Here is what passes for political dialogue in an era of hyperpartisanship:

• In his letter (Nov. 22), Reggie Bechard wrote that mayoral candidate Ben Chin “must be stopped” because he supports immigrants and asylum seekers.

Really? What about Quebecois seeking a new life in Maine more than a hundred years ago? Or for that matter, the 12 million who passed through Ellis Island?

Does Bechard think the U.S. would be better off without them? Or do the skin color and manner of dress and religion of current immigrants have something to do with his shamefully venomous language?

• Mary Jane Newell rants (Nov. 4), unencumbered by evidence, that Democrats are “against Christians, Israel, abortion and praying in public.”

Against abortion? She also makes this breathtaking leap: “Liberalism=socialism=communism.” So liberals such as Abe Lincoln (ending slavery and infuriating the conservative South), Teddy Roosevelt (busting the ravenous industrial trusts), and FDR (establishing Social Security) were commies?

• The Lewiston mayor wants to publicly identify all welfare recipients the way newspapers name people accused of committing crimes, and asks immigrants to “leave their culture at the door.” Back to my point about Bechard and his hysteria: Imagine if that ugly phrase had greeted the “huddled masses” at Ellis Island.

• And then there is Thomas Shields (Nov. 22) offering that Republicans “deal in facts.” Just try applying that phrase to Donald Trump or Ben Carson. How could Shields keep a straight face?

Dave Griffiths, Mechanic Falls


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