A recent television interview with Maine’s statesmen William Cohen and George Mitchell was impressive. Having worked together in the best interest of the state, both men were appalled at the decline in today’s politics.

From the day he was elected, Barack Obama has been a victim of what Clarence Thomas once termed a “high-tech lynching.” He has been the Jackie Robinson of presidential politics. For some, the sole purpose has been to destroy him and see him fail.

Mitch McConnell’s stated purpose was to make Obama a “one-term president.” They sought to discredit him with the “birther” nonsense and more. But the country, through the democratic process, re-elected Obama.

Sadly, to the detriment of democracy, the politics of pigmentation continue. Whatever happened to the American melting pot of various ethnicities, races and cultures? Rudy Giuliani questions the president’s “culture,” and yet, while Ed Muskie and George Mitchell were the sons of immigrants and Cohen proudly wears a ring proclaiming his heritage, their “culture,” which was, of course, all-American, was never an issue. So when did ‘immigrant’ become a dirty word?

The politicians in Washington, D.C., would do well to follow the lead of Maine’s statesmen (Margaret Chase Smith, Muskie, Cohen and Mitchell) and get on with governing. Debate the issues but drop the personal attacks.

Or is it, as Margaret Thatcher once said, that when politicians decide to attack others personally, it means they have no political arguments left?

Barbara Payne, Norway

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