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Reader: First outrages come first

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Eighteenth century poet Alexander Pope wrote: "Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too often, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace."

Nothing could better illustrate this lamentable progression than today's Republican Party which, with the rare exceptions of a few people of principle, has utterly embraced Donald Trump, the corrupt leeches he has put in power by appointment, and the crimes against the interests of the American people and of humanity for which he is responsible.

Among those crimes are these, as listed by Steve Schmidt, one of the rare exceptions and a longtime Republican operative who ran John McCain's last presidential campaign: "[Trump's] vile personal conduct, his administration's outlandish corruption, his fetishizing and affinity for autocrats around the world and his undermining of the western alliance." To which can be added the illegal and inhumane treatment of immigrant families, the tacit approval of Russian meddling in our electoral process, and the absurd, destructive and aimless trade war.

Schmidt said in Rolling Stone that the Republican Party has become the party of Trump, and cannot be reformed: "If the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt and Reagan is to be redeemed and resurrected, then the party of Trump must be obliterated. Annihilated. Destroyed. And all of the collaborators, the complicit enablers, the school of cowards, need to go down. Maybe something can regenerate from that."

I appeal to all my Republican friends: If you do not wish to see this country degenerate in the directions Trump and his congressional enablers are leading it, you have the power, still, to remove the enablers in next fall's election. This is not the Republican Party, but a bunch of cowards who have rolled over to the power of oligarchs, and who serve only their interests.

With very rare exceptions, they should be removed immediately from office.

Then we can turn our attention to the Clinton-Democrat hacks and cynical manipulators who have infested Congress and the rest of the federal government. But first outrages first: we must remove the Republicans from Congress.

— Malcolm McCollum, Colorado Springs

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