If I were to share a cup of coffee with Sen. Susan Collins, one question I would ask is: “Have you read ‘How Democracies Die‘?” If not, I would encourage her to read it, at least the first chapter.

Authors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt outline several governments that were recently transformed by constitutionally elected leaders into states of fascism. What allows for these transformations to take place? One of the main scenarios presented is that members of the governing party refuse to rebuke their leader; they, instead, choose to pretend that the usurpation of law is not currently existing, that everything is status quo.

It takes courage and true leadership to publicly acknowledge moral corruption in times of trouble. I would then ask the senator if she is concerned about the current state of the administrtation. And, lastly, if she is concerned, to please show her courage and to speak loudly and clearly.

This is not a time to remain silent. Democracies are fragile. They can be resilient, but they also need protection. I hope that Sen. Collins, as one of our elected officials, understands this.

Lucy Breslin

South Portland

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