Edgar Beem’s column “Handicapping the gubernatorial hopefuls” reads like he’s caught in his own political bubble. He shows a complete ignorance of the political environment of the last 18 months and of the rise of powerful movements, here and throughout the nation. He also disrespects Maine voters.
This 2018 election will be decided by voters who have already suffered under the policies of LePage and have now been blindsided by the Trump debacle. Maine voters have had enough of arrogant “leaders” who ignore voter mandates and disregard their needs. That is the underlying frustration fueling every part of politics right now, from both left and right.
I’m confident that voters in the primary and general elections will look for candidates who listen to constituents, understand the problems facing Maine, and offer sane, workable solutions for those problems. And none of those qualities are determined by the gender of the voter, or the candidate.
Worse, Beem suggests that the existence of sexism and homophobia should disqualify candidates who might be subject to those biases. Given that attitude, it’s not surprising he titled his column: “Handicapping.” It’s a word that means both to judge potential winners, and “to act as an impediment to.”
So instead of handicapping, maybe Beem could join the rest of us in trying to confront and minimize the inherent biases of racism, sexism, and homophobia so that all Maine voters can focus on who will best represent us as governor. It’s the least we deserve.