As some of you may or may not know, the Maine Democratic Party has been busy with a new project called Values and Visions. This entails the party attempting to re-connect with Mainers that they lost touch with, primarily those in Congressional District 02.
This is how the Maine Democratic Party describes their series of forums:
“Now more than ever, Maine needs a strong Democratic party. People are counting on us to stand up for an economy and health care system that work for everyone, preserve environmental regulations, protect civil and human rights, and more.”
On the surface this seems like a progressive step for the Maine Dems, however it would appear that they are still the out-of-touch political party that has yet to accept the reality of their losses this past November.
In a story broken by Howie Carr, and footage obtained by Maine First Media from a Values and Visions forum last Tuesday, a former State Senate candidate named Richard Fochtmann of Leeds stand up front with Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett and says, to the amusement of the crowd and the Party leadership, “today I saw a thing… it said a lot of men, white men, were committing suicide! And I almost said, ‘yeah! Great!’”
For the party that wants a “health care system that works for everyone” and seeks to “protect civil and human rights” this was a tasteless and tone deaf comment.
Did you know that according to the Maine Suicide Prevention Program, “suicide was the second leading cause of death in Maine and the United States among adolescents aged 10-24 and adults aged 25-34 from 2012-2014”. Additionally, suicide was the “fourth leading cause of death among adults in Maine and the United States aged 35-54 from 2012-2014”. In concerning information from The Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality in Maine, roughly “50,000 adults in 2009–2013 had serious thoughts of suicide within the year prior to being surveyed”.
According to an article from the New York Times, suicide rates are the highest they have been in 30 years. The article also highlights that men are 3.6 times more likely to commit suicide than woman.
You would be hard pressed to find someone whose life hasn’t been touched in some way by mental health disorders. Personally, I can list off a number of individuals who struggle everyday with depression, bipolar disorder, and self-harm. I have known people who have taken their own life and people who have attempted to take their own life.
I see no humor in suicide. I see no humor in serious mental health disorders.
The Maine Democratic Party is disconnected from reality. They have lost complete and total touch with Maine and Maine voters. Furthermore, it would seem that the more detached they become, the less sensitive they are to REAL issues, like mental health disorders, or even the demographics of the state they seek so desperately to represent.
Before the next Values and Visions forum I strongly encourage Chairman Bartlett and his Maine Democratic Party Staff to take a long hard look at their own values, and determine if their vision for Maine is one of leadership and more importantly, compassion.
Listen to Howie Carr's take:
Watch the video:
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