It’s no wonder that the likes of Donald Trump has risen in politics this year. After reading U.S. Sen. Angus King’s comment in a recent article in this newspaper, I can understand why candidates from the far side of both political parties are doing so well.

During a tour of the Sappi mill in Skowhegan, Sen. King commented that “the demise of the paper industry in Maine has been grossly exaggerated. That’s one of the points we want to get across.”

Accompanying Sen. King were U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin. The article seemed to imply that all three agreed on King’s comments. I have to ask: Do we have ostriches representing Maine and possibly other states as well?

If the research I did is correct, in the early 1900s, Maine had over 100 pulp and paper mills. By the 1980s, that number was down to around 25, and look what has happened since then. Mills are gone in Millinocket, East Millinocket, Lincoln, Brewer, Bucksport, Gardiner, Lisbon Falls and Mechanic Falls, and there are even more plus those asking for tax breaks.

Does that sound like the paper industry is doing great in Maine? Maybe it would be interesting to hear how much paper is imported from Asia and Europe – like through Portland, for example.

It’s no wonder the Chinese are winning.

Lane Hiltunen