Letter to Editor: Harassment inexcusable

To the Editor:

Dear Senator Collins:

The President of the United States said that four United States Congressional Representatives should go back to the countries from which they came. Three were born in the United States. The fourth was brought here as a child and has been a citizen longer than the President’s wife. All are women who are not “white.”

In response you said this: “I disagree strongly with many of the views and comments of the far-left members of the House Democratic Caucus-especially when it comes to their views on socialism, their anti-Semitic rhetoric, and their negative comments about law enforcement-but the President’s tweet that some Members of Congress should go back to the ‘places from which they came’ was way over the line, and he should take that down.”

When the President of this country engages in a white-hot racist attack on Members of Congress, and then malignly magnifies it (because, of course he did) perhaps you should consider not prefacing a mild objection with a slanted description of your political and policy differences with the victims of his attack.

What is your response to the Senator you have chosen to team up with to do campaign fundraising, Lindsay Graham, who strung together on FOX this invective: “ We all know that AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)] and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel, they hate our own country, they’re calling the guards along our border concentration camp guards … they’re anti-Semitic; they’re anti-America.”

None of this is, in fact, accurate. But, predictably, it was part of a feedback loop because Trump tweeted Graham’s comments.

Does Lindsey Graham sound more like the demagogue Joseph McCarthy or your hero, Margaret Chase Smith?

One may argue that in general Representatives sometimes get too far out over their skis. That’s not particularly unusual in Washington. But nothing excuses the fact that these four elected officials are now routinely harassed, threatened and endangered by people stoked by comments like these from Donald Trump and Lindsey Graham.

That entirely predictable fact is not a bug; it’s a feature of Donald Trump’s presidency.

You know what it’s like to be threatened by someone for political reasons. We’ve heard you complain about it rather extensively. Do you expect respect for you but perhaps not for other elected officials? Will you clearly and roundly denounce for what it is the racist and incendiary rhetoric of Donald Trump and Lindsey Graham?

Kindly drop this newspaper a line and let us know.

Thank you,

Gail Marshall

Mount Desert

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