How is it that small, vocal groups are able to overturn the wishes of the majority?

Like momentum, political action can be measured by mass times velocity. What a subject is lacking in substance can be made up for in speed. The sabotage of public will, which was recently seen in the hijacking of the universal health care plan by the tea party movement, is just such an example: A well-organized and dedicated group overthrowing the majority, not by numbers but by technique, ideology and a “message.”

But what was that message? Was it for something? I don’t remember.

All I can remember was what it was against. It was against Obama. It was against the government. It was against a lot of things. And it had a lot of momentum. Just by being against.

Why is it is easier to oppose than to concur? Simple. There is more energy in it. An attack is always more focused than a defense.

And it is easier to tear down than it is to build up. Attack brings out the strongest of emotions, and so it is easy to rally the troops.

But I didn’t write about the health care loss. I am writing about something new, sort of.

In a few weeks there will be a referendum on the Oxford Four Season Resort and Casino.

And what will happen? As usual, a small group of the electorate will come out against the project. Vehemently. Morally aghast and full of righteous indignation. They will attack.

Nothing will be said about the revolutionary benefits that this project will bring. Only this small group’s hatred will emerge. And it will be felt.

But hopefully this time the people will have had enough of that underhanded method, and they will vote with reason instead of emotion.

Paul Currier

Portland

 

Tea party backers just want to make government smaller

 

Thank you for your article on the Cumberland County Tea Party. I would like to stress that the tea party movement is not “anti-government,” as your headline writer put it.

We are simply constitutionalists who believe in a limited government, beholden to the will of the people.

Doug Bramley

Co-Founder, Cumberland County Tea Party

Windham

 

Maine firms should get all wind power contracts

 

“Jobs and job creation” is the cry of the politicians. Jobs doing what? Digging clams?

In business school we learned that the basis of an economy is “value added manufacturing,” the conversion of raw materials into finished goods.

Wind power demands manufacturing skills for its components. Every skilled Maine boat-builder is probably well-positioned to build the blades, tower, and the generator housing. Maine machine shops can work up the rest of the system with a generator supplied by a quality American manufacturer.

Wind power, well off the coast of Maine, has exciting potential. Let’s not let this industrial opportunity fall to other hands.

By the way, LNG is liquefied natural gas. It is not crude oil, and it will not cause a slick on our waters or beaches.

It will not coat the birds, seals or fishes.

LNG is not without hazards, but to date I am unaware of any actual problems with that lighter-than-air, cleanest burning and readily available fuel.

Joel York

Yarmouth

 

That we listen to Lady Gaga proves how bad things are

 

Your article about Lady Gaga’s recent visit to promote the end of “don’t ask don’t tell” in the military proves something for me.

Sometimes intelligence is hard to find, but at least I now know that the inmates are running the asylum.

Lane Hiltunen

Windham

 

Democrats use criticism to divide their opposition

 

I have never, in my 70-plus years, seen in this country the heads of a political party (President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) use the tactic of pitting one group (or individual) against another in order to move some political agenda.

We have seen political leaders from other countries using this tactic to garner and retain power or to deflect the shortcomings in their own countries.

And we’ve all seen the unfortunate results.

Obama, Pelosi and Reid have divided this country, pointing to one entity or another as the “bad guy”: left vs. right, blacks vs. whites, rich vs. poor, corporations as corrupt and Wall Street as greedy.

Then there are those who cling to their guns and religion, tea partiers as Astroturf, Republicans as the party of “no.”

This vitriol is now part of our culture and permeates everything, including many of the letters to the editor of this newspaper (see the harangues regarding the Glenn Beck rally in the Sept. 16 paper).

I blame the president mostly, as he sets the tone and he is supposed to be president for all of us.

We Americans need to recognize what is going on and not buy into it. We need to work together to make positive change.

Unfortunately, the problem is so intrinsic and the Congress so dysfunctional that in order to change the culture that pervades Washington today, we need to replace just about everyone that is currently in office.

There isn’t anything that we Americans can’t do and do well if we work together instead of against each other. Let’s start doing it.

Please be sure to vote in November.

Terry O’Rourke

York Beach

 

Fox News ‘fair and balanced’ only if thieves are honest

 

I was listening to the Fox newscast on radio the other night and the commentator ended the broadcast with these words: “Fox News: Fair and balanced.”

It reminded me of my behavior when I have guests over to my house and one of them tells me what an honest man he is. I keep my eye on the silverware.

George Howitt

Lyman