My thanks to Gregory D’Augustine for his well-written April 3 letter responding to my letter about the sad state of the GOP. Such back-and-forth is always welcome in a functioning democracy.

But by decrying such “decisive comments,” Mr. D’Augustine misses the point that it was Trump and his congressional minions — aided by FOX and other networks as well as dark corners of social media — that transformed the vigorous, noisy, policy-driven debate of our two-party system into a name-calling, vicious, race-baiting free-for-all that has little to do with liberal vs. conservative values.

For example, the MAGA crowd follows Trump’s lead by branding Dr. Fauci the “villain in their hallucinogenic version of pandemic history,” writes conservative columnist Michael Gerson. “Fauci is practicing epidemiology. His opponents are practicing idiocy.”

I do agree with Mr. D’Augustine that we must “move to the center and pull together.” But that won’t happen if FOX and its imitators are the sole sources of news for so many of us. Acting professionally, PBS and NPR have unfailingly presented the views of Trump voters and regularly interview Republican legislators and governors. Believe me, otherwise GOP congressmen would insist on denying them further federal financial support.

What harm can one-sided “news media” do? As former Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican, reminds us in a new book, Trump’s “refusal to accept the results of the elections not only cost Republicans the Senate but led to mob violence.”

Dave Griffiths, Mechanic Falls

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