I’m astonished that we believe in this artificial, cynical left-right political paradigm. Common sense evades us. People say it’s either the Republicans’ or the Democrats’ fault, but not the other one’s.

This is awesome naivete.

First, there are no excuses. In the span of a mere decade we have seen majority political rule by each party and the Democrats actually having a supermajority in the Senate at one point.

We have seen, on both sides of the same coin, a party holding the executive branch, with the other party hypothetically wielding countervailing influences. Yet we see no substantive changes.

Both parties loathe the Constitution; both seek to obliterate our inalienable rights. Both ignore crimes of previous presidential administrations and only fight the aesthetic and never anything systemic of the present.

Both love secrecy of the state, with the current puppet administration beating all past ones in prosecution of whistleblowers. Both fight to augment the power of the executive.

Both support the bailout of banks and their cartel organization that is the Federal Reserve. Both support endless, mindless, but mega-profitable wars and “peace actions” for the military-industrial-prison-security complex. Both support more globalization and the fruit that this bears.

Both support and at best acquiesce to Big Business in key pieces of legislation that gets to be written by the biggest of the affected powers — with the expected result being that free markets and competition continue to suffer and oligopolies prevail and consolidate.

Both sides willfully permit the obvious and intentional castration of this nation financially, with the dollar’s planned demise drawing inexorably closer. Both sides say they support one thing or another, but both, with astonishing consistency, do the opposite of what they say.

Rhetoric might change, but the same evils prevail. So how can you believe in this paradigm? Break your conditioning now!

Matthew Scott

Gorham

Although progressives have felt for years that we have not been represented in Washington, we should not talk of starting a third party, but should look to the success of the tea party, a minority group of Republicans who have forced their moderate housemates to bend to their will.

We need to form our own bloc within the Democratic Party and force the “centrists” to listen to our ideas for a change, and thereby counter the effects of those who want to destroy the federal government.

The tea party wants to reduce the federal government to defending our borders. They maintain that government cannot create jobs; that it cannot be innovative and create anything of use.

The Internet, cell phones and all the other related innovations resulted from government initiatives. Probably as much innovation has come from the Pentagon and other federal agencies as from private enterprise. Interstate highways, national parks, the Panama Canal, Hoover Dam, the TVA, were all the result of federal initiatives. All such projects created jobs, and many provided lucrative contracts to the private sector.

Medicare and Social Security are federal programs, and are targets of the tea party. Centrist Democrats and our president are willing to barter these benefits because of tea party demands.

I bet there are as many progressives in America as reactionaries. We just need to make our voices heard the way they have. Progressives will vote for another term for our president because the alternative is madness.

But we ought not let our lack of enthusiasm for Obama deter us from getting out the vote for progressives for Congress. We need a Move On kind of grass roots initiative to elect progressives to the House in 2012.

John Chandler

Thomaston 

LePage rational on DHHS, should do same for murals 

One of the most memorable follies of Gov. Paul LePage’s administration was the removal of the murals from the walls of the Department of Labor.

The governor overreacted to the receipt of a so-called “anonymous” communication and did not hesitate to bar perceived “left wing propaganda” from a state office.

Addressing unsubstantiated complaints of voter registration “fraud” from his Republican supporters resulted in the extremely controversial ban on same-day registration.

Now ultraconservative organizations have presented the governor with carefully edited “concrete” video evidence of “potential” rampant fraud in our welfare system.

In this instance, to Gov. LePage’s credit, he has not accepted these blatant partisan charges at their face value as he has done in the past, but instead adopted a thoughtful, considerate approach to this shameful attempt to discredit a vital social service.

Since there now appears to be some hope that the governor may at last be willing to function as a responsible public servant of all the people, it would be appropriate for him to review past decisions and policies — restore the murals to their proper place and same-day registration to the voters of Maine.

Sam Kamin

Cumberland 

Election firm says its workers don’t give advice 

In response to the Aug. 17 article, “Candidate won’t divulge much about platform, will talk trash,” TrueBallot wishes to clarify that we are an election administration company.

We will be providing the city of Portland with election services for the November mayoral election. Contrary to an allegation made in the article, our employees do not advise candidates about campaign strategy.

Caleb Kleppner

TrueBallot Inc.

New Haven, Conn. 

Letting same-sex couples wed isn’t up to any church 

In 1968, the Catholic Church refused to marry my husband, a returning Vietnam Veteran, and me because he was not a Catholic.

While the church was free to take such a position, in the United States of America no church had the authority to prevent our marriage or to dictate what we consider a civil union instead.

As we celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary, we look to the day when all residents, including same-gender couples, have the right to marry, even if they do not have the blessing of a particular church.

Diane Smith

Cushing