Republicans attending the late Sen. John McCain’s service in D.C. were moved, as most Americans were, by his daughter Meghan McCain’s eulogy. But given a choice of adopting Ms. McCain’s call for national unity by placing country above party, as her father did, Sens. Mitch McConnell, Susan Collins and other Republicans remain conspicuously silent in their criticism of President Donald Trump’s tribalism.

As a respected moderate, Collins should use her Senate Republican clout to speak truth to power, as did her role model, the late Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, who demonstrated courage and leadership in the Senate in June 1950 with her Declaration of Conscience speech. Specifically, I ask Collins to speak out against a president who supports white supremacists, incites his supporters to commit violence against reporters and protesters, dehumanizes immigrants, labels the press “enemies of the people,” assaults the norms of governance and decency, praises Putin, criticizes NATO and the EU, and promotes isolationism.

Until Collins is more critical of a president who habitually demonstrates an unworthiness of the highest office in the U.S., she’s guilty of silently defending the indefensible. Surely most Republicans must be privately dismayed by Trump’s malicious tweets and daily lies, but until they speak out against his petulance — as Sen. McCain did — they are enabling our president to further divide and weaken our nation, which is precisely the goal of Vladimir Putin and his Moscow henchmen who cheered and toasted each other with glasses of vodka the night Trump won the election. What does it say about an America that tolerates an unhinged President who repeatedly labels the Russia investigation a “witch hunt” and a “hoax” months after his deputy attorney general indicted 13 Russians for interfering with the 2016 presidential elections?

Ron Joseph

Waterville

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