I feel that I must reply to my longtime friend Dennis Damon for his May 12 Maine Voices column on Eliot Cutler and the Democratic Party.

My “take” on the last gubernatorial election is that Democrats had an extremely difficult choice between their nominee and Eliot, who appeared to be the best candidate of all.

I voted for Eliot. Dennis voted Eliot. As a result, we contributed to the election of Gov. LePage, someone we consider to be an irresponsible leader with a frightening agenda. Dennis writes that the loss was the fault of the Democratic Party, which is “mired in old stale ways and downright vicious campaign tactics.”

Politics is not a dirty word. It is a vital part of anyone who desires to have a government office and its responsibilities. A governor is elected by citizens and is responsible for carrying out the policies in which his citizens believe. Our two major parties have several important differences in beliefs.

An appropriate politician is one who recognizes other points of view, is able to discuss issues rationally and responsibly and compromise where it makes sense. Breaking off from a political party does not necessarily equate with wisdom.

It should stand for a serious difference in philosophy from the mainstream. Consider the tea party. This is a frightening breakoff, potentially capable of destroying the Republican Party.

Dennis mentioned in his article recently attending a meeting of the group “No Labels.” I wonder if this is the group that Eliot is hoping to organize to attract the cream of our political activists. Dennis cannot really become an active member of such a group and still work for a better Democratic Party. Neither can Eliot.