Government needs to use fear as weapon against COVID spread

Fear is a powerful motivator in American politics. In 2016, 81% of Americans feared the election of one of the two candidates for president, according to a poll by the Associated Press, and voted accordingly. Fear is a primal instinct; nothing gives us more discomfort than fear. For many years, Republican candidates for office have appealed to people’s fears — of blacks, of immigrants, of “socialism” — and have been elected.

Since fear is such a powerful tool in manipulating the public, why hasn’t it been employed more widely in the fight against COVID-19? Past government campaigns (remember “Reefer Madness” and the pictures of tobacco-blackened lungs?) have been based on fear. Now, however, when the stakes have never been higher, we have bribes on one hand and mandates on the other, neither effective in driving a recalcitrant minority to get vaccinated.

Let’s get the federal government and states behind a campaign to show, not just talk about, the true horrors of this deadly virus. Use PSAs to put before the public scenes from the ICU, lungs ripped apart by the virus, loved ones in tears. Unfortunately, the media cannot be trusted to do this well, as stories about the damage done to families by this disease tend to draw out sympathy rather than fear. Sadly, our country’s needs are beyond sympathy now.

Only fear of the virus, and what it can and will do to the unvaccinated, will provide a chance to stop the apparently inexorable march of COVID-19. There is plenty of money to do this. Do our politicians have the will?

Paul Kalkstein,

CMP’s shifty, shifting tactics

First CMP tried to distance its abysmal reputation from the CMP corridor project, designed to deliver power to Massachusetts through the heart of western Maine. Many saw through this ploy and, despite being subjected to a $30 million PR campaign, Mainers remained unconvinced that it’s a good deal. Now, just weeks before Election Day, CMP has again shifted tactics. Now, they don’t mention the project at all. CMP has propped up new organizations and hired new spokespeople to spread fear and misinformation about Question 1. My hope is that Mainers again see through CMP’s nonsense.

Question 1 does NOT:
Create retroactivity — this already exists in statute;
Put roads, bridges or your back deck at risk.

Question 1 does:
Affirm the Legislature and the court’s finding that the lease to cross public lands cannot be hashed out behind closed doors;
Protect critical wildlife habitat in the Upper Kennebec region from high impact transmission lines;
Require a simple majority vote for high-impact transmission lines that are greater than 50 miles in length.

For those of you who are still on the fence, know this: Question 1 is your opportunity to stop the CMP Corridor, uphold the Maine Constitution and inject much-needed transparency into the approval process for similar projects down the road. Question 1 is necessary to prevent unelected bureaucrats from pushing unpopular projects that put the interests of foreign corporations first. If we don’t act now, Maine will become nothing more than an extension cord for southern New England, or as my good friend Darryl says, a cold New Jersey. Please vote yes Question 1 to ban the CMP Corridor on Nov. 2.

Sandra Howard,
Director, No CMP Corridor
Director, Say NO to NECEC

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