Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks to a reporter at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. Credit: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades / AP

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When you reach beyond your mid-80s, it is certain that you have known many triumphs and many disappointments, and currently one of our greatest disappointments is Sen. Susan Collins.

While it is true that because we differed on so many policies, we never supported her candidacy, we still regarded ourselves as her constituents. We admired her and had enormous respect for her work ethic, her dedication to Maine and her willingness to openly tackle so many important issues.

But her relative silence on issues critical to our democracy bewilder, sadden and disappoint us.  How could she not speak up loudly, forcefully and fiercely about voter protection? How could she not publicly appeal to her fellow senators to work to pass a strong voter rights law? In our opinion, even when it comes to choice and the “Big Lie”, her words have been tepid. Our democracy is indeed in peril and her voice needs to be strong, repetitive and insistent.

We all need to remember the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller:

 “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

We urge Sen. Collins to speak up and use her powerful position.

Sandra and Ole Jaeger