Is Maine Too Small To Fail? |

[There is a old Maine tourism slogan that goes something like: “The way life should be.” Mr. Grant mimicks that sentiment. — KM]

The collapse of mighty institutions all around us — big corporations, the State of California, and now perhaps the Grand Old Party — might be even more alarming were we not watching from the relative tranquility of a place where things are basically okay.

Now I don’t claim that Maine is perfect. It probably doesn’t qualify as the Last Good Place — though I must say it looked very much like that to me twenty-one years ago, which is why I’ve stayed. But it is a good place, a decent and civilized place, where the complex wheels of social interaction — neighborhoods, town committees, schools and churches, local papers, community suppers and concerts, PTA bake sales, worthy fundraisers, gatherings of like-minded friends — seem to be oiled and grinding away without undue friction.

We have our social ills. Many of our schools are under-funded, some severely so. There are drugs in the hallways. There are (I assume) meth labs in the woods, and caches of firearms, and angry people who think the Anti-Christ is sitting in the White House. Our police blotters are enlivened with crimes of amazing stupidity. Old people struggle to keep their homes warm in winter. Girls get pregnant in their mid-teens. Last week some boys dropped a block of ice off a highway overpass, almost killing an innocent driver.

Click on the link to the rest of today’s entry by Richard Grant in his “Coffee With That” blog on

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