Cybersecurity is the No. 1 threat to America, according to officials at homeland security. The internet is no longer considered a wonderful invention — instead it may now be a dangerously unregulated entity successfully used by the Islamic State group as a recruitment tool (again in New York this week) and by our chief foreign adversary, Russia, as an instrument to meddle in our elections.

In addition to the threat to our physical security, we now all face the specter of potential financial damage as a result of the infamous Equifax breach.

Those who seek to protect us tell us that we must get used to this, that this is the way we will now live for the rest of our lives. Social media, once considered a sensational new way of life, is now questioned as out of control and dangerous. Officials from Facebook, Twitter and Google, under questioning from Congress, showed a lack of understanding of the problem and revealed unsatisfactory plans for any solution caused by the Russians, who utilized those platforms to reach most Americans with unsettling fake news items and well-financed advertising campaigns.

All of this screams for concern. We should demand regulations based on common sense and logic and designed to limit illegal and immoral utilization of the internet.

Separate is the political firestorm over the question of collusion between President Trump and Russia. You need to understand the concept and use of opposition research in political campaigns — it is a normal and accepted practice in all campaigns of any size. Almost all candidates employ people within or outside their campaigns to research the opponent’s political record, which often reveals little-known votes on various issues of particular concern to voters. Former speeches and quotes are fair game, along with any serious personal character flaws revealed in the candidate’s personal life.

No candidate should run unless they are willing to offer the voters reasons why their candidacy should be favored over the opponent. The key here is that all information used against an opponent is totally factual, backed up with undeniable proof, and confined to political rather than personal attack.

There are of course limits and lines that should not be crossed. And collusion with a foreign power to influence a campaign for president would be one of them. Unless Robert Mueller finds evidence of Trump-Russian collusion, I believe that the only thing Trump was guilty of was very poor judgement.

Undoubtedly, some veteran political operatives advising Trump during his campaign pointed to Paul Manafort as a highly successful campaign manager for several major office seekers in several countries, including the U.S. Trump choose to ignore Manafort’s questionable choices of candidates, especially in foreign countries, which mark him as nefarious as he is effective. To Trump’s credit, as more was learned about Manafort, he was quickly dumped by the campaign. But damage was done and Manafort’s shadow remains.

Trump’s seeming willingness to embrace an earlier approach resembling “the ends justify the means” is going to cost him dearly in the days ahead as Manafort is revealed as an unscrupulous political operator of dubious character. Meanwhile, back at the Oval Office, Trump wages his incessant Twitter attacks on fellow Republicans Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, who now say they will not run again because of Trump.

But, wait a minute, Trump is not a Republican. He is not even a politician; that is a main reason for his election. The president has his own agenda. The problem is that he will not relent in his belief that he can shame or force 50 votes from Republican senators to pass an agenda that he sorely needs to be successful to justify his election and hopes to be a two-term president.

The danger is that the tea party element within the Republican Party, angered by Trump’s assault on them, decide to acerbate the revolt within the party and blow chances for health care, tax and immigration reform out of the water. If that happens, the progressives win, and the country becomes the socialistic society that Bernie Sanders’ ideologues support. If they only understood the unintended consequences of such misguided thinking.

Meanwhile back in Maine we have an election next Tuesday. On Question 1, if the voters of York County want a casino there, let them have it. Enjoy the jobs and new state revenue. Vote yes. On Question 2, an estimated 70,000 of Maine’s most vulnerable will have access to Medicaid insurance from federal funds that would otherwise go to other states. Vote yes.

Don Roberts is a veteran broadcaster, writer and political consultant. He has served Augusta as a city councilor at-large, charter commission vice chairman and utilities district treasurer.

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