President Donald Trump welcomes Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to the White House in Washington, on May 13, 2019. Orban, tweeted a message of support for former U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, April 3, 2023 urging him to “keep on fighting” as he faces a criminal indictment for making hush payments during his 2016 presidential campaign. Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

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Many Americans, including me, worry about the growing affection for autocrats among our politicians, especially on the Republican side. I think former President Donald Trump set the standard here, and others in the party are trying hard to measure up. I have some questions about this for Sen. Susan Collins if she happens to be reading.

I would be curious to know what the senator thinks of Viktor Orban as a role model for leaders in her party. It becomes clearer to me each day that the Republican vision for America is single-party (i.e., Republican) rule with a tyrant at the top who controls not only the executive branch but also the legislative, the courts, and the news media.

Trump made substantial progress in this direction when he was president, but much of his work was left undone when — as some would claim — the election was stolen from him in 2020. He might have the opportunity, though, to finish the job if he is elected again next year.

It would be good for all of us to know whether the senator is on board with this. If she is, then she should confess it to her constituents. If she is not on board, then why does she remain a member of the Republican Party? Is she trying to work on the inside to preserve our democratic, constitutional republic?

If other readers are as curious as I am, let’s all write to Sen. Collins, or call her office, and ask her.

Michael P. Bacon