By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
I’m beginning to come to the realization that anything Governor Paul LePage tries to do to make Maine safer, less costly and create a more business-friendly environment is immediately pounced on and declared evil by academics, shyster politicians, cognac-sniffing elitists, arrogant nobodies that declare themselves community leaders and those with both hands in the working men/women’s pockets.
They look down on those who tediously labor daily and exhibit common sense: men and women whose perception of Maine is formed by their daily community interaction, not by some theoretical academic fancy put forth in the classroom. The above-mentioned groups work hard to bring those who do not share their views over to their way of thinking. They try to modify opponents’ thoughts so that reality is looked on as nothing more than an aberration.
Their latest attack on Governor LePage involves his plan to add 14 drug agents, four judges and four prosecutors to deal with Maine’s dangerous and growing drug problem.
Governor LePage was immediately jumped on by the aforementioned groups and their media allies, stating that his plan brought failed 19th century solutions (jail and prosecution) to a 21st century problem.
Their solution to the problem is creating drug rehabilitation centers, community education on the issues and classifying addicts as victims fighting an illness.
They are neither sick nor victims. They are abusers and criminals. Minimizing their illegal behavior by making excuses has done nothing but drive the problem into a crisis stage.
These cloistered leaders render opinions on a subject of which few have little or no first-hand knowledge, holding up those who commit drug crimes as unfortunate or pitiful victims. This while excusing their illegal activities serves to inhibit any gains made by law enforcement and perpetuates this costly battle without an end in sight.
Governor LePage’s plan takes aim at two groups: dealers and those trafficking in drugs. It is not designed to go after the street addicts, who are responsible for creating fear and monetary distress among the law-abiding people of Maine.
Perhaps if our lawmakers had the opportunity to accompany police officers to a burglary complaint, their mindset might change. In real time they would see individuals that feel they have been violated and no longer consider their home a safe place.
Irreplaceable property is stolen, and victims no longer feel safe leaving their homes for fear of coming home and finding it broken into again. Their insurance premiums will probably go up. But remember, compassion must be shown to the addicted thief; it was not his fault.
Victims’ checking accounts are emptied and their credit cards fraudulently used. But it’s not the addict’s fault. Shoplifting, a favorite crime of druggies, results in higher prices for consumers on goods and products sold in stores. Females turn to prostitution, risking their personal safety, in order to feed their drug habit. Many murders, aggravated assaults and robberies are also drug-related crimes.
Motor vehicle accidents result in death or serious injuries because the driver was drug-impaired. Innocent babies are born addicted. Children are abused and neglected. All because of Mom and Dad’s lifestyle.
Is the house next door concealing a meth lab? Wouldn’t it be better if state drug agents found it than responding units of your local fire and police departments?
Lastly, how much is added to your insurance policies and state and property taxes in order to help pay for the medical assistance required to keep many of these ticks alive? But, forgive my harshness, I forgot they are victims and sick. Perhaps it’s time to elect people who actually have a first-hand knowledge of what’s going on around them.
We need officials whose compassion is geared to the law-abiding citizens and taxpayers responsible for paying the freight for those whose choice of lifestyle was brought on by their bad decision-making.