To the editor:

I don’t know state Rep. Fred Doucette, but I want to thank him for his service in our state Legislature. Like anyone who chooses to represent their community at the local, state or federal level, the time, talent and occasional treasure he puts into doing his job, along with the personal sacrifices he makes daily, is both selfless and laudable.

Much as people complain about their representatives, most will never run. All the more reason to thank those who do.

I disagree with Doucette’s defense of President Trump, in his Jan. 14 letter, and welcome his invitation to do so. To be clear, the president’s language is long past being the issue. What’s disconcerting is that we the people are so far beyond being scandalized by his uncivil, unprofessional, unpresidential behavior that we’ve hung back and allowed the bar to be lowered so far, it will take years to get it back to a level we as a nation ought to expect from our leaders.

What’s troublesome is the ruthless, mean-spirited, hateful, cruel and biased comments this president has inflicted on everyone from our closest allies in the international community, to respected institutions both at home and abroad, to private citizens of his – our - own country.

His sense of loyalty is one way — toward himself. Anyone who is not in line with that is as useless to him as a realty TV apprentice, and the consequences have played out more than enough times for the country to see.

What’s shameful is this president’s raping of our natural resources; his repealing of important legislation carefully crafted and put in place over the last 50 years to protect our citizens, our environment and a respectable way of life for all Americans; and, particularly, his eradicating of welcome measures put in place by the previous administration for no other reason than to attempt to destroy his predecessor’s legacy.

What is that all about? Slicing national monuments to ribbons, evaporating clean air and water legislation, opening wildlife refuges to oil rigs, even attempting to privatize some of the national parks are beyond a flagrant disregard for what the people of this country want. They’re a slap in the face to our history and to so many people over the years who worked hard and selflessly to put those protections in place.

Finally, what’s despicable is this president’s cavalier disregard for the office he serves. He believes it’s OK to lie in order to protect his brand, which is more important to him than even his presidency.

His attempts, on both national and international levels, to advance himself, his family and his brand, have cost American taxpayers millions of dollars, hurt our relationships with other countries, and cheapened the Oval Office to little more than a corporate board room.

The United States of American is not a business. It is not meant to be run like one. And, it is not for sale.

No one wants the president to fail. He’s doing that by himself. He refuses to listen to opinions that are not his own. He has removed people whose responsibility is to keep him in check for the good of the nation. He has threatened to withhold funds from people, agencies, states, and nations that do not readily fall in line behind him.

Doucette’s comment aside, no one really can be part of the solution; so, more will have to become part of the president’s problem.

I hope, as he mentioned in his letter, that Doucette can himself agree to disagree. Even more, I hope he sees his way clear to understanding that there’s a need for more conversation on the differences, exacerbated by this president, that are dividing our country in a way that hasn’t been seen since the Civil War.

With or without the president, we need to talk – civilly, respectfully – about what unites us, what divides us and what each of us can do to make our country the beacon we know it should be.

I appreciate Doucette’s initiative to get the conversation going.

Neil S. Lynch

Hampstead

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