A penalty for silence

To the Editor:

Where are the “troublesome young men” of the Republican Party in these troubling times? (Of course, in the year 2017, I really refer to “troublesome people” of any age and gender.)

In England, in the years leading up to the Second World War, a group of rebellious Tory politicians stood up to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and advocated for their country instead of remaining blindly loyal to the Tory Party in power. (See Lynne Olson’s book “Troublesome Young Men,” published in 2007.)

Where are the Republican members of Congress who denounced the nomination of Trump as their party’s presidential candidate and said they could not vote for such a man? Where is Maine Sen. Susan Collins now objecting to Trump’s immature moral fiber? On Aug. 8, 2016, in the Washington Post, Collins wrote:

“I will not be voting for Donald Trump for president. This is not a decision I make lightly, for I am a lifelong Republican. But Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country.”

Where is John McCain opposing Trump for the good of America and challenging the man who called him a war coward for allowing himself to get captured by the enemy? Where are the many, many decent members of the Republican Party who should be shouting disagreement with policies and executive orders that run counter to the traditions of the Grand Old Party? Instead we see the Republican Party embracing Trump’s wild ideas just to prove they have power over the opposition party.

Silence will lead to loss of lives. Silence will lead to violence against Americans abroad and may very well lead to violence, once again, aimed at us here on our own soil. Silence will cause the historical record to condemn those who are going along with whatever Trump wants without using their own powers of analysis, reflection and careful moral deliberation.

Democrats who are voting “yes” to approve Trump’s unqualified nominees for the sake of “giving the new administration a chance to govern” have been proven, in just a few short weeks, to be sorely mistaken.

Voting “yes” to support the dictatorial, authoritarian, populist Trump who envisions himself king of America will not bode well for rebuilding the support for the Democratic Party. Independents who are voting yes on some nominees should reexamine their nonaffiliation stance and ask themselves why they are supporting Trump.

In the Senate, all it would take is a handful of “troublesome people” to stand up to Trump and say “no!” Where are they?

Janet Leston Clifford

Mount Desert

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