Immigrants, refugees face U.S., European nationalism

President Trump wants to build a wall with Mexico.  The United Kingdom wants out of the European Union.  The Netherlands blocks the Turkish Foreign Minister from campaigning.  Gov. LePage wants to keep more refugees out of Maine. What these policies have in common is a desire to keep a high degree of national identity alive […]

It’s time to expose five recent political myths

Every so often, the political news gets so rich in misinformation or distorted facts, that it becomes time to expose some myths. Myth 1: President Trump deserves our respect, because he was elected president. In fact, it’s the presidency that merits our respect.  The U.S. is unusual in combining the head of state, the person […]

The difficulty of being Susan Collins — alone in the middle

Sen. Susan Collins is considered a moderate Republican.  That can make life difficult. First, the “moderate” part.  She comes from a Maine Republican tradition that, while supporting the business community, also has focused on good but limited government.  Often in the past, Maine Republicans were associated with environmental protection. A moderate Republican has become a […]

George Washington’s warning recalled as we mark his birthday

On Monday, we will celebrate Washington’s Birthday. Not Presidents’ Day.  Washington’s Birthday is the official U.S. and Maine government designation of the day.  To remember other presidents, some outright failures, the day honoring Washington has become a commercial holiday. But we should remember this country’s good fortune to have been led by this exceptional man.  […]

What goes around comes around: Trump in court

The opponents of political conservatism are adopting a strategy from an unusual source – conservatives. The decision of a federal district court judge in Washington State to suspend President Trump’s immigration moves is a clear example of that strategy. Trump had imposed a ban or “extreme vetting” on refugees from some countries, relying on what […]

Our leaders need to learn some history

Today, governments in Washington and Maine are headed by men whose idea of history goes back no further than their own memory span and whose concept of the American political tradition is limited to their own opinions. While President Trump’s economic policy looks backward at failed and outmoded moves like protectionism, he and his team […]

Trump, LePage personal style undermines good government

Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican moderate, supports Sen. Jeff Sessions, a GOP conservative, for appointment as U.S. Attorney-General, even though she and Sessions disagree on some key issues. Some Democratic senators, who would not vote to confirm him, say Sessions is a decent and courteous man who keeps his word. That’s praise from the opposition […]