We ought to all take the time to write to Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and urge their withdrawal of support for Trent Lott as majority leader. As senators noted for moderate views from a state that is experiencing increasing diversity, their withdrawal of support would send a vital message to their Maine constituency.

Forgiving Mr. Lott in regard to his individual statement may be reasonable, but allowing him to serve as Senate majority leader, publicly representing the Republican Party with his long-term pattern of embracing segregationist positions, cannot serve Maine or the country well.

Sens. Snowe and Collins ought to forcefully and publicly withdraw their support in the tradition of a declaration of conscience similar to that of former Sen. Margaret Chase Smith. Let’s urge our representatives to demonstrate responsible leadership on behalf of Maine voters who do not support these and many other positions of Mr. Lott and would like to see more moderate leadership in the national Republican Party.

Bruce Bourgoine, Readfield


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