Some advice for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin:

Throughout the course of American history, there have been moments where political turmoil and discourse became so toxic and so powerful that those moments are now reflected upon with deep-seated embarrassment and remorse.

Looking back at the 1950s, the era of McCarthyism, we are able to identify a moment where one man was able to disrupt the entire fragile foundation of the American political machine.

The country ate it up and people fell in line to accuse others of subversion and treason without a shred of evidence. It was a time when Americans were scared and distrustful of one another, and Sen. Joseph McCarthy was able to exploit those fears for his own political gain. Sound familiar?

Maine’s own Margaret Chase Smith distinguished herself with her effort to dissent from the madman and delivered her “Declaration of Conscience” speech. It changed the course of history.

Collins and Poliquin would benefit greatly from following the example of the late senator. As elected leaders, they are cementing their place and history, and we will look back someday at this moment to see where their allegiances fell. Did they stand with the madman, or did they nobly dissent?

Lucas Good

South Portland