When Jared Golden votes differently from the majority of Democrats, I make it a point to read his complete explanation carefully. Though I may not agree with the decision he comes to, I have always understood his reasoning and respected his stand.
The Republican Party has made it clear that it demands unthinking party loyalty above all else, that any member whose conscience dictates against party positions becomes a pariah. This has made compromise almost impossible and polarization inevitable.
Golden is working to change that, modeling “loyal opposition.” For us to require him to ignore his better judgment, to march in lockstep with The Party, dooms any hope of changing the current toxic situation. I cannot speak for him, but he does not seem at risk of trading away sound judgment for bi-partisanship, only to think for himself based on his understanding of how best to serve his constituents — a trait Mainers value.
On Feb. 27, Golden issued a detailed, point-by-point explanation of his stance, stressing his desire to support immediate COVID relief but requesting a more carefully-targeted approach. He also urged separating out the pieces that were not COVID-related so that these could be discussed more fully and possibly result in bi-partisan legislation.
In his March 17 letter, Marc Jalbert may have missed Golden’s longer explanation because that made clear that Golden had read the bill very carefully and took pains to explain his differences, item by item. A much briefer version omitted much of that detail.

Silver Moore-Leamon, Auburn

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