Incandescent Thinking in an LED World-Part One
I’m in the getting everything in order part of the campaign, completing the clean election contribution and seed money reports. All that needs to be done by April 20th. Even so, not a day goes by without at least one conversation relating to my running for the legislature. These have happened at Bullmoose in Waterville, at the Maine State Library, twice at Buds in Pittsfield and at Bob Thomas’ memorial service in Damariscotta.
Perhaps the most interesting conversation took place at a diner in Windsor last Thursday. I’ve been having breakfast every so often with a group of guys in their seventies and eighties, mostly well off and quite conservative, hardly the type you’d think I’d hang with. I kept silent about politics in the beginning, but as time has gone on since Trump got elected, I’ve been more vocal and have called them out on several occasions when they’ve strayed into sexist, homophobic and racial slur territory. At times, I’ve shocked them and surprised myself with my vehemence. When we met this time, I was aware they knew I was running for the legislature. Imagine my surprise when they gave me the floor and listened intently to some of the issues I support. They asked questions, ventured their opinions and we finished breakfast amicably.
In thinking about the experience, I realized that, like almost everyone else, these guys aren’t that happy with the situation in America, they might not agree with my views, but their discontent makes them more willing to listen than they would have been just a few months ago. Granted, some of their individual mindsets are still pretty hard wired, especially their belief that everyone on welfare has no ambition or desire to better their lot. When pressed, the most hardline of them cited cousins of his girlfriend, but gave no specifics. I, and other Democrats can work with mindsets like that. Yes, it will be challenging and frustrating, involve plenty of tongue biting, but every time a dialogue opens up a bit more, we’re that much closer to making progress for everyone in Maine.
Stay tuned to further insights from the campaign trail.