I have come to the conclusion that I have been branded a criminal by some folks, both here in Maine and in Washington.

My criminal acts include helping those who cannot help themselves, protecting voter rights, protecting worker rights, standing up for the poor, helping in the fight to ensure all Americans have access to health care, and more.

You see, I have been branded as a left-wing, bleeding-heart liberal.

Well, I am guilty as charged and very proud to say so. Yes, myself and so many others like me, have fought those fights and have won some and lost some; but we fought just the same. I am extremely proud to work with other people on those issues.

It’s sad that in America, a country founded on freedom and equality, people must fight for rights that are so basic that most other countries around the world embrace them: worker rights to good wages and safety, systems to help people when they need it the most, increased voter participation and not voter-repression, a health care system that covers everyone and not just a few select or lucky people, a Social Security program that allows people to retire after 40 to 50 years of working.

Why shouldn’t I be proud?

Can those who wish to enforce voter repression laws, cater to big business and insurance companies, protect the wealthy at the cost to the poor claim to be proud of their work?

It is difficult to imagine how they can be.

Joseph Mailey, Auburn

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