Responses to Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald’s proposal (Sun Journal, Sept. 25) to publish the names of those on welfare miss the point.

His proposal is simply an election gimmick in his re-election campaign for mayor. Macdonald knew the proposal would go nowhere — it violates state and federal laws.

The purpose is an appeal to prejudice and to pick up votes. It is a divisive and cruel move. It is aimed at those who need to feel superior to someone and who also need someone to blame for their tenuous economic standing. They are very susceptible to those types of despicable tactics. People on welfare will become the scapegoats. They will be blamed for everything.

Being on welfare is not a pleasant experience. Being harassed and humiliated by Macdonald is additionally degrading and stressful. The politics of division and exclusion are being practiced by the mayor. He is an embarrassment to the city of Lewiston.

It is ironic that Macdonald offered his hateful proposal while many people observed the stimulating and unifying presence of Pope Francis and his message. Pope Francis repeatedly called for the inclusion, support and acceptance of the poor and immigrants in our midst, while rejecting prejudice.

Robert Melaragno, Auburn

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