Greg Kesich’s Nov. 12 column, “His rough edges notwithstanding, LePage moved Maine voters,” posed questions that Democrats “have to answer before the next election.”

Kesich asked, “Why does the party that created Social Security and Medicare have trouble appealing to the people whose very lives depend on those programs?” Because as a party, the Democrats are viewed as having lost interest in the basic life concerns of the folks who use those programs.

While pursuing issues like marijuana approval and a host of social identity programs, Democratic leaders have often let down the working class, labor, the poor and people of faith.

Some of those old-line Democrats, feeling angry, displaced and alienated, abandoned the polling place or found an unlikely home in the tea party. Younger folks said they couldn’t discern a difference between the parties, and many didn’t vote.

“How do Democrats learn to speak to voters’ sense of outrage and alarm instead of just their intellect?” President Truman, a working-class guy known as “Give ’em hell, Harry,” had no trouble connecting with the people. He was plain-spoken and told it like it was, with no weasel-words like “triangulation” and “meet in the middle.”

These days, Democrats – busy collecting campaign millions from billionaires and giant corporations – often appear to care more about banks and Wall Street than about workers and people who can’t find a decent job.

It’s time to take a break from “Kumbaya” and get back to “Give ’em hell!” We need leaders in the Democratic tradition who speak out fearlessly and fight the dividers and the money-grabbers – leaders who demand that all Americans, not just the privileged few, share equally in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Norman Abelson