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I am disappointed to read of Mae McCoy's abandoning the Democratic Party.

With Republicans' extreme moves to the right, so much political landscape has been ceded to the Democrats — it's a big tent. I'm a moderate Democrat who cringes at the extremes —  Antifa's masked thugs vandalizing Portland and heavily armed white nationalists chanting "Jews will not replace us" in Charlottesville. But anger over Antifa should not overshadow strong beliefs in civil rights and a woman's right to choose; and in protecting voting rights, the environment, Medicare and Social Security.

Party loyalty and two-party, winner-take-all politics is creating gridlock and tearing this country apart. All voters should choose the candidate who best represents their views, and elected officials should vote with their constituency. The best thing that could happen for politics in America is for each party to span a range of views, requiring legislators to build a coalition in the middle, rather than retreating into extreme corners of ideology. There is nothing in the Constitution about political parties.

Lawrence Studebaker

Castle Rock

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