Girl Meets Stupid in Maine

Okay, let’s get this straight. When it comes to Question 1 on the ballot next Tuesday, Maine voters are supposed to “trust the scientists” paid by the LePage Administration, and vote “no” to banning the cruel practice of baiting, trapping and hounding bears.

Bear torture is the price we must pay to avoid bear attacks, they say, pointing to a woman mauled in her garage in Florida, who now stars in a commercial to make people afraid in Maine.

Another ad sponsored by LePage scientists/lobbyists suggests kids no longer will be safe playing outside if we ban bear baiting, trapping and hounding. Calling all suburban Soccer Moms! Bear maiming is for good for kids.

These fear-mongering ads seem to be effective — on candidates, at least. Not a single person running in any major race in Maine has publicly backed the bear referendum question, even though numerous scientists, veterinarians, animal welfare organizations and wildlife experts support it.

Whether we should ban unsporting and inhumane practices in Maine is sort of like the question of whether we should have a national park. Both make a lot of sense, and both are shied away from by candidates spooked by an angry vocal minority.

But bears, national parks and stupid are not unique to Maine. There’s a growing trend of people risking their life for a #BearSelfie. Officials at the U.S. Forest Service actually had to post a warning about the dangers of posing for a photo with a bear.

“We’ve had mobs of people that are actually rushing toward the bears trying to get a ‘selfie’ photo,” said one Lake Tahoe Basin spokesperson.

And then along comes Ebola-free Kaci Hickox, out for a bike ride in northern Maine after saving lives in Sierra Leone.  Is it bears she needs to worry about, or the flatness of the earth under the LePage Administration?

So she tested negative for Ebola and has no symptoms of illness –science, be damned! This woman “from away” can’t be trusted, LePage said.

Scenting the opportunity to grandstand with another obese and pugnacious “conservative” governor, LePage trapped Kaci in her home, hounded her with unreasonable demands and baited her with legal proceedings. Other righteous candidates stumping about “liberty” and “freedom” rushed in to ban travel and quarantine healthy citizens.

#BigStupidGovernment selfie, anyone?

Cynthia Dill

About Cynthia Dill

Cynthia Dill is a civil rights attorney with the Portland firm Troubh Heisler. She has served as a state senator and representative, and she is the former Democratic nominee in Maine's 2012 U.S. Senate race. She holds a BA from the University of Vermont and a JD from Northeastern University. She is admitted in the U.S. District Courts for Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims. Dill lives in Cape Elizabeth with her husband Tom and their two children.