Even in Maine, all politics is national

Portland Press Herald

Remember when they used to say “All politics is local”?

That might have been partly true when members of Congress were known only for how much money they could siphon home from Washington, but it’s hardly true at all today in the era of 24- hour cable news and social media. No issue is too remote to matter in a local race these days, and no local issue is big enough to completely obscure a national trend.

We like to think we’re special, but we’re not.

Look at Waterville: The city just had a recall election for Mayor Nick Isgro that had nothing to do with municipal issues like potholes or tax rates and everything to do with a mean tweet he sent about Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg. Isgro barely kept his job, but he did not see his 91-vote victory as an opportunity to make peace, choosing instead to lash out at his opponents and the news media. Sound familiar?

Forget about all politics being local — local politics isn’t even local anymore. And that’s what we saw in this year’s primaries in Maine.

On the Republican side, we witnessed Donald Trump’s complete takeover of the party with a blend of nativism, nationalism and nostalgia that has more to do with Fox News than Dover-Foxcroft.

Unlike the 2010 primary, when Republicans ran an ideologically diverse group of seven candidates that included four moderates, there were only four candidates this year, all competing to be the next Paul LePage, who was Trump in Maine before Trumpism became a thing.

The hands-down winner was Shawn Moody, who began his campaign with an interview in which he suggested sending the Maine National Guard to our southwestern border to keep out “illegals” and drugs. In case you’re wondering, he was talking about Texas, not Parsonsfield.

In his Election Night victory speech…

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