Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Act now to de-escalate 

There is growing unrest and a threat of escalating violence between two political factions here in the U.S., and we must earnestly consider means for mitigating such trends here in Maine.

The alt-right/Qanon/white nationalist movement has become legitimized by President Trump and others elected to Congress. Around the nation, white nationalist groups have become a consistent presence during this year’s protests, culminating in a shooting of three people this week in Kenosha, Wisconsin, allegedly by a 17-year-old boy. As protests continue, stories like these will become more frequent.

It is no secret that such white nationalist tendencies exist here in our state, and given the polarization of our citizenry, it is only a matter of time before there are clashes in the streets. Perhaps they will begin elsewhere first, but violence elsewhere will inspire violence here.

We cannot change how police act in other parts of the country. We cannot change how citizens of other states interact with each other. But we have the power to enact change in our state. Our government cannot condone vigilantism like the police of Kenosha, who allowed that vigilante presence instead of dispersing them as per the city-wide curfew.

I am urging our elected officials, leaders of community groups and law enforcement, to act now by focusing on community building and de-escalation, facilitating de-radicalization and protecting the rights of protestors instead of provoking them. We need to be proactive in preventing future clashes between citizens with divergent political beliefs.

Douglas Bermingham

South Portland

The way representation should be 

Maine. The way life should be, because of people like Sen. Susan Collins.

Because she has not been wishy washy, it is being portrayed as a weakness. Collins votes independent of what is politically correct. She is at the top of her game, as a result of years of hard work: something we understand here in Maine.

Collins could become chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee and be in a very strong position to be a voice for Maine and hard-working Americans. Her track record is being trashed, since she works for the people and not the party. If Sara Gideon gets elected, she could be in an office next to the janitor’s closet and relegated to whichever committee best serves Chuck Schumer’s politics.

Collins knows what it is to be a Mainer, because that is all she has ever been, because that is where her family roots come from. She has everything invested in Maine. We need to vote for people who have successfully worked hard for us.

R. Scott Jellison

Hermon

I want the best for America 

For two days, I tried to listen to the Republican convention. I found after two minutes into a speech I often had to mute the speaker. I unmuted when the analysts came on to share their perspectives. When I did listen, I heard about the dark things Democrats would do to America. And after letting it all sink in, I got mad. How dare they say that I, as a Democrat, want to ruin my country — to turn it into a society of violence and destruction.

I did not hear one speaker at the Democratic convention say Republicans were going to ruin this country. Oh, they had a lot to say about President Donald Trump. But I did not hear them suggest Republicans love their country any less than they do. In fact, they appealed to Republicans who do love their country.

I resent to the depths of my being any suggestion that I, as a Democrat, want anything less than what is best for us, for all of us, so that we can be proud of who we are. So that we can indeed work together to create a more perfect union.

Mary Royal

Winterport

What happened to law and order?

I am confused. I have listened to President Trump say he is the one we can depend on for law and order. I see him and his supporters using government facilities (like the White House) for campaign events.

But I understand that it is illegal to use public facilities or other publicly financed resources for partisan political purposes, like campaigning. How can the law and order president ignore federal law like this?

I guess it’s OK because he can do whatever he wants? Isn’t that what the rioters are doing; whatever they want regardless of the law? So, why is it wrong for them and OK for Trump?

I thought the law applies equally to all?

Dean Crocker

Manchester

Tracking the costs 

Let’s take a peek at $25 billion proposed to help the post office process our voting envelopes. If all 154 million voters use the mail, the payment to the U.S. Postal Service is $162.30 per envelope!

If half of us vote absentee (that is what some expect), the payment to the USPS is $324.60 per mailed envelope! That does not include the postage we will all pay to mail the envelopes!

Contract UPS at $9.25 per tracked envelope, please!

Mike Woodworth

Auburn