Intentionally Unreasonable: Why we can't be friends

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I’m sorry it’s come to this, but going forward, we can’t be friends. I’ve known you for many years. You’ve spent time with my family. The door of my house has been open to you. But, we can’t be friends.

You know why, I know why, but to the world, here is the reason: you are a fool.

Not dumb, not uneducated, just a fool running on a reckless operating system of foolishness.

And in many cases, with you and others, your foolish talk and actions are hurting Maine, hurting the country, and causing pain and suffering, directly and indirectly, to many people that I care about.

Here are just a few of the reasons that you’ve been deleted from my life;

• You support Donald Trump to be our next president. Either you don’t understand the enormous global role and impact of the president of the United States, or you don’t care about what will result from the election of an egotistic, narcissistic, hypocritical, mean-spirited, misogynistic jerk. Plus, he’s a bully who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the nuclear launch codes.

Yes, I get it. You’re fed up with career politicians. I share that disdain. But to support such a dangerous candidate for the most critically important job in the world is an act of lunacy.

• You actively deny the undeniable reality of man-made climate change and its long-range impact in the U.S. and across our planet. I don’t care that you don’t know the difference between periodic weather change and global climate disruption. What I care about it the indisputable, scientific, fact-based evidence that shows our planet is heating up, ocean levels are rising, and various land and sea ecosystems are being harmed.

Only someone blinded by partisan rhetoric or shear foolishness could argue against the simple truth that our environment is being negatively impacted by all the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

How can anyone care about their children and grandchildren and not recognize the horrors that are projected over the next hundred years from climate change? Only a fool could deny the compelling science associated with climate change and only a greater fool would argue against greater pollution and air-quality standards to slow the impact on our planet.

• You argue against any type of reasonable gun control. Yes, I know that you love the Second Amendment. I agree; it’s a perfectly fine amendment, especially when it was crafted in 1791. But lots of things have changed since then and our Bill of Rights was designed with a mechanism to evolve and reflect those cultural, technological, governmental shifts – something called an “amendment.”

The Second Amendment was one of the first 10 introduced as part of our Constitution. Since those horse-and-buggy times, thousands and thousands of changes have been made to federal and state laws, along with many fundamental changes to our Constitution through various changes in case law and rulings made by the Supreme Court. That’s a normal and healthy function of any democracy.

What’s unhealthy is when a special-interest group like the National Rifle Association hijacks an issue like reasonable gun policy and politicizes it for its own commercial interests under an anti-government umbrella of fear and misinformation.

It’s reasonable to support and protect reasonable gun owner rights. It’s also reasonable to recognize that we have a gun problem in the U.S., and many lives at stake.

It’s foolish to argue against more effective universal background checks, along with greater restrictions on assault-style weapons and magazine clip capacity.

• You refer to Gov. Paul LePage as one of your political heroes. You say his tell-it-like-it-is style of leadership is admirable. Such foolishness from you and him.

Although I disagree with most of LePage’s political positions, those differences are not the basis for my contempt of our governor. I can respect a leader with strong views on fiscal policy. I can respect a leader here in Maine who pushes for urgent restructuring of public policy in core areas like taxation, education, health care and social services.

I just can’t and don’t respect the boorish bully that is LePage and I can’t forgive him or you for not seeing the damage done to Maine during his gubernatorial reign.

Like our governor’s good friend, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, or game-show candidate Donald Trump, our own governor has used his bully pulpit, not for positive change, but instead to be a basic, no-frills, nothing-special bully. While you may like LePage personally or support him politically, you’re a fool not to see the pain and damage he has caused to our great state.

As the years behind me grow beyond those in front, I’m losing the capacity and interest for personal or political correctness, even when silence is the safer path.

We’re in a period of time where great and complex challenges exist all around us. For sure, there are also vast opportunities looking forward, that we must focus upon with clarity and purpose. Too much at stake to waste anymore time or negative energy on your brand of foolishness.

Good luck to you my former friend, your foolishness is no longer a benign annoyance, but instead a destructive tumor that I’m choosing to remove.

You know who you are.

Steve Woods is from away, but fully here now, living in Yarmouth, working in Falmouth, traveling the world, and trying his best. His column appears every other week. He can also be heard each Saturday at 11 a.m. on WLOB-AM 1310.

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