Alan Caron’s Nov. 6 column, “Maine Democrats have only themselves to blame for LePage victory,” arrives at broad conclusions that don’t mesh with the facts.

Mr. Caron says that “in growing numbers, Mainers are frustrated about the state’s economy and stagnation,” yet Gov. LePage’s four years in office have yielded little economic growth and a number of missed opportunities to grow jobs and the economy, leaving Maine far behind the rest of the country in jobs recovered since the recession.

He goes on to say: “The election of Paul LePage was made possible because of the growing perception that Democrats have forgotten the working people and taxpayers of Maine … .”

Really? It was the Democratic-controlled Legislature last session that promoted minimum-wage increases, increased aid to municipalities and alternative energy options for homeowners, only to have all those measures vetoed by LePage.

Finally, Democrats (and Republicans) in the last session worked night and day, literally, to balance the budget while LePage sat on the sidelines criticizing.

It’s my perception that rather than critical thinking driving election results, fear and demagoguery won the day. Lots of Mainers, like many other Americans, I believe, are afraid of a rapidly changing world and a perceived shrinking economic pie.

LePage shrewdly played on those fears by characterizing immigrants and the poor as threats. He did that consistently and unrelentingly. That’s a lot easier to do than to create real economic opportunity.

And what’s the take-away for young people from this election? Say and do whatever you want. You won’t be held accountable, and in fact, you might just be rewarded.

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