Quick. Who said these words: “Rather than putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problem? … And then, while they are working here, they pay taxes.”

Or these ones: “We’re creating a whole society of really honorable decent, family-loving people in violation of the law … I’d like to see something done about the illegal alien problem that would be so sensitive and so understanding about labor needs and human needs that that problem wouldn’t come up.”

A guess by today’s standards would be Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. The sad fact is the first quote is from Ronald Reagan and the next is from George H.W. Bush, both from a presidential candidate debate in 1980.

I understand that there are a lot of angry, scared, frustrated white people in the country who are seeing their standards of living threatened and their kids facing a future filled with less hope for the American Dream than they grew up with.

What I don’t understand is why the Reagan/Bush Republicans are allowing their party to be hijacked by a group of candidates who are fanning the flames of fear and anger toward a group of people who are “honorable, decent family-loving people” who happen to have darker skin.

Can someone tell me what’s happened to the party of Lincoln, Margaret Chase Smith, and my old boss, Rep. Jack Kemp?

The Second World War was started by a guy that sounded suspiciously like Donald Trump. While Trump is the loudest mouth today, there’s really not much difference between any of the Republican contenders, or our governor, when it comes down to opinions on immigrants, and Mexican-, African- and Muslim-Americans. It’s shameful and I believe they know better.

Hitler’s scapegoating of people who weren’t responsible for the economic problems of the country by playing to people’s fears, frustrations and anger isn’t different than the Republican rhetoric today. There are plenty of Republicans who are shaking their heads in frustration and disbelief about the state of their party. What we need is for those Republicans to step up to the microphone and say, “Enough. We are better than this. We don’t have to let history repeat, to let hatred and fear rule the day.”

It’s not too late for them to do that, but it’s getting close.

I want a candidate who says, as Hillary Clinton did after winning in South Carolina, “We don’t need to make America great again. America never stopped being great. But we do need to make America whole again. Instead of building walls, we need to be tearing down barriers. We need to show by everything we do we are in this together.”

I unenrolled from the Democratic Party after the primary in 2010, but I will be registering again so that I can vote in the Democratic caucus next Sunday. No one will be surprised that I’ll be casting my vote for Hillary Clinton, just as I did in 2008.

While I appreciate the tug to the left that Bernie Sanders has been administering to the Democrats, I’m supporting Hillary because she knows how to get to where we need to be. I’m glad that Bernie is calling for universal health care, but he couldn’t get a single senator to sign on to his bill to implement it.

It’s pretty much true of any issue he’s wanted to bring about during his Senate career. He has introduced amendments and bills to break up the Wall Street banks, expand Social Security, and provide free college tuition for most students, but even when the Democrats controlled both the House, the Senate and the presidency, his proposals gained no traction.

To paraphrase Hillary, I’m a progressive but I like to see things get done. I want someone who knows how to do that. Hillary has been in the health care fight for 20 years and understands massive change is possible but it isn’t going to happen just because you think it should. You need to work hard, compromise and keep your eye on the goal.

She’s been working for quality, affordable, accessible health and child care, equal rights, reproductive rights, economic opportunity and security, and against sexism and racism here and around the world for decades.

We’re not where we need to be yet, but we’re moving the needle thanks in part to her voice and her work.

I’ll be at the caucus on Sunday speaking and voting for Hillary because she shares my values and because she knows how to get things done.

Of course, she also happens to be the best qualified, most experienced candidate in either party, and I like that, too.

Karen Heck is a longtime resident and former mayor of Waterville.

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