Independent voters usually believe they can stand back and feel themselves above the two-party fray. But this time is different.

The contest is no longer between two democratic parties but between one democratic party and one monarchist party. There’s really no other way to put it: Alan Dershowitz’s argument that it’s OK for President Trump to conflate his personal interest with the nation’s interest is a direct translation of the famous statement of King Louis XIV of France: “L’etat c’est moi,” “The state is me.”

And the way the Republican party has fallen in line speaks of nothing more than classic fascism. The fasces was the symbol of ancient Rome. It was a sheaf of reeds bound together, symbolizing the strength that comes from unity, but also connoting the end of individual movement or disagreement — the reeds all become part of one motion, with no deviation.

So when people hear that the upcoming election is about the very possibility of this country continuing as a democracy, that is no exaggeration. Republican ideology and behavior have left no ambiguity.

I call on the public to join in protecting our democracy. If we succeed in sweeping the monarchists and fascists out, those who choose can return to their position above the fray. Otherwise, there will be no more fray to feel superior to.

Jonathan Cohen, Farmington

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