Rep. Tom Skolfield: Dial down the inflammatory rhetoric and stick to facts

Rep. Tom Skolfield represents district 112 in the Maine House of Representatives.

Following is the Weekly Republican Radio Address from Rep. Tom Skolfield.

Greetings, this is Tom Skolfield, State Representative from Weld.

The holiday season is upon us.

As we experience the joy of giving, receiving, and hope for a better New Year, we should reflect on ways to improve the lives of others.

Life is becoming increasingly more stressful. We need more ways to lower stress.

A new survey of 2,000 Americans by OnePoll bears this out. It found that:  

7 in 10 adults say their lives have never been more stressful than today.

Two-thirds of Americans say all this anxiety is making them less productive at work.

And… 8 In 10 Americans say politics are the biggest source of stress in their lives.

I don’t think this is surprising to most listeners or people in my district.

Political divisiveness did not stop after the November 8, 2016 election.

The angry partisanship, noise and downright disrespectful behavior has continued unabated.

Recently, a member of Maine Legislature’s Democrat leadership revealed that party affiliation helped determine whether bills were allowed to be considered by the full legislature in January.

A Bangor Daily News article reported that a Democrat Leader was quoted as saying they would not consider bills that were sponsored by Republicans, saying you “can’t spend a year voting against everything as an individual member’ and expect to get bills in.”

The idea that party affiliation is more important than the content and individual merits of proposed bills is shameful, disappointing and beneath the standards that Mainers have for their legislators.   

It signals to the people of Maine that only one view is acceptable and any deviation from that view should be silenced.

Several Republican bills were nonpartisan in nature, and designed to benefit everyone in Maine.

Democrats voted against almost all of them.

A recent press release announcing economic forecasting news essentially referred to Republicans as liars four times.

It neglected to mention any “lies,” let alone attempt to refute them.

It is disappointing that some leaders have lowered themselves to this level, offering no facts and refusing to debate, instead all they offer is name calling. 

Our leaders need to respect our government institutions and conduct themselves with a level of decorum that the Maine people expect and deserve. 

Maine legislative Republicans will continue to focus on facts and serious policy differences without resorting to personal attacks.

We believe that resorting to insults is the last resort of insecure people with a crumbling position trying to appear confident.  

Elected officials need to conduct themselves in a certain way, regardless of how others act. Every member of the legislature was elected to represent their district and presiding officers should endeavor to respect all of us, even those of us representing districts with whom they disagree.

We all have control over our own words and actions. No one forces us to act disrespectfully.

Let’s dial it down.

Let’s exert peace and goodwill to others.

Let’s do better in the New Year.

The good book is instructive:

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another…”

Merry Christmas and may God bless us all.

This has been State Representative Tom Skolfield with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.       

Thank you for listening.

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