The first presidential debate was a global embarrassment, due to the president’s behavior, which was outside any acceptable norm of conduct. Joe Biden should not have let himself get dragged down, but his response is a function of how polarized and extreme our politics has become.

The antidote to this toxicity is to elect moderates who will collaborate and reach across the aisle. We cannot address extreme partisanship by electing more partisans – we need more moderates like Democrats Joe Biden and Jared Golden and Republican Susan Collins, not fewer.

As New York Times columnist Tom Friedman said recently: “. . .when extremists go all the way, and moderates just go away, the system can break. And it will break.”

Mary Ann Lynch
Cape Elizabeth

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