Of the People, By the People, and For the People


For nearly a quarter of a millennium, American government of the people, by the people, for the people has endured – and we have witnessed the peaceful transfer of power that makes us unique in world history. This lasting success was not pre-ordained; our fledgling experiment in self-government has had to contend with wars and diseases, economic depressions and internal divisions. Through it all, the flame of democracy was protected by generations of patriots, public servants, and everyday citizens who put the long-term health of the nation ahead of short-term personal gain. Now, it is our turn to do the same.

Our nation is facing immense challenges. A pandemic that has already killed over 400,000 Americans, and still grows worse by the day. A floundering economy that is forcing too many Americans to make unimaginable choices. A divided nation, where a few conflict-seeking voices on the fringes seem to drown out the majority who long for compromise. In the middle of these crises and more, we cannot simply settle into business-as-usual.


At this urgent juncture, I find myself turning to the words of one of our nation’s greatest citizens. As President Abraham Lincoln worked to preserve the Union during its most delicate time, he urged Congress to rise to the moment, stating: ‘The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.'

More than 150 years later, it’s impossible to summarize this moment in American history, or the proper response, any better than Lincoln did. It’s time to think anew, and act anew, because we cannot allow our usual petty squabbles to hinder our response to the threats we face. I believe that President Biden has the opportunity, the ability, and the character to unify our nation and make this government work for its people. Now, Congress must do its part, and come together on a bipartisan basis to improve the country we all love so dearly. As President Lincoln said: it’s time to rise with the occasion.

'An American Independent’: Maine Values on Display on 60 Minutes


(via @anguskingmaine on Instagram)

Just before Christmas, a “60 Minutes” crew from CBS came to Brunswick to talk about the state of our politics, how to make the Senate work better, and what’s so special about Maine. The second part of the interview was to take place in Washington sometime after the new year—and turned out to be the morning after the insurrection at the Capitol.


I won’t try to recount the content we discussed, but wanted to share a little of what this experience was like. First, they had done their homework, even going back to my not-so-illustrious career in high school football, what it was like to be an Independent Governor, a lot about Joshua Chamberlain (which didn’t make it into the 15 minutes), and why the Senate can’t seem to get much done. The nerve-wracking part of this process is that we talked for more than four hours, but I knew they were only going to use 15 minutes. So the question I wondered about leading up to Sunday night was, which 15 minutes?


(via @anguskingmaine on Instagram)

There’s no script for something like this—you just have to answer the questions. But what they chose to close out the show was a good summary of how I try to work, “We just have to keep ringing the bell of common sense."

Here are a few other key quotes from the interview:

  • The President’s responsibility for the Capitol insurrection: "Words have consequences, and the higher up you are on the hierarchy, the words have more and more consequences. And the President of the United States has the bully pulpit." 
  • Maine’s culture of community: "If you’re in a small town and if you’re in a business, repeat business is all there is. You’ve got to, as we say up here, use people right, or they’re not gonna come back. That engenders a sense of community, and relationship, and sort of reciprocity of good will."
  • On the merits of being an Independent in the Senate: "It sort of liberates you, because you don’t have to do what the party says. You don’t have to worry about the party’s major contributors being mad at you. I just try to look for common sense solutions, what will work.  That’s what I’m interested in, rather than ideology."

You can watch my segment in its entirety HERE.

January 6th: Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol


(via @anguskingmaine on Instagram)

I hate this picture but felt it should be shared. I walked up to the Capitol last week to thank the Maine National Guard detachment who had come down to help secure the Capitol after the riot on January 6–and for me, this shot captured the profound sadness of where we find ourselves as a country.

January 6th was one of the darkest days our democratic system has faced. Tomorrow, and every day after, must be better, because the freedoms enshrined by our founders are not self-perpetuating; their vision, and our Constitution requires each of us to put the long-term health of our nation above short-term political interests. If we are to ensure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people does not perish from the Earth, we need to protect it in word and deed. We must move forward together – not as warring factions, but as one nation.


