Most normal people — meaning people who don’t do politics or writing for a living — probably don’t appreciate how much time and energy it takes to write a weekly opinion piece that contains at least one kernel of insight carefully wrapped in an interesting gift box. I’ve worked in construction, loaded trucks and cotton mills, been a community organizer, and ld organizations and companies, but this column business ranks right up there as one of the most challenging.

My problem is that there are too many events in the world that deserve to be dissected and put into perspective. I could write a column every day, if it weren’t for the pesky distraction of needing to keep my day job.

So this week I’m going to condense a few columns into bite-sized hors d’oeuvres, which seems like perfect finger food for late June.


Last week’s column didn’t sit well with the kind of people who can never relax because the world is beset with too many problems. They probably feel the same way about sleep, which makes me hope they don’t drive in my neighborhood. Some particularly resented my suggestion that everyone should avoid hyperventilating about the presidential campaign until the majority of voters actually care, which will be after Labor Day.

Here’s the deal about summer in Maine, if you’re new to the area. We do summer with particular gusto. It’s not a marathon, it’s a sprint. Mostly because what little summer we have has to be busily stockpiled for the winter.

When my belovable wife came to Maine one of the first things I explained to her is that Mainers have a very distinct seasonal rhythm. We go into quiet isolation in the depths of winter, and we make up for it in July and August, when we gorge ourselves on life and sunshine.

Except for those people who work in seasonal businesses like tourism, farming or carnivals, July and August are not times to do serious work, let alone carry on arguments, make any big decisions or launch any new initiatives. If you do any of those things, you’ll only agitate the people around you.

Trying to get big things to happen in Maine, politically, is like delivering a speech at the Town Hall the day before the meeting because you’re anxious to get started. Nobody’s there to listen.


Trump supporters didn’t seem to like my column last week, either. They want me to stop talking about Trump, who I’ve described as the greatest threat to American democracy since the Second World War, and possibly the Civil War. Their complaint got me thinking. When was the last time supporters of any presidential candidate wanted anyone to stop talking about him?

Trump had a free ride in the primaries, mostly because his opponents didn’t want to offend his supporters, who they’d ultimately need if they were the nominee. The press also got caught up in the theater of Trump and seemed to forget, for a while, that they had a job to do.

Now, it’s all different, and neither Trump nor his supporters like it much. Stop talking about Trump? He’ll soon to be the nominee of the Republican Party, running for an office that would make him commander-in-chief and the leader of the free world. This is not fun and games anymore.


This is Paul LePage’s last relevant election cycle, unless he runs for Senate in two years. His strategy of holding town meetings around the state and launching referenda for the summer and fall are all a dismal failure. Our economy is falling further behind the rest of New England. And he get the Legislature to come back to Augusta so he has someone to argue with. Every week he’s got another crazy idea to make him relevant again. None of it has worked.


There’s a lot of talk out there, these days, about building a new Maine economy driven by innovation and entrepreneurs, which I’ve written about often. But can we build an entrepreneurial economy without schools turning out more entrepreneurs and innovators who will create tomorrow’s jobs?

That’s the subject of an unusual gathering at Bowdoin College on Thursday that is bringing together innovative educators and business people to explore how they can work together to build a new prosperity in Maine. More information at


I appreciate all the letters and notes I get from people each week. I haven’t responded to everyone this month, but I will. Of course, it might be after Labor Day.

Alan Caron owns Caron Communications and is the author of “Maine’s Next Economy” (2015) and “Reinventing Maine Government” (2010). He can be reached at: [email protected]

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