In his column of Feb. 12, Bill Nemitz explains why Sen. Susan Collins is our hope for “Senate sanity.” Sen. Collins seems to be facing the dilemma of trying to do what she thinks is right while trying to remain an effective voice in the Republican Senate caucus.

It is clear that the national Republican Party, over the last half century, has evolved from a supporter of civil rights, moderate economic policies and other domestic policies and reasonable foreign policies to a supporter of ultra-conservative economic and religious causes.

The party that once claimed to encourage individual liberty now tries to tell women and families how to live their lives. The Republican Party of Margaret Chase Smith, which in earlier times attracted Susan Collins and so many others who participate in government, no longer exists. It has shifted out from under their feet.

I believe that Sen. Collins would feel much more comfortable, and she would be more effective, if she left the Republican Party and joined with Democrats in her efforts to serve the people of the state of Maine.

Dan Harris

Brunswick