I don’t usually watch much television, but I did see the coverage of the first two days of the Republican convention. More than anything, I have been reminded of the book “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” Daily the workers participated in a mandatory activity of two-minute-long organized hate exercises. Big Brother was presented, appearing everywhere in posters, and was watching, always watching.

We can like or not like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and we can say, “Well our job is to get our candidate elected.” And we can say, “It doesn’t matter how I do it.”

But this campaign of hate and demonization is tearing further at the fabric of our country. We’ve endured levels of spewing hatred by detractors through the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. With the bold new era in which we communicate more and more only with our like-minded circles, we don’t have to listen to thoughtful people who might disagree with us. And even in this newspaper, there are columnists who think repeating anything is just fine.

But the RNC has taken this to a new level with the magnified close-ups of faces venting. Donald Trump appeared on the first night out of white light to introduce his lovely third wife who then recited Michelle Obama’s words as if they were her own. Rudolph Giuliani looked into the camera in an organized paroxysm of hate. And we learned later that Mr. Trump didn’t even listen to his wife’s speech; he was on the phone with a call-in show on Fox insulting the governor of Ohio.

Speaker after speaker denounced Hillary Clinton as if she were the devil, rather than the other candidate in a civilized election in a civilized country.

Aren’t we better than this?

Jim Perkins


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