The Portland Phoenix

Politics & Other Mistakes: An entire column without the word ‘abortion’

The average Maine citizen neither knows nor cares who their state representative is. Or their state senator. And they know more about the latest Dr. Strange movie than they do about their legislators’ positions on issues.

They’re in danger of paying a price for their ignorance.

Once the U.S. Supreme Court gets done trashing the constitutional principles that have protected a woman’s right to control her own body, a conservative majority of justices appears ready to do away with the concept that in a free country two people of the same sex ought to be able to marry. From there, it’s just a small step to recriminalizing sodomy. They probably can’t bring back slavery (damn those pesky constitutional amendments), but they can narrow the interpretation of civil-rights laws to the point where racism is perfectly acceptable.

Once the court gets done returning this country to the good ol’ days right after the Civil War, it’ll be up to the individual states to decide how much sexism, racism, and homophobia they’ll permit. The institution making that determination will be composed of those mostly anonymous state legislators.

It pains me to inform you that if you care about any of those issues, you’re going to have to start paying attention to those folks.

I sense those of you who are committed to maintaining your apathy (dude, could you keep it down, I’m trying to watch “Multiverse of Madness” for the third time) won’t be rousing yourselves from your stupor long enough to deal with the potential erosion of your civil liberties. No matter what the Legislature does, you say, there’s always somebody who can overrule those dweebs:

Dr. Strange.

No wait, it’s the governor. At least half the voting population of the state probably knows who she (he?) is?

Here’s a news flash: No matter who’s in the Blaine House, the Legislature has the magic power to override him or her and do whatever the hell it feels like doing.

Will your representative or senator dare to take such drastic action? You probably have no idea, because you don’t know who they are or how they feel about the rights of women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community. As long as they’re not trying to take away your guns, you don’t really care.

That attitude might work for a while, but the problem with government-imposed repression is that it’s addictive. A little of it is fun for those doing the repressing, but lots of it is even more of a high. It’s just a matter of time before somebody in Augusta realizes there are plenty of interest groups that haven’t had their rights trampled on yet.

Do you gamble? Your elected leaders might decide you’re wasting your money at casinos.

Do you smoke? Those in power could proclaim that protecting your health is more important than protecting your liberty.

Do you own a gas-guzzling pickup truck? The Legislature may move to forcibly evict you from the driver’s seat and stuff you in an electric car that’s smaller than your refrigerator and costs more than your house.

How about a blood test before you can vote? Only red-blooded Americans allowed.

This could already be happening in an alternative universe. But there’s still time to stop it from happening here.

The first step is to find out who your legislators are and what they stand for. The second step is to discover who’s running against them, either in the June primary or the November general election. The third step is to sort out where the incumbents and challengers stand on the issues that are most important to you.

None of that is anywhere near as difficult as halting an invasion of inter-dimensional aliens intent on turning our world into a hellish landscape sort of like Mississippi. All that’s required for maintaining some semblance of normalcy is a simple Google search for candidates’ names and perhaps a phone call or two to determine if they’re vermin.

Surely, you can tear yourself away from watching “Avengers” reruns long enough to accomplish that. Because the alternative may be a scenario too hideous, even for a comic-book movie.

Enchant me by emailing

Exit mobile version