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Look just how far the GOP has fallen

DEAR EDITOR:

Watching the moving funeral service for Gen. Colin Powell, I was struck by the solemnity, pomp and bipartisan turnout and tributes. I couldn’t help but think, “How far the Republican Party has fallen.”

The current president and first lady, two former presidents, three former first ladies and former Vice President Dick Cheney attended. Missing were Presidents Clinton and Carter, both with medical excuses, and former President Donald J. Trump. No excuse offered.

Trump is the current head of a Republican Party that shivers at thoughts it might offend him. It kneels silently as this former president insults the memory of men like Gen. Powell and John McCain. He says things that on another day would have resulted in more than a harsh rebuke from his fellow Republicans — it would have disqualified him from representing a once-proud party.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright described Powell as “one of the most decent and honorable people I have ever met.” How did Trump describe Powell when he died? “He was a classic ‘Republican in Name Only’ if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace.”

And as Trump continues to lower the bar for former presidents, most Republicans are silent. Their silence speaks volumes about their cowardice and a thirst for power that endorses a man many of them openly condemned five years ago, when they didn’t think he could ever lead their party.

Trump has intimidated party “leaders” and infected the body politic with the same vulgarity he demonstrated when talking on a bus about freedoms he would take with women.

This morning I noticed a Trump-style flag proudly using a four-letter word aimed at Joe Biden. It was vulgar and trite, but I will defend First Amendment rights to offend neighbors and passers-by. At least the sign shows courage of its hanger’s convictions. On the other hand, countless Republicans, including some in Congress, embrace the phrase, “Let’s go, Brandon.” Like junior high kids of another age on an outing singing “Amster, Amster, dam, dam, dam,” they think themselves cute. Actually they are only a step or two away from adolescents who think they’re getting away with something by cloaking vulgarity or obscenity in their special code.

They shouldn’t be taken seriously, yet they are. Just as the party Trump hijacked doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously, but yet it must be because of the danger this downward spiral represents to our body politic and to our nation.

Those who like to mix politics and religion might reference Hosea (8:7): Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

DENNIS MANGAN

Howland

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