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Stand up for human decency: Vote Democratic

By Sunday, Nov 4, 2018 Viewpoints 7

As Thomas Paine said 242 years ago: “These are the times that try men’s (and women’s) souls.”  So, thank god for the Boston Red Sox.  They are the only good news we’ve had recently.

Bombs were sent to prominent opponents of the Trump government, Jewish congregants were murdered while worshipping in their temple, and on Friday a misogynist murdered two women in a yoga class.

Republican voter suppression is in full bloom in numerous states, aided and abetted by the firmly conservative Supreme Court’s decision to gut the Voting Rights Act.

We have a president who embraces a Russian dictator while rejecting our own intelligence community, who separates kids from their mothers and puts them in what amounts to concentration camps while putting a liar and alleged attempted rapist on the Supreme Court.  By the way, in a recent Washington Post interview, Newt Gingrich admitted what we all knew regarding Kavanaugh when he said, “If the Democrats subpoena the President’s tax returns, we’ll see whether or not the Kavanaugh fight was worth it.”  In other words, Kavanaugh – unlike James Comey – took Trump’s loyalty oath.  He’s the President’s man.

The three chairs of the Berkshire Democratic Brigades. From left, Sherwood Guernsey, current chair Sheila Irwin, and Lee Harrison

House Republicans have voted to repeal, replace, or wreck the Affordable Care Act more than 50 times, yet it is still more popular than the recently passed Republican tax cuts, which favor wealthy individuals and corporations over working Americans.

Closer to home we have a Republican governor – with no vision for Massachusetts other than using us as a base to run for president next year – who continues to con regular folks with a smile and a shoe shine while protecting the wealthy from having to pay their fair share in taxes.

Nixon’s Attorney General, John Mitchell, used to say, “Watch what we do, not what we say.”  With Trump it’s both. With Baker it’s neither. He does little to better Massachusetts yet says nothing – I mean, can you remember anything important he has said? Neither can I.

What has Baker done except lower our bond rating? Even The Boston Globe, which is a Baker cheerleader, cannot deny that Baker does little about the state’s deplorable transit system: “On Mass transit,” even the Globe has to acknowledge, “Baker’s promises and commuters’ experiences often diverge.” I’ll say!

Baker also refuses to say if he will vote for Trump’s most vocal supporter for the U.S. Senate, a man whom he endorsed in the primary.

Baker appointed the head of the Mass. NRA to run the state Fish & Game office and raised money for the most anti-woman, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant state legislator.

Baker takes money from the NRA and dark money laundered through the Republican National Committee to hide the names of donors.

Baker directed the state police to help federal immigration officials detain immigrants, tried to send Mass National Guard resources to facilitate Trump’s southern border strategy, and opposed letting Syrian refugees settle in Massachusetts.

Baker had to be shamed into signing transgender legislation and only did so behind closed doors.

Baker fails to stand up for basic human values, whether it’s the Women’s March, protests in support of immigrant rights, or the March for Science.

If you are concerned that our education system is leaving too many of our young people behind, that our schools need more funding, that our water and sewer systems desperately need investment, that the state police overtime scandal seems to never end, and that the Boston area sucks up all the high-paying jobs while Baker – Marie Antoinette-like – tosses Western Mass. a few bucks to keep us quiet;

If you are uneasy because the constant drumbeat of patronage scandals, management failures, campaign finance law violations, and a lower state bond rating has rendered Baker’s claim to be a competent manager laughable;

If you’ve been told that a Baker win is inevitable, remember he won his primary race with just 174,000 votes, just half as much as the winning Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Jay Gonzalez, and even less than the losing Democrat, Bob Massie;

If all this renders you concerned, or appalled, or even disgusted at the direction our state and national Republican leaders are taking us, you can make a powerful statement for human decency, progress, and democracy by voting a straight Democratic ticket on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Anything else will be a victory for Trump and the status quo, and I don’t believe our state and nation could weather that. Do you? Go Patriots!


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