Let it be resolved this first day of 2017 that the good people of Maine and the United States greet the new year with curiosity, compassion and good humor, and further, be it resolved that each strive in good conscience to leave these things forever in our fading memory of 2016:

• Your disappointment in anyone but yourself when it comes to politics. A robust exchange of ideas and brainstorming among thinkers of all persuasions is necessary if we are to prosper and evolve. It’s a cop-out to express “disappointment” in somebody with whom you simply disagree.

Go the distance in 2017. Do the thinking, reach for an opinion of your own and muster the courage to express it publicly. Tolerate for yourself the sting of slings and arrows before dishing out your haughty and condescending disappointment in others.

• The word “so.” Say so long to it at the beginning of every sentence. Liberals are especially prone to start every phrase with this pesky conjunction, and it may explain in part the outcome of the 2016 elections. Even when there is an incredibly important back story in need of telling before a direct answer to a question can be given, resist.

• Crybabies and sore losers. If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen, the saying goes, and if you can’t stand to lose, stay out of sports and politics. Think of Pat McCrory, the whiny Republican who lost the governorship in North Carolina because he championed a bill to discriminate against gay and transgender people, then refused to concede the race and instead blamed others and the election system. Or U.S. soccer star Hope Solo.

• The political exploitation of the American flag and U.S. veterans. Republicans in particular are susceptible to proclaiming without evidence their superior patriotism. It’s an unbecoming smugness no different from what so-called conservatives smell in liberals who buy free-trade coffee with steamed soy milk and pay hundreds of dollars to dress themselves in various forms of organic and sustainable burlap. A snob is a snob.


• Pharmaceutical advertisements. Why must we be bombarded on the public airwaves with hundreds of ads featuring cheesy older couples having a senior moment? The bizarre and disturbing litany of side effects is an assault – a type of psychological torture – that should be outlawed barring an epidemic of erectile dysfunction. No couple has two bathtubs side by side, and my toenails are fungus-free, thank you very much. Let’s make TV great again and abolish Big Pharma ads.

• Misogyny. The hatred for Hillary Clinton and the intensity of the opposition to her candidacy for president of the United States and leader of the free world may be related to the apparent demand for drugs like Viagra and Cialis. Research shows that among the emasculations men most fear is subordination to women, and that there are women so steeped in patriarchy they, too, hate women with ambition.

Whether it’s manifested by hostility, discrimination, violence, sexual objectification, exclusion or belittling with nasty comments online, the ingrained prejudice against women and girls is real and a big part of the swamp in need of draining. The sexist backlash of 2016 will empower forces good and evil in 2017. Beware of anyone who denies it.

• Gun violence. Every day, according to the Brady Campaign, 306 people in the U.S. are shot in murders, assaults, suicides and suicide attempts, unintentional shootings and police intervention; 90 of them die. Every year, on average, more than 17,000 American children and teens are shot in murders, assaults, suicides and suicide attempts, unintentional shootings or by police intervention.

If Big Pharma’s constitutional rights to free speech can be limited by requiring complicated and scary warnings, surely we can enact rational gun safety laws in our effort to self-govern. Our lives and our children’s lives depend upon it.

• Email chains. With rare exception, email should not exceed more than a few very short paragraphs, and never should there be more than three volleys. The first carefully worded and proofread message should be followed by a succinct response and perhaps a final short reply. Less is more.


Copying lots of people will not cover your backside, only invite disjointed and confusing strings of communication. And please, if you are a member of an email discussion group in 2017, do not reply to the whole group of 128 busy professionals with any sentence that does not convey new information, ends in an exclamation point or contains an emoji.

• If you work in the food service industry, tongue piercings and large ear gauges are not recommended for 2017. And yoga pants still will not be pants.

• Leaving recycling outside already-full bins after the holidays when it’s windy and precipitating should cease, as well as participation in any type of social media under the influence after hours, or if you are the president-elect of the United States.

Cynthia Dill is a civil rights lawyer and former state senator. She can be contacted at:


Twitter: dillesquire

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