Opinions from Vince LaMie
Candidate for State Representative District 105

Being a truck driver gives me plenty of opportunity to listen to talk radio. I listen to the only 2 types of political shows that seem to be available, conservative and liberal. I try to listen to each with a critical eye (or in this case ear) because I don't believe we should blindly follow anything or anyone that is not perfect and no person or organization has reached perfection or even 98.5% perfection.

It concerns me to think that a large group of people are only getting one side of every story. That, to me, seems to be a form of blind following which leads to single-mindedness and an "us vs. them" mentality. Throughout our history that mentality has lead us to do dreadful things to the groups of people that were, at the time, considered "them". We enslaved black people, we decimated Indian people's tribes, we passed laws against hiring Chinese people, and we put Japanese people in concentration camps. I used the word people in each of those examples because we may not have done these things if we would have considered these groups people. We couldn't do these things to people, but we could do it to "them".

What groups of people now are considered "them"? Republicans? Democrats? Liberals? Conservatives? Blacks? Mexicans? Gays? The rich? The unemployed? Muslims?

I have heard that you can't have an effective political or social movement without an enemy (them). So when you hear relentless bashing of one group of people (which can be identified many times by name calling "idiots", "whackos", "psychos", and more), these radio and TV "personalities" are pushing a movement, and their ratings, by creating an enemy.

I want to strengthen a political movement not by creating an enemy, but by identifying an enemy that is not a group of people. The corruption that is pervasive throughout our state government is our enemy. That corruption allows politicians to reward each other from their campaign funds. It allows districts to be drawn so that elected officials choose voters instead of voters choosing candidates. It gives ultimate power over enacting laws to a very select few. It gives very little power to law enforcement to fight and prosecute corrupt officials. It allows judges to be influenced by campaign donations. It allows elected officials to reward big donors with state contracts. It allows "borrowing" from employee's retirement accounts with no plan for repayment.

Instead of letting TV or radio personalities direct our conversations to "them", let's focus our attention on the "it" that is truly holding our state back - corruption.