There is an unseen force in life that guides events. I believe that our life experiences in many respects are like a Rorschach test, bringing back to us -- bringing to the surface like a mirror -- our inner beliefs about ourselves and the world. Do we think that the world is friendly and full of opportunities? Or do we think it is full of fear, terror and dread?
Well, I'm just being realistic you might say. But notice how the word realistic contains the base word reality. Perhaps we all think we are being realistic because we believe what we believe.
I am not a fatalist, a determinist, but neither do I believe that events are random. Inside ourselves we know that we control, or partially control, some events but not others, or in differing degrees. We each have our own sphere of influence.
Imagine how beautiful the world will be when we believe that we have more to gain by building each other up rather than tearing each other down. I believe that there are two forms of competition. "Healthy competition" encourages through competitive activities each of us to be our best as we push past perceived limits. "Unhealthy competition", by contrast, is a zero-sum game in which I win because you lose, or vice versa.
Fighting over services versus tax rebates (e.g. anti vs pro TABOR) is unhealthy competition, focused on the current pie. Intelligent (ROI-sensitive) economic development in which Maine creates a larger pie by successfully competing against other states and nations is competition taken to a higher, more productive, and healthy form. It's no less competitive at all, only redirected to its most productive good.
Maine is caught in a zero-sum game of partisanship. In partisanship my winning involves your losing. It is an appeal to our lowest instincts of combat in the form of law of the jungle and is less productive than forming working cooperative teams (in this case a state) that evolves the competition from intra-group rivalries to inter-group.
It is when we are better united as a state (never perfect, and respecting of individual needs and differences, just as in harmonious families not all people are clones) that we can best compete against the efforts of other states and countries for our economic well being. So it's a matter fundamental to our economic success, not an academic exercise.
Mainers have not shown en masse that they are ready yet for a candidate like myself that can work with our best qualities to make us most productive. Even our state's leaders have wavered. Real leadership involves results. Oratory, no matter how fluent and encouraging, nor self-promotion are not substitutes.
Shame on us if we don't improve.
Shame on you too.
Alex Hammer is an Independent candidate for Governor residing in Bangor. The campaign's website is www.hammer2006.politicalgateway.com