Increasingly the remaining voices of sanity within the Republican Party both in Maine and around the country are lamenting the party image produced by the front runners in the Republican polls and debates.

Trump, Cruz, Carson seem devoid of experience, integrity and commonsense. They are fear-mongers, fueling anger in a subgroup of the American population already primed for their message of hate. How did this happen to our Grand Old Party, ask Republican veterans?

The answer, I think, lies in the wisdom of an old adage: Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. Trump, a self-aggrandizing TV personality, is the flea. Right-wing media is the dog the GOP went to bed with over the last 20 years.

For two decades Republicans in power allowed to go unchallenged a know-nothing message that attacked women, science, civil rights, international cooperation and compassion for others, and was fed into the ears of the far right of their party.

With no regard for journalistic integrity, these voices on the right manufactured opinion disguised as news and bigotry protected by freedom of expression. Republican leadership should have awakened sooner to the sickness they have allowed to fester. Let’s hope it is not too late.

Dennis Perkins


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