chellie Pingree, Nancy Pelosi, John Lewis—straight from his commencement speech at Bates College—and Charlie Rangle, an avid supporter of gun control for every one of his constituents with the exception of himself. In addition to Rangle, another 25 Democratic Congressmen, much to the horror of leadership, own guns.
This unfettered mob of lawless Democrats (and make no mistake about it, it was a lawless mob) forcibly took over the House Chamber and began a sit-in. It continued overnight and into the next day, as Democratic Congressmen vowed not to give up the House floor until a vote was taken on several legislative pieces on gun control. This lasted until one of the brighter Congressional legislators realized that Congress was going on vacation; the sit-in abruptly stopped.
It appears we may be heading for the final days of our Republic, what once was the dream and hope of people around the world, a place where the sky was the limit if you worked hard and took chances. Our unique society was born out of a unique blend of Judeo/Christian principles. Further, we all spoke one language while still keeping individual cultures alive in the home and communities.
On the anniversary of our 240th birthday, let us pledge to remake our country into a similar image that worked in the beginning. All men created equal and judged on merit only. An executive, legislative and judicial branches with clearly defined powers. Leaders, not politicians. Leaders who run to serve the country, not themselves by lining their pockets while seeking public recognition. Lastly, one culture, one language and one set of values.
Happy 240th birthday, America.