Fifty years ago, I first attended the Lewiston Republican Caucus. I have now been a member of the Lewiston and Androscoggin Republican Committees for 50 years, and have attended each biennial state convention during that time. I have worked on behalf of the party and its candidates at the local, county, district and state levels, and served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

The 2018 Lewiston Republican Caucus will be held on March 3. However, for the first time since 1968, I will not attend the caucus. I will not serve on any Republican committees nor be a delegate to the GOP state convention.

The official Republican Party now defends the indefensible. They fail to condemn Donald J. Trump’s racist, misogynist and hateful remarks. They defend and repeat his attacks on the nation’s democratic institutions, including law enforcement agencies, the courts and a free press. They defend his rejection of America’s allies and his cozying up to Russia and other enemies of the United States. Some of them defend his clearly demonstrable lies. They defend a person whose psychic needs, whose willful ignorance, and whose extreme malleability make him unqualified to be president. He is a danger to democracy and the nation.

Democratic Party policies generally are not an alternative. In the two-party system, I shall maintain my registration in the Republican Party in order to vote in primaries and straw votes for non-Trumpian candidates, if any are available.

Douglas Hodgkin, Lewiston

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