It’s amazing how quickly we’ve become acclimatized to some of the truly horrendous things Maine Republican elected officials now say on social media.
The latest comes from Rep. Jeff Pierce of Dresden, who last week posted a statement reading in part “Its time to deport all Muslims. Its them or us! They can not be trusted!”
“We have yet another example of a Republican elected official in Maine contributing to an alarming trend of hatemongering on social media.” said Democratic House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe in a press release in response. “We cannot allow Rep. Jeff Pierce’s call to deport all Muslims to stand. We must all join together against extremists, not play into their hands. Rep. Jeff Pierce must apologize, and the leaders of his caucus and his party must make clear whether they embrace or reject this bigotry.”
But it is being allowed to stand.
Back in March, when Republican State Senator Mike Willette made similar posts, he was upbraided by his colleagues and forced to resign as chair of the State and Local Government Committee.
In October, when Rep. John Picchioti was revealed to have posted a slew of similar comments about Muslims and black people, his GOP colleagues and the Republican Party remained silent, but he at least gave a half-hearted apology (although one that his full posting history later proved to be insincere).
This time around, Pierce’s comment hasn’t even been deleted from his Facebook timeline. There has been no apology and no word of reaction at all from the Maine Republican Party or GOP legislative leaders.
I don’t know if this sad devolution into acceptance of bigotry is a result of the rise of fanatical presidential candidates in the national Republican Party or the leading cause of their success, but it’s scary for how quickly it has occurred and the dark path it lays out for our future.