One part of my own future is unfolding very slowly. My promised vaccination date remains undisclosed despite repeated telephone calls. When we read that “Confusion and Frustration as Older Mainers Try to Navigate Vaccination Registration Maze,” we see that I’m not alone in the dark. Kevin Miller, writing in the Portland Press Herald explains that statewide confusion over procedures and priorities are at the bottom of this problem.

Here’s a wider lesson we should all ponder. Government often demonstrates its ability to disrupt and destroy, but seems to find it more and more difficult to accomplish its constructive tasks quickly and efficiently We have seen that Maine’s government can destroy hundreds, perhaps thousands, of businesses and careers by single decree but can’t organize a centralized, statewide registration and appointment database.

So hospitals and health care networks have had to organize their own systems. I make no complaints against Farmington Memorial Hospital, where I entered this world 80 years ago and where my tonsils were removed a few years later despite my noisy protests.

Moving on to larger elements which lie before us, President Biden’s new “foreign policy for the middle class” remains mysterious. Trump’s “America First” policy was also vague, but it made a pithier slogan. Our new president’s plans to appoint some kind of jobs czar within 30 days, then develop a strategy within 60 days, and establish benchmarks for measuring progress.

Judging from past performance by both conservative and liberal administrations the outcome of this program is likely to be a series of announcements culminating in a list of benchmarks which will be ignored. We know our political leadership is usually ignorant of the effects of its policies but they all know that, taken collectively, America’s voters have ephemeral memories.

Here’s one thing we can foresee for this year, and the next, and the one after that and off into the distant future. We will have to endure racialist agonizing and agitation in perpetuity. Maine’s most recent manifestation is a bill sponsored by House Assistant Majority Leader Rachel Talbot Ross, D-Portland. If passed it would mandate the introduction of racial impact data into the legislative process.

Maine’s Legislative Council would create a pilot program next year with several legislative committees. Those committees would review relevant data from state agencies and make findings on the racial impact that a proposed piece of legislation would be likely to have. After next year’s session, the Legislative Council would make a recommendation for the wider use of the process in the next Legislature.

As Maine’s first Black female legislator and first Black to serve in a leadership post Talbot Ross is a valuable asset for the Democrats. It’s a fair bet that her proposal will pass. It’s a lead-pipe cake walk that no committee will report a failure to find evidence of racism.

That, by itself would be condemned as “systemic racism.” In the remote past (sometimes called my youth) racism was known and easily identified. I even knew some people who called themselves racists. This clarity no longer exists.

The relatively novel term, “systemic racism” has no clear and long-settled definition. So there is no defense against it. Better yet, a denial is itself prima facie evidence that you are a racist. Anyway, it is well know that Maine is the whitest state in the union. Let’s keep it simple: Born and bred in Maine = racist.

There are a number of reasons. we can expect the crusade against systemic racism to remain a lively issue for ever and ever. It is a plain fact, discussed all along the political spectrum, left to right, that the solid African-American voting bloc is vital to the Democratic party fortunes. If it were to split 60%-40% with the GOP picking up the short end, the Democrats would have no hope of getting a durable congressional majority and not much hope for the presidency. This is not debatable. This is math.

President Trump’s erosion of this bloc despite prolonged and strenuous efforts to depict him as an arch-racist must give liberal strategists cause for concern. It’s strategy, not cynicism, to assume that ways and means of stimulating paranoid fears in this vital bloc concerns liberal political strategists. We can expect redoubled efforts to stimulate and reinforce this paranoia.

We conclude our prophetic analysis with some observations about the political use of paranoia. First, let’s agree that paranoia and politics agree as well as bacon and eggs. It’s always there to be used, although it can prove dangerous. This brings us to Marjorie Taylor Green, the new Republican representative from Georgia, who appears to believe that Hollywood celebrities are Satan-worshiping, cannibalistic pedophiles.

She relies for her information on a paranoid crack-pot news site called Q’non. Sites like this meet a demand. They claim to reveal the truths concealed by the secret conspiracy that rule us from their secret headquarter on Mount Mordor.

It suits the left-lurching media to represent her as the face of the Republican party. Sen. Mitch McConnell has dismissed Greene as a cancer of the GOP. He’s right but his influence has been diminished because the True Trumpists are now accusing him of disloyalty to their master. I expect we’ll hear more about the Georgian peach for at east two more years, or until someone zanier comes along.

John Frary of Farmington, the GOP candidate for U.S. Congress in 2008, is a retired history professor, an emeritus Board Member of Maine Taxpayers United, a Maine Citizen’s Coalition Board member, and publisher of He can be reached at [email protected]

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