With the death of John McCain, the Senate’s maverick emeritus, we need a champion for his brand of radical common sense in the Senate. We desperately need the old Susan Collins back.

The old Susan Collins would have brought us together to solve our country’s most stubborn problems. Unfortunately, she got swept up in the political torrents that flooded the Washington swamp.

After 20 years in the Senate, Susan Collins now stands in lockstep with a deeply unpopular and purposefully divisive president, voting to kneecap Obamacare and cut taxes for billionaires. Now she’s playing swamp politics with not one but two nominations to the Supreme Court – nominations made by a bombastic president who makes a mockery of the rule of law and, by virtue of being credibly accused of several election frauds, may soon seek the judgment of this highest court in the land.

The old Susan Collins would have locked 14 senators in a room until they produced a Supreme Court nominee so sensible and moderate that the other eight justices could retire. Even the swamp’s Susan Collins knows that Brett Kavanaugh is not that judge. Yet the senator appears desperate to vote “yea” no matter how much she has to contort her own positions and conceal the judge’s record. We deserve better.

American democracy’s crossroads are behind us, but it’s not too late to turn around. To do that, we need someone with abiding integrity to bring the country together and speak truth to unchecked power. Someone who knows right from wrong, and votes like it. Someone like former Sens. John McCain and Margaret Chase Smith, lions of American righteousness.

Maine’s conscience is sorely needed in Washington. Much as we miss John McCain, we miss the old Susan Collins. She would have fought for us all.

Hani Jarawan

Portland