Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

It seems the wheels fell off the Obama Express just as the victory celebration ended. The hangover has set in and it may last four more years, if he survives the gods of politics. Suddenly, even ardent supporters are stunned as they watch their leader stumble from one crisis to the next. What is the next shoe to drop? Clearly, this lame duck president is in trouble. But as far as I’m concerned, the damage was done a long time ago. The foul stench of Chicago-style politics permeates the country and is tearing us apart.

W.R. Deeble is a welcome contributor to the ongoing debate of the Obama administration through the letters page in this paper. While I concede Mr. Obama is a transformative president, I have repeatedly shown him to be too divisive. Polls find that the country remains split 50-50 on Obama and his policies. Mr. Deeble suggests in his recent letter that I would “be more persuasive to Obama supporters” if I took a more courteous approach.

I stopped trying to convince Democrats to reconsider Mr. Obama back in October. Conversations often led to arguments and strained friendships anyway. So why bother speaking up now? My wife thinks it’s a waste of time but I don’t. I care about the country and think I raise issues many people are too afraid to share publicly. Groupspeak is a powerful force that stifles dissent and free speech. We’ve all felt it. If you challenge Obama you are bad; if you put his bumper sticker on your car, you’re good. One of the team. The unfolding IRS scandal only reinforces the sense that team Obama is comfortable — and successful — in intimidating opposition.

While the election battle is over, the need to be involved and vigilant continues. Government is too big, Mr. Deeble. We spend too much money. We waste too much money. Big brother is alive and well in Washington, D.C. I suggest my friend focus more on the Tea Party message rather than the messenger himself. He should also stop fixating on Fox News. The mainstream media fell in love with Obama back in 2008 and only recently remembered that they are supposed to be objective journalists. Each one of us must hold our government accountable.

The truth is I don’t trust Barack Obama. I don’t trust my president and that is a very pessimistic and disturbing statement. It didn’t have to be this way. We were promised a transparent leader and a healer and we didn’t get either. Hopefully, the next president will be more like Lincoln and less like Nixon.

Peter B. Robb, Holliston and Oak Bluffs