By Larry Persily

Maybe you did not like her vote to convict former President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Maybe you wanted her to stick with most Republicans who cast their ballot to acquit because you believe the evidence was weak, or that Trump never intended to ignite a riot at the Capitol last month, or that Congress cannot impeach a former president.

Maybe you think the senator, now in her 20th year, isn’t conservative enough for your Republican tastes, and you believe she has grown too moderate and bipartisan — though I would counter that those are admirable traits deserving of support, not criticism.

Maybe you believe the Democrats stole the election away from Trump and the public needs to show its support and not question his tactics, even as some supporters turned violent as they stormed the halls of Congress and people died.

Whatever the reason you disagree with Murkowski, please keep it civil. Even if you don’t respect the senator after her vote, keep your criticism respectful. Not only does the senator deserve it, but our country needs it. The name calling, the insults, the rip-her-up-and-spit-her-out anger that has grown far too loud on all sides nationwide is divisive and accomplishes nothing constructive.

The attacks, the falsehoods and rumors spread on social media certainly attract viewers — and ad revenue in many cases — but it is making it harder to govern, harder for elected leaders to work in the middle, to get things done. We should be a country of majority rule with compromise, not a nation driven to chaos by accusations and anger.

One conservative website calls Murkowski a “liberal,” who “disgracefully supported” impeachment. No offense to the senator, but calling her a liberal is like calling Southeast Alaska a sun-drenched destination — it doesn’t fit. She is a thinker, someone who studies and then makes her decisions slowly and carefully. Not always decisions that I agree with, but they are rational decisions based on the facts and circumstances as she judged them.

If you are upset at her impeachment decision, don’t vote for her if she runs again in 2022. Don’t put up a yard sign in support. But please don’t get caught up in the nastiness, the bullying on social media, where the senator has been labeled a turncoat, weak, a Republican in name only, a defector, a disgrace to her party.

The only disgrace is that schoolyard bullying has become part of America’s politics. It’s time to stop.