I’d like to comment on a recent op-ed column (“Maine Voices: It’s inevitable that U.S. consumers will plug into electric vehicles,” Dec. 30) for which an editor wrote a subheadline describing the American political spectrum as a continuum “from patriots to clean-energy advocates.”

Here’s the problem: This phrasing implies that far right-wing ideologues are “patriots,” while environmentalists are not. In my opinion, the exact opposite is true!

Since when is it patriotic to spend more than half our national treasure on a gargantuan military, while cutting back life-saving services – food, health care, housing, job training – for the most vulnerable among us?

Since when is it patriotic to refuse to extend a helping hand to terrorized refugees fleeing horrific violence? (Remember, our own ancestors came here as immigrants!)

Since when is it not patriotic to care about preserving our fragile natural environment for our children and grandchildren?

Since when is it not patriotic to want to help those in need, rather than handing billions of dollars to corporations and the military?

The far right wing has grabbed our flag and draped themselves in it when, in fact, many of their positions do not in any way reflect the highest ideals of our nation.

It’s time to stop buying in to their myth and take our flag back. “Right-wing” does not equal “patriotic,” and the terms should not be used interchangeably.

Mary Wheeler

South Portland