Ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to Maine today, the editorial boards at two of Maine’s major newspapers called out Trump’s failed leadership in the midst of anti-racism protests across the country and the ongoing pandemic that’s taken the lives of more than 100,000 Americans, including nearly 100 Maine people.
The Bangor News Editorial Board made clear that Trump’s version of leadership looks more like “hiding out” as he heads to a “manufacturing plant in a remote part of the whitest state in the country.” The Press Herald Editorial Board rebuked Trump’s shortcomings for “unleashing historic levels of suffering on the American people.”
Portland Press Herald: Our View: To President Trump: You should resign now
By: The Editorial Board
June 5, 2020
- President Trump: We’re sorry that you decided to come to Maine, but since you are here, could you do us a favor? Resign.
- Your slow response to the coronavirus pandemic has spun a manageable crisis into the worst public health emergency since 1918.
- We are also in the middle of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. There is no national strategy to recover from the shock that is disproportionately affecting people who were already struggling to make it.
- And in the face of the worst civic unrest since 1968, with millions of Americans in the streets protesting systemic racism, you fan the flames.
- In just the last week you gleefully tweeted about shooting fellow citizens; you goaded governors into escalating violent situations so they don’t “look like jerks;” and you authorized the use of rubber bullets and tear gas to clear peaceful protesters out of a public space so you could pose for a Bible-waving photo-op.
- As head of government, you have unmatched power to direct resources to relieve suffering. You can’t or won’t do that, either, so you should resign.
- And in your mistreatment of lawful protesters and abuse of religious symbols, you have violated your oath to protect and defend the Constitution, so you should resign.
- But ask yourself – can this country take five more months like the last five? You are a president supported by a minority of the people, and your only path to victory in November is to further divide the nation. This campaign could do even more lasting damage than you have done already.
- We know that you are not much of a student of history, but you recently said that you “learned a lot from Richard Nixon.” That’s good, because he set the historical precedent for what you should do now.
- America needs to heal again. Please resign now, and let us begin.
Bangor Daily News: President Trump, now is not the time to be in Maine
By: The Editorial Board
June 4, 2020
- As anti-racism protests grow across the country and coronavirus continues to spread, a presidential visit to Maine on Friday feels misplaced. Worse, it has the potential to spread dangerous violence — and the deadly virus — to rural Maine while taking precious financial resources away from local and state agencies that need them to serve their citizens.
- President Donald Trump is headed to Guilford anyway. Here is our message to our president.
- You should not be here. Not now.
- Far more people have died from coronavirus in America than in other countries. Hundreds of people continue to die daily from the virus.
- More than 40 million Americans are out of work. The unemployment rate is the highest it has been since the Great Depression. Businesses are struggling under government restrictions and reduced customer demand.
- Millions of people have taken to the streets in cities across the country to peacefully call for an end to police brutality, which ends the lives of far too many Americans — a disproportionate number of them people of color — each year. Some protests have turned violent, diluting the calls for equality and justice and threatening the vitality of community businesses.
- All of these issues — and more — demand your attention. America is in chaos. It needs a leader who is empathetic and understanding, who sees that the way to heal generations of division and distrust is through compassion and cooperation, not through talk of law and order, and worse, threats of violence and domestic militarization, and actual police violence against your fellow Americans.
- Our criticism of this visit should in no way diminish the important work being done at Puritan Medical Products, one of the largest makers of the swabs used in some coronavirus tests. The Guilford plant’s workers deserve thanks and recognition for the job they’re doing to help the entire country in its coronavirus response. However, we can’t help but feel like you’re using them as props for a photo op or campaign video. They, and the country, deserve better in this moment. The same is true of the fishermen you are also scheduled to meet with.
- Maine is not immune from the bigotry that has led to riots across the country, and in several communities here. Protests are planned around your president’s visit. Your supporters will also gather in Guilford and Bangor. Unfortunately, some of those supporters have already threatened violence.