Amid all the hand-wringing about Donald Trump, especially within the Republican Party, it is important to realize that Trump is the symptom, not the disease.

Ever since Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” the Republican Party has moved deeper into the weeds that exist on the right-wing — remember Joe McCarthy — appealing to the hard-right conservatives who live there.

These are the people that Trump appeals to, and the fact that Trump is the winner of the Republican primary says much more about the modern Republican Party than it does about Trump himself. Donald Trump is the candidate that the Republican primary-voters preferred.

This is definitely not the party of Lincoln. Sure, the name is the same, but the values of the modern Republican Party are ones that Lincoln would not recognize. I doubt that Teddy Roosevelt would either — he certainly didn’t like what it had become a short four years after his presidency.

Harold Booth

Hallowell