E. J. Dionne’s commentary in the Oct. 11 Portland Press Herald told us what we Mainers already know and are told repeatedly: Mainers are politically, socially and economically split. What he did not go on to comment about is why.

Fortunately, you have given us Colin Woodard’s fascinating profiles of the communities of Turner and Hallowell to help us answer the why.

I would also suggest that we and our elected leaders are permitting ideological certitude to divide us.

Instead, we must have the courage to experiment with good ideas regardless of their ideological and financial origins. How we get leaders to become more open and flexible in their approach to knotty problems is no easy matter. Once in office, elected political leaders seem to fall quickly into the trap of becoming beholden to their party for financial and political support.

Mainers have instituted campaign finance reform as one initiative to combat that trap. Now, some Mainers are proposing ranked-choice voting as another attempt to disentangle us from our ideological quagmire. They have my support, and I hope yours.