Former President Donald Trump’s speech on June 5, while largely ignored by media outlets, was another in a series of nihilist, self-obsessed rants about a “Third World country election like we’ve never seen before.” An out-and-out assault on the integrity of American democracy. A washed-up, soon-to-be-indicted has-been continues to wreak havoc, feed a hungry conspiracy machine and divide the nation. And the Republican response? Tacit approval or loud praise.

I don’t share many of my left-leaning friends’ fear that democracy as we know it is on the verge of collapse, but the Republican Party’s continued fealty to Mr. Trump is alarming.

In the 1950s, when Sen. Joseph McCarthy was setting fire to “the establishment,” demagoguing and Red-baiting, few of his Republican colleagues had the courage to call out his lies and antipathy. Why risk the Wisconsin Republican’s wrath when his aim was at liberal elites and Democrats in both chambers, his contemporaries surely thought? The calculus is the same with Trump and today’s Republican Party.

Seventy-one years ago, one Maine senator beseeched her Republican colleagues to return the party to one of “unity and prudence” and bewailed the debased chambers of Congress as a “forum of hate and character assassination.” If only there were a strong Republican senator from the state of Maine today who had the courage to speak out, stand firm and help free her colleagues from the shackles of Mr. Trump’s grip on the party.

Chris Indorf
Saco


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