As an unaffiliated voter, I declined to support Gov. Mitt Romney in the last presidential election. Then, and undoubtedly still, I simply disagreed with his positions and policies, but at this moment I write in appreciation of him.

It appears that Gov. Romney is one of the few members of his political party who possess the ethical backbone and moral clarity to directly rebuke Donald Trump for what he is – a dangerous, narcissistic and unprincipled demagogue. He is an embarrassment to his party and to our nation.

Gov. Romney has rightly observed that Mr. Trump is a man who denigrates women (most viciously those who dare to challenge him); is advocating a religious test for entry into our country; is proposing U.S. isolationism through a fortress mentality of physical, social and economic wall building; is disparaging of immigrants, and is an individual who has selfishly served no one but himself in his lifetime.

Gov. Romney and a few other noble conservatives have spoken bravely – these values, attitudes and behaviors are absolutely contrary to American values regardless of political party.

It is no surprise that Maine’s discredited governor, along with other politicians of his ilk, has joined the Trump bandwagon. It is surprising that those with some semblance of having a working moral and ethical compass, as exemplified in our state’s proud reputation of Margaret Chase Smith, remain on the sidelines.

This is especially true of Maine Sen. Susan Collins, whose complicit silence becomes more reprehensible by the day.

It’s time for all Americans, and especially our acknowledged leaders, to follow Gov. Romney’s example and soundly reject the politics of division, bigotry, intolerance and hate.

Neal Guyer