The last couple of weeks have seen a number of outraged letters to the editor to the Machias Valley News Observer, although not The Calais Advertiser. That may reflect the bluer tinge of the Machias area readership, many of whom are especially angered that a conservative is teaching at the University. Most on the left have correctly assumed that higher education is friendly turf, and it is apparently quite distressing that a loud and proud conservative is ensconced there, especially one who is not cowed by charges of “racist”, “bigot” and (pick your victim group)”phobe”.
A number of writers fervently wished for my muzzling/cancelling/silencing, imploring my editors and publisher to somehow rid them of this troubling professor. I do not think their prayers will be answered. The Machias Valley News Observer Editor is certainly well to the left of me, but she is as firm a First Amendment fanatic as I am. I think she will welcome opposing and critical responses, but gagging me, much as the left wants it, is not in her journalism portfolio. Thank G-d at least some members of the media still believe in the First Amendment.
The publisher of the Machias Valley News Observer and The Calais Advertiser is even less likely to be swayed by lefty threats and complaints. Freedom Studies is not a particularly high cost or (in my estimation anyway) a high revenue feature of the papers. As an outspoken and unafraid conservative column, it is pretty unique in Maine. You can get all the left wing agitprop you want (or in my case want not) from The Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald. The BDN features frequent contributions from the Scholars Strategy Network, a dark money/George Soros funded outfit for left wing academics, led by my Orono colleague Professor of Political Science Amy Fried. Amy thinks Joe Biden is the greatest. I do not know for sure, but I suspect Soros dark money wages exceed my column fee, which involves the 19th Century Democratic racist President Andrew Jackson. Or to quote Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Anti Semiteville), “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”
It is worth noting that during George W. Bush and Donald Trump’s terms the left vociferously claimed, “Dissent is patriotic.” The Washington Post even proclaimed “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” Now, with Biden (or whoever is really in charge), Pelosi and Schumer driving the country back to 1970’s stagflation, crime waves and embassy rooftop helicopter evacuations, dissent is a sign of domestic extremism and white supremacy.
I will not apologize for honestly sharing my opinion, and I have no regrets that those opinions offend the left. Sometime between voting for Bill Clinton in 1992 and George Bush in 2000, I realized that freedom was my central organizing value. It had a lot to do with parenthood, experience in Augusta, the salmon listing and political correctness, all of which combined to counter the leftist indoctrination my parents , the 60’s and my education at Colby and Brown created.
This column appears just after my 65th birthday. I have very bad news for my critics. I am not going anywhere. Three plus years removed from radiation, chemo and surgery, I am healthy and unafraid of whatever crap the left wants to throw at me. I have picked out a retirement date, but from teaching, not punditry. I do not like what the left, the wokerati, the Democrats, the Biden crime family, cackling Kamala and the Squad are doing to America, and I will be using my column to make that case as loudly as I can. Please feel free to make your displeasure with me known. Ticking off the left makes me stronger; it is like a vaccine producing antibodies against socialism by testing my immune system. Therefore, keep those letters and angry e-mails coming!
Jon Reisman is an associate professor of economics and public policy at the University of Maine at Machias. His views are his own. Mr. Reisman welcomes comments as letters to the editor here, or to him directly via email at [email protected].