I was both appalled and embarrassed to read in the paper on Jan. 31 that the House and Senate Democrats are seeking a resolution opposing the war in Iraq.

Our representatives and senators have a fiduciary duty to represent their constituents in matters of the state. They have absolutely no authority or right to represent the great people of this state in national or international affairs. This is why we have a division between state and federal governments.

Our state representatives and state senators are not privy to international intelligence, they do not attend cabinet meetings of the president and they do not have access to any of the information upon which the current administration is basing its policy. Yet, they pretend to know what is best for the country in international affairs?

This is not only a breach of the trust that we have placed in them, but an utter abuse of power.

The state of Maine does not need any more bad press. Do these Democrats honestly believe that coming out against the war in Iraq will somehow increase federal funding to the state of Maine? If that is the belief of our state leaders, it is no small wonder why this state is in such terrible disrepair. Perhaps their time would be better spent trying to figure out why Maine has the highest tax rate in the country rather than taking positions on issues which they clearly do not comprehend.

If our state representatives and senators desire to shape national policy, they should run for national office. Otherwise, they should leave governance of the country to people who have much better intelligence and political ability than they do.

If the state Democratic leaders seek to oppose the war to gain national recognition, shame on them.

If we let them get away with it, shame on us.

Shawn K. Bell, Lewiston


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