I could wax on about Maine and its rich history of political pragmatism, and note how (for the most part) there's room for all perspectives in our state. It is one of the reasons I love Maine. Our representatives, whether I voted for them or not, articulate with both logic and intention. I might not agree philosophically, but there's logic there, and in Maine, logic generally trumps mean-spirited and stupid.
But, Angus King's pragmatism is not why he gets my vote.
Angus gets my vote, and my enthusiastic hope for your votes, because he is a good man. A good man, and a smart man who represents a rare mix of aspiration: socially progressive and fiscally smart.
Given the conservative-skewing voting record in my native Aroostook County, I fear that Angus King’s centrist approach might not be well-received. I hope not, because in addition to those conservative votes, my home county’s record also includes a fierce independent spirit and a willingness to gauge people above any political party.
When I think of Angus King and Aroostook County, I remember this story.
Ben Lynds, then an elementary student in Houlton, was assigned to report on a famous Mainer. The assignment included an essay delivered aloud, and students were encouraged to dress the part. Ben chose Angus King, and Angus not only made time for an interview, he sent the boy an autographed Save the
Children tie--a brand that Angus is noted for wearing. The gesture, years ago, was not for a photo opportunity, nor for any political gain. Angus just wanted to help personalize a social studies lesson for a little boy in Aroostook County.
Ben, my cousin, is a teenager now, and while he is still too young to vote, I hope others will vote for Angus. No other famous Mainer chosen for that particular classroom project went the extra mile. Angus King’s kindness for one little boy is the type of character that Aroostook County represents, and I hope Aroostook County voters will remember in November.
I hope all of Maine will remember.
Challenge: When you cast a vote, what is your motivation? Why do you choose particular candidates?