Dear Editor: Though in practice partisanship has always played a real-world role in how any given president would execute policy decisions, most presidents have adhered to a public show of respect for the "loyal opposition."

Now all of that seem quaintly old-fashioned, ancient history.

Trump is our first president to openly conduct a never-ending re-election campaign, intent on whipping his base into a frenzy of anger and resentment instead of promoting national unity for the common good.

So much has Trump made his stock in trade enflaming partisan hostility that on Sept. 6 in Billings, Montana, he told a crowd of the faithful that if a Democrat wins the 2020 presidential election, "We will impeach that Democrat, right?"

In an even more egregious instance of putting the interests of party over country, Trump recently attacked his own Department of Justice for prosecuting two corruption cases targeting GOP Congressmen Chris Collins of New York and Duncan Hunter of California, on the grounds that "two easy wins [are] now in doubt because there is not enough time."

Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates has called Trump on his appalling hyper-partisanship: "Shamelessly complaining that DOJ should protect his political allies to maintain his majority in the midterms is nothing short of an all-out assault on the rule of law."

Instead of acting in good faith to represent all Americans, including those who didn't vote for him, this president speaks only for the minority who constitute his base.

In June the Rasmussen Poll revealed that 73 percent of Americans see the possibility of a coming civil war. Given the civic ill health of our nation, politicians who stoke discord for partisan advantage are playing with fire while sitting on a powder keg.

As Americans we're better than this. Aren't we?

Thomas R. Smith

River Falls

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