On Feb. 22, the Sun Journal reported that Susan Collins spoke of the “values we hold dear” at a Republican meeting and enthusiastically welcomed former Maine Gov. Paul LePage. What are the values that Republicans hold dear in the age of Trump and LePage?

Divisiveness over unity. Trump and LePage have fed the public with a steady diet of bile against fellow Americans, with a heavy emphasis on racism and misogyny.

Economic inequality. Republican tax cuts are great for billionaires, not so good for the rest of us.

Cultish loyalty to the leader over professional commitment to principles. Trump fires dedicated civil servants and promotes incompetent toadies.

Authoritarian whims over the rule of law. How many laws, referendums and regulations have LePage and Trump refused to implement, simply because they didn’t like them?

Pointless cruelty toward the vulnerable. Trump stores children in cages and would reduce home heating help for the poor and elderly. LePage refused to expand Medicaid for no discernible reason whatever.

An aversion to factual evidence. Climate change is the most obvious example, but it extends to trickle-down theory, Russian electoral interference, etc.

I could go on.

By contrast, under the recent Democratic majority, Maine governance has proceeded legally, rationally and effectively. Under a similar Democratic majority in 2009-2010, the federal government helped turn around the greatest threat to the national economy since the Depression and passed a health insurance scheme that has saved millions of lives, mostly in preventative care.

Whose values do we hold dear?

James Richter, Lewiston

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