How labor unions save lives

Labor unions didn’t just bring us Labor Day weekend but all weekends and, responding to tragedies, they organized for safer workplaces.  In the early 20th century, workers died horribly in factories, mines and steel mills from badly designed machines and unsafe conditions.  The sewing machines and cutting tables of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company were located […]

Conspiracy and the Republican Party

With a political career built on fear and bizarre tales, Donald Trump squeaked through an Electoral College victory. As a candidate and president, Trump embraced conspiracy theories and often linked to racist and xenophobic statements. Now this rhetoric echoes through American politics, spoken in some form by people as varied as hateful murderers to establishment […]

Recovering what Trump has damaged will be an enormous task

Donald Trump has taken a sledgehammer to science and the core values of our republic. In 2016, Trump ran a political campaign proclaiming the United States was a mess and he alone could fix it, but he has damaged the ingredients of American greatness that prevailed in the post-war era.  After World War II, the […]

Want to hold the powerful accountable? Support journalism.

The rich and well connected have great power and, given human nature, may use their power to help themselves and hurt others.  Journalism isn’t the only way to hold accountable rich people and powerful organizations, but it’s an essential one. Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were only in their twenties when they […]

Reject the dehumanizing and mistreatment of immigrants

As a Jew who had family members killed in the Holocaust, I’m agnostic about what to call facilities in the United States holding asylum seekers. But there’s one thing about which I’m certain: It’s wrong to treat immigrants in a dehumanizing way. Yet recently, we’ve seen horrific conditions. Infants and children in our care are […]

The perilous pseudo powers of Susan Collins and Donald Trump

Elected officials hold power on behalf of the people. Exerted within the bounds of institutional checks and balances, this push and pull keeps government in check and protects rights. Yet recently Sen. Susan Collins devalued her impact and President Donald Trump inflated his prerogatives. Both portraits of power were false and harmful to basic precepts […]

Why Maine should have presidential primaries

As Maine legislators consider replacing caucuses with presidential primaries, we should remember what happened the last time caucuses were held. My own memories are vivid. When I arrived at Bangor High School for the 2016 Democratic caucuses, there were long lines and many people milling about. On the positive side, there was a sense of […]

Bruce Poliquin misunderstands why voters are angry

Bruce Poliquin lost his seat in Congress in November, but he hasn’t gone quiet. On Friday, the former congressman spoke to the annual meeting of the New England Political Science Association. With forks and plates clattering as conference-goers ate lunch, Poliquin gave a speech and took questions. After the luncheon, people were talking about the […]