Politics Then and Now, In Maine and the Nation
Former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank
October 31, 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Abromson Center, Hannaford Lecture Hall
Barney Frank, Democrat, served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1981 to 2013. A leading figure and noted orator in the Congress, Frank chaired the House Financial Services Committee where he co-authored the 2010 Dodd/Frank Act, mandating the most extensive reforms in the banking and financial services industry since the Great Depression, and creating the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
FREE and OPEN to the public
We’ve come a long way since President John F. Kennedy characterized politics as “a noble calling,” to today, when the nation’s political system is routinely described as “dysfunctional” and the political atmosphere in Washington and Augusta as “poisonous.”
Competition and cooperation co-exist in all healthy systems, side by side and sometimes cheek-by-jowel, to advance the system’s purposes. Whether it is a forest ecosystem, the human body, a large bureaucracy, or an economic system, its elements compete for resources to meet their own needs, even as they act to contribute to the survival and persistence of the system itself. Somewhere along the way from the 1960s, the U.S. political system lost sight of this important principle, threatening its public credibility, trust, and purposes.
Each speaker in the series will address these timely and important questions:
- How was politics “played” in earlier times in Maine and the nation? And, how has that changed today?
- How did this come about? What are the implications for the state and the nation of our continuing along this path? And, what will it take to change course?
- What does Maine have to offer the nation in this regard, based on our experience here?