By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
I hope all the TCT readers had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
My wife and I play Mr. and Mrs. Claus for the children of several organizations. We find this uplifting, and it adds to the joy of the season. This year, for me, it came to a screeching halt.
Two little girls, one a polite outgoing two-year-old, the other a bubbling, energetic six-month-old baby, were having fun enjoying the gifts they had received. My joy turned to sadness when I found out both were foster children. The six-month-old was going to spend time on Christmas with her family from whom she had been taken from as an infant.
I hope these children and others like them are soon adopted, saving them from possibly being condemned to a life of poverty and hopelessness.
As mayor of Lewiston, my fight is not against the working poor, the truly needy, the elderly, the Lewiston property taxpayers or the refugees (yes, the refugees!) who come to this country and through hard work achieve their dreams. These are the forgotten people I speak for.
No, my fight is aimed at the unproductive recipients of Maine’s generous welfare system, their allies in the Legislature, the media and the advocacy groups that paint a “sky is falling” picture in order to keep their agencies awash with taxpayers’ money and themselves employed.
These self-proclaiming leaders have crafted classroom and intellectual blather into what they bill as life-saving policies that do nothing but decrease the fiscal, educational and medical health of the average working person in our country. In short, for all their bravado, they don’t have a clue.
They accuse me of having an “us” versus “them” mentality. Guilty as charged. But they also exhibit the same mentality. In my case, the “us” are the working, the taxpaying, those unable to care for themselves and, lastly, the elderly. The “thems” are the unproductive recipients of Maine’s generous welfare system.
I speak for the elderly, who have worked hard all their lives and who now find themselves in their golden years worrying about medication, food and property taxes, instead of enjoying their retirement.
I speak for the property taxpayers of Lewiston, who are forced to pay a confiscatory tax rate while watching services dwindle.
I speak for the mentally ill and severely retarded—people that a civil society has a moral obligation to take care of. Instead, their programs are defunded and they are turned out onto the street. I guess that’s what happens when you’re prohibited from voting.
I speak for the working poor, those who are forced by fiscal restraints to live in neighborhoods saturated by crime, filth and squalor brought on by unproductive layabouts.
I speak for parents who strive to insure that their children get a quality education. These students should be allowed to spend their full class time learning, not being interrupted by those marking time until they qualify to go on the dole.
I speak for the alcohol- and drug-addicted infants and abused children.
I speak for those who have worked all their lives and find themselves temporarily in need of assistance.
My adversaries, however, champion the unproductive. Their policies have brought chaos. I take joy when I am savagely attacked in print by them. It tells me my message is resonating.
I speak for the real people who don’t appear in surveys and who are invisible to those researchers and media editors that work within the confines of their office space and politicians that never see anything beyond the inside of the Capitol walls.
Lastly, their mission is to remove me from office and send me back into retirement. My mission is to rid Lewiston of our unproductive recipients of Maine’s generous welfare system and put their political allies, media lapdogs and social service agencies in the unemployment line.
I wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.