Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins sweetly smiles for a photographer as she shakes hands with Donald Trump. She’s a fan and a sycophant who didn’t have the courage to join him in Guilford during his tour of Puritan Medical Products. Her excuse? She was working in Washington and had visited the plant the previous week.

Collins wants to play it safe. She wants to court Republicans, Democrats and independents. A Republican, she may have been a moderate at some point in her long career. No longer; she’s now cowering behind her desk and beholden to Mitch McConnell and deep-pocket donors.

Our very democracy is at stake, but Susan Collins has no backbone to stand up to Donald Trump. It’s time for her to vacate her U.S. Senate seat. We need someone who will not tolerate haters and fear mongers. It’s time for Collins to stop protecting Trump. Elect Sara Gideon: She’ll take on the bullies.

Connie Sage Conner