Lucas St. Clair’s one-sided opposition to Question 1 is Undemocratic

As a non-hunter who could not imagine shooting any wild creature unless it were attacking  me or others close to me, I certainly respect Lucas St. Clair’s experience and expertise in opposing Question 1, as per his Op Ed in the Bangor Daily News.He is surely entitled to his views. But casting proponents of Question 1 as anti-scientific is not a compelling argument, given that others with experience and expertise at least comparable to St. Clair’s have endorsed Question 1.

This is not akin to the relative handful of “experts” who deny climate change versus the overwhelming majority of “experts” who insist on the reality of climate change. Who is St. Clair to dismiss those who disagree with him? Are all proponents of Question 1 acting only out of moral and so allegedly non-scientific grounds? I think not.

Moreover, St. Clair is amazingly arrogant in condemning proponents of Question 1because, in his one-sided view, only they  “polarize.” As if  none who oppose Question 1 themselves “polarize.”

St. Clair’s position is that all proponents of Question 1 are violating Maine’s sacred “tradition” and should instead shut up. Is this his version of grassroots democracy? Invoking “tradition” for its own sake hardly justifies anything, as the history of women’s suffrage and civil rights in American history makes painfully clear.

St. Clair’s reference to Teddy Roosevelt misses the point that Roosevelt was surely conflicted about conservation. If, to be sure, he was a pioneer in the development of conservation in America, he simultaneously had no moral reluctance to hunt wild animals in Africa as well as in Maine, wild animals  who were not exactly a threat to this country. How does one reconcile these polar opposites, Mr. St. Clair?

 Finally, St. Clair invokes “the social contract” that all Mainers have allegedly agreed upon in hunting bears. Is this from Rousseau’s unpublished works? Where is the paper trail?

Contrary to St. Clair’s argument, reasonable people can disagree on Question 1 and, no less important, have every right in our democracy to speak their minds and cast their votes. St. Clair’s enforced consensus concerns me far more than the outcome of the vote on Question 1.


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