Sometimes I wonder whether John Balentine isn’t just trolling us. The other week he wrote he trusted President Trump to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic. A few days later Trump recommended we all inject bleach.

You’d think a regular opinion columnist might revisit that misplaced faith. Instead, Balentine plows full speed ahead, this week talking up former governor and current Florida resident Paul LePage (“Give us liberty or give us death,” May 5). Against the “overprotective mother” Janet Mills and her stay-at-home orders, Balentine hails LePage as “the gruff father figure letting us children run and play and possibly get hurt with a philosophy that individuals can manage their personal and professional lives better than the state.”

This is nonsensical. The novel coronavirus is no more a fun summer camp learning experience than Russian roulette or a car crash. Balentine says citizens can manage their own lives better than any so-called expert, only to completely undermine that point by asserting that if Mainers stay home and keep to themselves they will bring us “spousal abuse, drug overdose, suicide, child abuse, loss of dignity and pride, laziness, general despair and the ruination of the economy.”

If that’s how he thinks, maybe an overprotective mother wouldn’t be so bad, you know?

Andrew J. Schaefer