Recently, Gov. Paul LePage highlighted one of the most beautiful things about this country: The First Amendment.

This country was founded upon the idea that you are entitled to your own opinion. I am truly thankful for this amendment; it allows people to reveal themselves for what they truly are and what they truly mean.

LePage’s hyperbolic use of the pain of the men and women affected by the Holocaust, my grandfather among them, devalues any point he may have been trying to make. It did not “cloud” his message; it ruined it.

When I go back to college, and talk to my fellow students, some of whom will be the nation’s future leaders, I will, once again, have to explain the crass comments of my state’s governor. LePage should stop drowning his words in hyperbolic micro-aggressions; they are not effective, and they are embarrassing.

Whether from professors or parents, the term, “your generation is the future” has become a regular saying in my life. If that is true, consider this a message to the people of Maine: These hyperbolic crass comments are not the future. They are not what my generation wants or needs.

We need leaders who reject the negativity and the hyperbole that often ruins the information that follows. We need leaders who seek truth and justice, who understand that the use of language and the freedom of speech that we are granted under our Constitution is a gift. We should not abuse this gift, but rather use it to stand on principle and change the world.

Meg Richardson, Kents Hill

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