Samantha Bee, our political comedy queen, diverted away from her usual mainstream election reporting to talk about Maine. That's right, Maine. But why? Maine, tucked away in, as Bee puts it, "the un-heated crawl space between Quebec and New Hampshire" rarely catches the attention of national news organizations unless it's about their rapid population decline. However, there's a very important political lesson to be learned from our northern neighbor.
Meet Governer Paul LePage a.k.a "Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular" — his words, not ours. As the media continues to call out Trump's shitty actions and spend hours debating all of the stupid lies he's said in his speeches, LePage has been cruising under the radar — even though he's the best representation of how Trump could get elected on November 8th.
LePage is roaringly racist. So ignorantly offensive that it makes Trump's rallies seem moderate in comparison. His core group of supporters, cut from the same hateful cloth as Trump's, view LePage's "unfiltered mouth-garbage as a feature, not a bug." It's very scary to see the similarities between these two angry white guys. Like Trump supporters, LePage's fans say that the governor "tells it like it is." Really??? "Tell it like it is" implies some kind of honesty. LePage is just shouting terrible, hateful stereotypes about people of color, claims that immigrants bring diseases like AIDs and Tuberculosis, and honestly believes that Maine's heroin problem is caused by black drug dealers who come to the state to impregnate white women — despite the evidence that proves his bizarre claims wrong.
Like Trump, LePage is reckless and volatile. He'll say terrible nonsense and refuse to apologize for the things. He operates with no remorse. Worse, he thinks that his words are not enough. When asked about a solution for the "drug-pushing white girl-fertilizing outsiders," Bee doesn't have to say anything. She just cuts to a soundbite in which LePage expresses his desire to bring the guillotine back. "I think Maine just found its new tourism campaign!" Bee gleefully declares.
A while back, LePage had hacked the art of racial profiling. By that I mean he literally just had a binder of mugshots of black men. No wonder Bee calls him "Law & Order: LePage." When a few Main legislators (justifiably) disagreed with the Governer's method of policing, LePage responded with the voicemail version of a Trump Twitter Rampage™
We couldn't make this shit up even if we tried. So how the fuck did this Grade-A asshole end up elected into office? Thankfully, Samantha's got the answer, along with a very important political lesson to instill.
No, a majority of the population did not want him to win. In fact, the majority was voting against him. The problem is that the majority voted against him by voting for multiple people, letting LePage slide into office with the split vote.
Then it happened again in 2014.
LePage aside, Maine has a lot of problems, as Bee has so wisely pointed out. "Maine has less diversity than the L.L. Bean fall catalogue." Their population is mostly old white people, with deaths now outnumbering births. They don't have enough of a working population to keep their economy up and they've got a drug epidemic that won't be fixed with more racism. They need immigrants, they need a larger and more diverse population to find solutions to the problems they're facing — and they won't get that while LePage is in office. Sure, Maine has slipped into the national background but LePage's election scarily reflects many of the issues we're facing now in the polls.
Third parties aren't awful. They should play more of a role in American politics and I completely agree that this two-party system is outdated in comparison to the rest of the world, but candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are dangerous in such a precarious national election like this one. Splitting the vote by choosing a third party candidate seriously fucks over the rest of the population that would be greatly hurt by having Trump as president (see: women, poor people, people of color, the LGBTQ community). You want to help Third Parties? Start at the local level. Don't just blindly cast your vote into the wind of the national election. We already have Governer LePage, we sure as fuck don't need another one. Thank you, Samantha, for shining a light on an issue. We don't know how we'd survive election season without you.
We already have Governer LePage, we sure as fuck don't need another one. Thank you, Samantha, for shining a light on this issue. We don't know how we'd survive election season without you.
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Airs On TBS Monday Nights At 10:30 EST
(Screenshots via Youtube)
More from BUST