I had planned on having a nice long celebratory post yesterday. However, here I am, on Thursday, just now able to swallow the bitter pill that the underwhelming majority of Maine voters fed me. As you all know, our next governor will be none other than Mister Paul LePage. It actually hurt my fingers to type that, and I have to admit, I threw up in my mouth a little. Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I want to see him fail, that's just dumb (please note that a good number of Republicans have said that about President Obama). I mean, if he fails, all of us Mainers fail. We don't want that. We need to change things in Augusta, and LePage has promised lots of that. I'll be the first to tell you that I don't think he is the right person for the job, in fact I think he is far from the right person for the job.
LePage ran on the Tea Party platform, despite his many attempts to tell you otherwise. Hell, he even had the head of the Maine Tea Party lead the people gathered during election night in song. Part of the Tea Party platform was feeding off anger. Voters across the state and across the country are angry. We are angry that so many people are still out of work. We are angry that the economy hasn't gotten better. We are angry because we don't feel our elected officials are always working for us, which is what they should be doing. That being said, we aren't looking for a dictator or a fist shaker. We need to have a diplomatic leader that is able to work well with both sides, not just a few from one side and all of the other. Politics is no different than a relationship, you need to give and take to make it work. It can't be all one sided, and you certainly can't act like a bully. There are going to be times when you agree to something you aren't a big fan of, but you know what, it has to be done for the greater good. Do you think I wanted to go to "Clueless: The Musical" last time I was in NYC? Not exactly, but my beautiful wife did, so I went along. We have to make concessions along the way to make this state better. Will LePage be able to do this? Time will tell.
Voter turnout was less than stellar considering the magnitude of this election and the contrasting differences between the 5 candidates, as well as the few write-ins. Maine typically expects about 50-55% of registered voters to get out and cast a ballot. Gubernatorially speaking (made up word, I know), we had a whooping 46% vote this time around. First of all, that bothers me a little, but that is beyond my control. Secondly, LePage needs to keep in mind that he won this election with just 38% of the total vote. While that worked out to be the majority, it's underwhelming at best, and might I point out that it also means that 62% of Mainers voted against him. Nearly two out of every three people didn't want him to win, so he has a long way to go to get the approval of the actual majority of voters.
Having been very involved in this election, I got to see things a different way than normal this year. I also saw a lot because I was supporting the Independent in the race. I am a registered Democrat, and I have to say, I am more than a little bothered by the lies, distortions and half truths they put out against Eliot Cutler. It was very disturbing that they would play that game. Now, the Republicans didn't do anything to win me over, let's not forget that they did much of the same. The Independents in this race kept it very clean, with none of them personally running or approving any mudslinging. Some people say that the dirty way works, but I have to be honest with you, I hate it. I really don't care what you say your opponent will or won't do, I already know that from following along, what I want to know is what you will or won't do, according to you.
As for all those commercials and mailers, please stop! I mean, I don't want to put anybody out of business if they are the people producing such materials, but they are a waste of money. Instead of the candidates, or the many PACs and groups funding the candidates giving all this money to smear the opponent, why not take and dump all that money directly into the economy. Why not donate it to struggling non-profits or to improve a local school or library? What about applying it directly to the state deficit? I know none of this will ever happen, but all that money raised by Karl Rove's crew and the others just like it could be used a whole hell of a lot more wisely if you ask me.
Needless to say, I could go on and on, and I have before, about why I don't think LePage will make a good governor, but now we have to just wait and see. Let's see if he sticks with his promises that he has made and see if he keeps ruling with that short temper that got him into more than a few scrapes along his way to winning the election. If I thought hiding in my basement for the next 4 years would make this go by faster I probably would. Perhaps now is a good time to hike the Appalachian Trail like I have always wanted to. Either way, the real question on everyones mind is this, how long before he punches someone in the face or gets thrown out of the Blaine House? I don't think he makes it two years without facing some serious investigation. Problem is, Maine will have a much worse black eye than whomever is on the other end of LePage's fist. I'm just saying...