This article is an edited version of a lecture given in a lecture series, “Politics Then and Now, in Maine and the Nation,” presented by the Muskie School and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine in the fall of 2013. Speakers were asked to address the issue of political polarization and dysfunction, comparing how politics was played in the past with the current situation, and discussing what Maine can offer based on experiences here. Angus King describes a number of factors contributing to the dysfunctional state of politics now, with one of the most fundamental being conflict over the size and scope of government.

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