I am responding to Sen. Susan Collins’ recent statements on the newest crisis, the wall and government shutdown – her responses to which remain consistent with her behavior of these past two years.

In 2014, I voted for Collins, my first and last vote for a Republican. She tactfully wears the mantle of “moderate” Republican for suspense and limelight to project an image of concern and thoughtfulness. Sincere yes, yet her words wither to her actions.

A portion of a letter I sent to her last July: “Your party seeded conservation and environmental policies, and was once fiscally responsible and derided deficit spending; Republicans no longer stand for these policies. Whether this be diplomacy, an active concern for cyber security and elections; reasonable judicial advice and consent; sustaining the rights and health of citizens or those attempting to become one; our social contract and laws for women, minorities, and children; the First Amendment of our Constitution and subsequent amendments protecting the right and privilege of all Americans to pursue life, liberty, and happiness no matter who they may be are no longer the vestige of this Republican Party.”

The whole letter suggested removing herself from the Republican caucus and become an independent. My letter’s focus was, and remains, her actions and acquiescence to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. I did not digress into the president’s incivilities and indiscretions.

McConnell’s Republican Party is radical partisanship lacking governance and respect for the Constitution and Senate. How many promises for debate and compromise to Collins has he withdrawn? Using her Senate platform expounding moderation enables this severe partisanship, because, by association, her passivity to challenge extreme Republican policies or inaction by McConnell supports them. Republican senators do not constructively debate; they follow in lockstep. This is the antithesis of democracy, and only slips us deeper into authoritarianism and oligarchism.

Brad Christo

South Berwick


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