“I thought that the president came across as unsympathetic and as insensitive to the rights of people to peacefully protest.” — Senator Susan Collins, on the use of tear gas to disperse peaceful protesters ahead of President Donald Trump’s photo-op at a Washington, DC, church, Bangor Daily News, June 2, 2020.

- - -

We have all seen the terrifying images in newspapers, on television, and on the internet. Large, lightning-fast vehicles bristling with metallic appendages, snatching scores of peaceful protestors from American streets and plazas, and shoving these helpless human beings into gaping, mechanized mouths, where they are macerated, diced, and ejected as curtains of blood.

I acknowledge the horror of seeing one’s spouse, children, parents, or household pets ripped from the pavement and ground to paste in a matter of seconds. This tactic was a disproportionate response to curfew violations. I also strongly disagree with our Attorney General’s decision to personally drive the lead murder truck. Despite what he said about it, that was not “A-OK.”

Never in the history of the United States has a president walked in the blood-soaked tracks of mechanized killing machines to visit the National Archives, where he used a Sharpie to cross out the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24th and 26th Amendments to the US Constitution. Watching him wipe the blood from his pant legs with the tattered remains of the original Constitution, I was gripped with an overwhelming emotion:


I am deeply disappointed that the body count tallied by these mechanical beasts has quickly overshadowed the number of Americans killed by COVID-19. And when I think about the administration’s plan to shift to Phase 2 of operations and allow the machines to operate autonomously, my disappointment knows no bounds.

I will not stay silent or sit still in the face of worldwide condemnation of these atrocities. All Americans, particularly those of voting age in what’s left of the great state of Maine, should know that I will think long and hard about whether to support the president for reelection.

Yes, I’ve heard the cries of panicked citizens asking how I could possibly support the reelection of a man who promises to “really unleash the horror” if he wins a second term. And I respond: How do we know that the opposition won’t do something worse? If swift death and dismemberment by roving automatons is the price of freedom, I can live with my disappointment.