Interviewed on Maine Public Radio’s Morning Edition September 13, 2017, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell ’54, H’83 discussed a number of subjects, including ways to reform the US political system and the situation in North Korea.
Expanding on comments made this week during a speech at the University of New England, Mitchell heavily criticized the 2010 Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court for making politics more corrupt by bringing in big sums of money from anonymous sources. He also poured scorn on what he sees as the partisan and technology-driven gerrymandering of congressional districts.
When asked by radio host Irwin Gratz about the situation in North Korea, Mitchell said sanctions and diplomacy are the only courses to follow, there being no realistic military option to rein in the rogue nuclear state.
He also discussed events in the Middle East, including Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s endorsement of an independent Kurdish State. Mitchell said he thinks such an outcome is likely over time, but will be concentrated in the Kurdish region of Iraq, not including territory in Iran, Syria or Turkey, where Kurds also live.
On the issue of Turkey meanwhile, Mitchell said it was disconcerting that the longtime NATO ally is moving in an authoritarian direction, but he said the US must maintain good relations with Ankara.