I’ve noticed that many supporters of Paul LePage and Donald Trump do so because they praise each of these men for “speaking his mind.” I find this a bit puzzling. Speaking one’s mind isn’t all that unusual. It seems to me that Putin speaks his mind, as did Mussolini.

But Walt Whitman also speaks his mind in “Leaves Of Grass,” as does Romeo to Juliet in the balcony scene, and Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” is certainly a famous and forceful example of speaking one’s mind. And one of the most thoughtful and eloquent examples I can think of, also a part of our nation’s complex history, would be Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Yes, LePage and Trump clearly speak their minds, but so do Homer Simpson and the spokesmen of ISIL.

Doesn’t our important central task consist of determining what kind of speech is coming out of what kind of a mind and what that speech means, and then weighing what effect that meaning might have on the world around us and it’s future?

That’s what I say, and I thank this newspaper for allowing me, and others, to speak our minds!

Abbott Meader

Oakland