A letter I wrote recently, about a “powerful voting bloc,” received many comments on the Portland Press Herald website and letters in response on July 26. While I never expected this response, I am gratified by it. Hearty public debate is what makes for a strong democracy.

I did not write the headline of my letter; the editor did. I was not expressing my views, but rather giving stark voice to views I am hearing in political campaigns. It is all too easy to label views we don’t like and ridicule them. I am firmly opposed to what the far-right movement is pursuing. It disgusts me to my core.

Yet, there are apparently thoughtful people, not too dissimilar from me, who believe in this dangerous, I dare say anti-American, nonsense. I wonder if some fail to consider these views in stark terms. They hear rhetoric from political figures they like without considering what’s behind the words. My aim was to give clear voice to their core meanings without vitriol and name calling.

I believe the far-right movement in this country represents a minority viewpoint fueled by a form of nationalism brought on, in part, by immense change, uncertainty and fear. I am deeply worried about the health of our democracy, our social civility, our environment, nuclear proliferation, and the list goes on. I know how I will vote.

Tom Meuser

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