The last week has been enough to try the soul of any honorable American voter, and as the dust begins to settle, let us lament the flaccid, toxic neutrality of the recently reelected Sen. Susan Collins. As certain rabid Republicans attempt to undermine the will of the voters, as her anti-fact, anti-compromise colleagues prepare to once again stymie much-needed national progress, as politically passionate Mainers are duped by misinformation and conned into discarding civic decency, Sen. Collins has failed to find the courage to speak up in any meaningful way.

With our democracy and our people facing unprecedented perils, Maine deserves a senator who can provide leadership. Unfortunately, our Sen. Collins has never been one to run at the front of the pack. Time and again in the last four years she has confused silence with moderation and politics with governance, and as our values have crumbled, she has sought to hold them together with mincing, half-hearted sighs of concern.

President Kennedy was fond of noting that “the hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in a time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” It is to be hoped that in Collins’s next term in the Senate she is able to finally discard her self-serving cowardice and provide the full-throated advocacy for reason, decency and positive change that Maine and America deserve.

If she does not, she endangers our collective future, and she may find the consequences of that too hot to handle.


Kevin A. O’Brien


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