According to a recent article in the Sun Journal (May 8), Adrienne Bennett and Dale Crafts, both contenders for the 2nd Congressional District Republican nomination, have attacked fellow candidate Eric Brakey for his refusal to sign a joint letter denouncing Rep. Justin Amash’s break with President Trump.

Bennett and Crafts exude unquestioning support for the man in the Oval Office and insist that all Republicans do the same. Brakey has manifested a similar subservience, but Bennett and Crafts insinuate that his mild disagreements with President Trump render him unfit as a Republican candidate.

This craven mindset should not be dismissed as just intraparty squabbling. Their insistence on unquestioning loyalty to their party’s leader should alarm anyone who values independent thinking and a free society.

This obsequiousness has had dire consequences in the past. Dictatorial parties, including the Nazis, Communists and an assortment of would-be tyrants, have made similar demands of their followers.

Americans should be aware that once aspiring autocrats and their enablers consolidate power, they expect everyone else to follow suit, and will stop at nothing to make that happen.

A century and a half ago, the Republican Party was the agent of national salvation and emancipation, bequeathing the nation the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Today, however, Bennett, Crafts and other Trump enablers are working to transform the party of Lincoln into a chorus of yea-sayers. They appear to be successful.

This is a sad development. It is also a dangerous one.

Chris Beam, Lewiston


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