Dear Editor,

What’s patriotism? Is patriotism love of country or love of a leader? It seems obvious to me a leader who tries to pit its citizens against each other for his gain is not patriotic. A leader who tries to divide his country is dangerous. A leader who will not respect the results of an election is a dictator.

Our president made it clear he will only accept the results of the election if he wins. Why do you think he is so desperate to stay in power? Could it be his tax fraud and money made in Russia is going to catch up with him?

Trump is doing everything he can to divide us and turn us against each other. He’s doing this not for the good of our country but for the power that he craves. I can’t understand why so many Americans are screaming for freedom but advocating for communism. Democracy depends on compromise; remember a one-party system is communism. Stop the hate and division. A democracy depends on at least two parties competing with different ideas; compromise somewhere in the middle is the goal. The most extreme ideas on both sides will never come to fruition because most of us are not extremists. The most extreme ideas on both sides have been used to scare voters for years.

Trump lost my vote the day he mocked a disabled reporter. One of my sons is cognitively disabled; he has had to deal with ignorant bullies like Trump his whole life. When I watched our president degrade POWS, it disgusts me. POWS should get two votes in this election. When I watched our president wish a child sex trafficker all the best, it blew my mind.

Many of my friends and family still support our president; most of them refuse to acknowledge what seems so obvious to me, Trump cares only about himself. Some of the kindest, honest, religious people I know support him. The disconnect between his actions and their absolute devotion to him baffles me. Would you have voted for Adolf Hitler if he had promised to end abortion? At some point, you have to draw a line. I wondered how David Koresh, Charles Manson and Jim Jones managed to convince so many intelligent, decent people to commit such horrific acts. The power of certain leaders to manipulate smart people is amazing to me.

I’ve heard all the excuses for voting for Trump, the stock market is up, the economy was great. I’m asking all of you before you vote, check your moral compass, not your bank account. This bleach-ingesting, woman-grabbing, science-denying stable genius could defecate golden eggs for eternity and I still wouldn’t vote for him.

Dean Barbeau