The Margaret Chase Smith Essays

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The Right of Independent Thought

by Jonathan F. Fanton In the remarkable 1950 “Declaration of Conscience” speech criticizing the House Un-American Activities Committee, Senator Margaret Chase Smith listed several basic tenets of the American character, including the right to criticize, the right to hold unpopular beliefs, and the right to protest. These are the rights one exercises in moments of […]

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The Urgency of Democracy

by William D. Adams Maine is well known for producing impressive political leaders and for producing impressive women political leaders in particular. Senator Margaret Chase Smith is rightly remembered as the first of these in the contemporary era, anticipating and no doubt inspiring the impressive careers of Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Chellie Pingree, among […]

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Maine as a Bulwark of Democracy

by Peter Mills As a former English major, I am embarrassed to admit how seldom I take time any more to read creative literature. Instead, I find myself entirely absorbed by contemporary public affairs, the economy, and government policy. This is strange indeed because nearly all the news in these overlapping spheres is made so […]

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Natural Advantages Are Key to Achieving a Vibrant Innovation Ecosystem in Maine

by David J. Kappos Maine is perhaps the most singular state in our union—occupying the far northern corner of the country, bordering as many foreign countries as united states, larger than all other New England states combined but very sparsely populated, enjoying natural advantages including stunning beauty and plentiful resources. I grew up in California, […]

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Attraction and Retention—Maine’s Challenge

by Ed Cervone Population may be Maine’s biggest challenge as we look for ways to grow our economy—and this is nothing new. In 2000, Deirdre Mageean, Richard Sherwood, and Gillian AvRuskin coauthored an article published in Maine Policy Review entitled, “Whither Maine’s Population.” Their analysis highlighted three interrelated trends: slow overall population growth, a reduction […]

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Sustainability: The Challenges and the Promise

by Senator George J. Mitchell I grew up in Waterville on the banks of the Kennebec River. My mother worked in several textiles mills that drew their power from the river. The economies of Waterville and many other towns depended on the rivers and forests that supplied timber and other natural resources. Not only did […]

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Food and the Urgency of Now

by Kevin W. Concannon On the last Sunday in January of this year, I walked across the National Mall to the National Archives building to view President John F. Kennedy’s first Executive Order, issued the day after his inauguration. Staring at the original signed document that initiated and authorized the modern food stamp program, now […]

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Bite-Sized Democracy: The Virtues of Incremental Change

by Peter Mills In mid-summer on Mount Desert Island, the south end of Echo Lake is a great place to teach a kid to swim. The beach is warm and nearly flat. As you enter the water, the slope is so gradual as to be nearly imperceptible. While visiting there in 1981, my four-year-old daughter […]

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The Transforming Power of Literacy

by Barbara Bush Ever since I was a young girl, I have loved to read. From my childhood in Rye, New York, to my life with George Bush in Texas, China, Washington, D.C., and Kennebunkport (and many places in between), I have always had a book by my side and enjoyed countless hours reading. Books […]

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Challenging Climate Change

by U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe America is confronting the pressing and pervasive threat of global climate change. This is not a Democratic or a Republican issue, not a liberal or a conservative issue. This is a human issue, a planetary issue, a moral issue. It is a matter and a question of stewardship, of […]

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