I am dismayed and disappointed that Sen. Susan Collins has stated that she will support Donald Trump for president. Formerly she said, “Trump needs to tone down his rhetoric, dispense with personal insults and become more specific in outlining his policies and programs.” Apparently she believes that those changes are no longer necessary.

She is not alone in indicating support for the presumptive nominee, and perhaps that fact has influenced her changed attitude. I appreciated Alan Caron’s commentary, “Collins’ declaration of conscience” (May 8), which indicated his hope that Collins would take the high road that Margaret Chase Smith took against Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Smith said, “But I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the four horsemen of Calumny — Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear,” the very elements of what we now hear from Trump over and over again.

I think I can understand that party loyalty is important to victory in the main election, but does the party want to endorse a candidate who is so far removed from any kind of real credibility? Caron has been a wonderful advocate for reason and I have greatly appreciated the wisdom he demonstrates in his observations.

There should be a great reluctance to support a candidate who depends on fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear, and that is essentially the methodology of Trumps’ primary campaign.

That Collins and others have said they would support his candidacy is a measure of their acceptance of that methodology. I would add that those who say they withhold their support until he modifies his approach and/or message is to say that what he has already expressed wasn’t really true. You can’t have it both ways it seems to me.

Charles Sawyer


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