As the 2018 election for U.S. senate approaches, I find looking at current performance gives me a hint as to how candidates might act if elected. I found it very helpful to compare reactions to President Trump’s recent remarks about Haitians.

Sen. Susan Collins found them “completely inappropriate, highly unfortunate, and out of bounds.” 1st District Rep. Chellie Pingree said the description was “absolutely sickening.” To Sen. Angus King, the remarks were “truly regrettable and inconsistent with my understanding of what America is all about.”

Candidate Eric Brakey, seeking to replace Sen. King, said only that he didn’t “care much for the president’s crude phrasing.”

“Didn’t care much”! That is the kind of response one makes when someone asks “Would you rather have vanilla or strawberry ice cream for dessert?” or “Do you want to walk before lunch or after lunch today?”

The president’s recent remarks have caused U.S. diplomats around the world to be summoned for formal reproach by the governments to which they are U.S. representatives. UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville condemned the “shocking and shameful” comment. Patrick Gaspard, who was U.S. ambassador to South Africa under Barack Obama, said that this language choice seems to be a textbook case of conduct unbecoming the commanding officer of the United States of America.

Brakey’s failure to speak strongly against language that harms and belittles makes me doubt his ability to choose to speak in ways that bring people together to solve this country’s pressing issues.

Silver Moore-Leamon, Auburn

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