Books could be written about what happened that day (and I’m sure they will be), but it comes down to our loss of consensus on what is true and a related loss of confidence in the sources of that truth. When I was young, everyone got their facts from one person—Walter Cronkite. We could argue about what do about those facts, but rarely about the facts themselves. Now facts and non-facts (a polite term for lies) come at us from all directions, and because human nature pushes us toward those sources we already tend to agree with (I’m told this is called “confirmation bias”), we dig ever further into our self-made information foxholes.

The result is a profoundly divided country that can’t even agree on who got more votes in an election. There’s plenty of blame to go around for this, beginning with those with large megaphones who deliberately misinform and mislead. But there will always be demagogues and charlatans (and Facebook and Twitter); the deeper cause is our failure to adapt to this new information-tsunami age. We have to become better consumers of news—more critical, more curious, more willing to take extra steps (like seeking a diversity of news sources) to get at the truth. The truth will indeed set us free, but these days we all have to work a little harder to find it.

January Legislative Update


  • Joined a bipartisan group of Senators and the Administration to strategize on vaccine distribution throughout the U.S. Last week’s meeting was a cordial, bipartisan conversation focused on identifying the best policies to support the American people during this crisis. I’m hoping more congressional members will join our group as we all work together to get these vital resources to all Americans. Read more HERE.
  • Voted to confirm President Biden’s nominees for key national security positions. I have confidence that with cabinet members like Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, and Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, the President will be well equipped to mitigate and prevent threats to our national security.
  • Prepared the incoming Administration with guidance for cyberthreats. I serve as co-chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC) with Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-Wis), and last week we prepared a roadmap towards a stronger cyberdefense posture for the Biden Administration. Read more HERE.
  • Recognized Maine’s strategic importance in the Arctic region. The U.S. Navy recently-released A Strategic Blueprint for the Arctic., a publication that represents a forward-thinking approach to achieving U.S. priorities in the Arctic, and stresses Maine’s critical strategic importance in the region. I sent a letter to top Navy officials to commend them for recognition of Maine’s leadership. Read more HERE.

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

On August 28, 1963, I sat perched in a tree (can you see me there, in the trees to the left of Dr. King?) on the National Mall and listened as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told a crowd about his dream that one day, America would truly embody the idea that all people are created equal. His words still echo in my ears, all these years later. Dr. King spoke with clarity, passion, and unparalleled talent to remind all who would hear him of the American promise: it’s character that counts, not race, gender, religion, or national origin. His voice and his work inspired generations of Americans to recommit themselves to realize his dream. Including me.


However, recent years have reminded us all that the work is not finished. From the continued inequities in our criminal justice system that harm Black Americans to the widespread disparities that have made Black Americans far more likely to suffer the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, it is clear that the dream Dr. King shared nearly 60 years ago has not been fulfilled.

Dr. King famously said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. He’s right, of course – but that only happens if good people stand up, and fight to extend the American birthright of Equal Justice Under Law to all of our people. In the days ahead, we must summon his wisdom and his drive as Americans of all backgrounds continue to work together in pursuit of a more perfect union that truly guarantees liberty and justice for all.

January Edition of Inside Maine: Bipartisanship in the 117th Congress


In the January 2021 edition of “Inside Maine” podcast, I welcomed U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to discuss the importance of bipartisan legislating in the 117th Congress and how Congress can work together to provide vital coronavirus relief to the American people.

The “Inside Maine Podcast” is a 30-minute program that aims to help keep Maine people informed about issues of the day, how they affect life in the state, and how they factor into my work as one of two independents in the U.S. Senate. This podcast builds on an existing radio show that airs on Newsradio WGAN in Portland, Maine between 10 and 11 a.m. on almost every last Saturday of the month. The link to the January podcast can be found HERE

In the News



Calm in Maine

(Via @anguskingmaine on Instagram)

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