I’m thankful that Gov. Paul LePage is in office now rather than 15 years ago. Trying to explain to my then-5-year-old son why a man holding the most powerful position in Maine would excuse dialing one of his subordinates with verbal threats, then be defended for doing so by the other grown-ups in the room would’ve made for a tough parenting moment.

But that wouldn’t have touched trying to tell him what the expletives he used meant. Explaining hate speech, racism, homophobia and misogyny is a series of conversations that parents would like to prepare for, rather than be thrown into them by the leader of our state. No matter how many blocks we put up on the internet for our children, these soundbytes come through — loud and clear — as Maine continued to become a nationwide meme and punchline.

I would have let my son know that any person who ever abused him or me with that language was committing an illegal act, and according to 17-A M.R.S. § 506., the perp would spend time in jail where he couldn’t hurt other people in a similar manner.

Though I doubt that would make either of us happier as we read our bedtime story, as the reality would’ve made a liar out of mom. Fellow parents of Maine: how did you explain LePage’s phone tirade to your child? It’s time for a discussion.

Rachel Robbins


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