Grim parallels: Vladimir Putin is devastating Ukraine, as he tries to force it back into his imperial Russian fold. Here in the U.S., Donald Trump is slashing away at the rule of law and representative democracy, trying to force his way back into office.

Our president must report to Congress every year on “the state of the union.” That requirement reminds us all that our republic is an experiment, and it needs constant care and attention, as Ben Franklin warned us.

We’ve been ignoring our republic for too long, taking its institutions for granted and relying on social media for our information. Now we’ve drifted to a point where Trump is refusing to admit he lost an election, and he’s aiming to bring our democratic experiment down in ruins.

Putin’s motives may be less psychotic, but the results are pretty much alike. If Putin’s war and Trump’s movement win out, Ukraine and our democracy will both be wrecked.


Charles Ferguson

East Vassalboro

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