A Note on Letters, Timing, and History

As we had anticipated—not having recently fallen off a turnip truck—the mid-term elections prompted a flood of correspondence on that vitally important topic. Unfortunately, mid-term elections are not timed to mesh well with our publishing schedule. We will write to Mr. Pappas soon, and ask if he can do something about this rude oversight.

This unfortunate asynchrony left us with lots of letters urging voters not to make a terrible situation even more dire—none of which we would be able to publish until long after the matter was out of our readers’ hands.

Such times test the mettle of an editor. Those of us born to the task understand: sovereignty is of no use if one is unprepared to wield it arbitrarily.

If we cannot, for example, prevent the re-election of a hereditary tool to a certain office in Concord, at least we can assure that the historical record shows a far better choice was available.

– The Editor


Please Vote For Tom Sherman

To the Editor:

Governor Sununu is not the governor we elected in 2016. He has dramatically changed. If you need proof to fully understand how much our once-purple governor, who found middle ground in supporting all of us in New Hampshire, has transformed his message and demeanor, becoming unrecognizably frightening, please watch his recent October 30th interview on “Meet the Press.”

For 35 years, I’ve been comfortable living with the swing state voting of New Hampshire. Our history of fluctuating between Republican and Democratic leaders throughout the years has helped us all become more tolerant. When Trump came to New Hampshire during Covid, Sununu didn’t greet him in big crowds—showing his understanding of the importance of staying safe—while promoting vaccinations.

Last week, when simply asked if he thought the inflation issue is enough to rationalize support of Don Boldoc, an election denialist, Sununu’s explosive language and frantic behavior was uncharacteristic. His answer shot back with an attack in the mold of Republican extremism.

Chris Sununu has always been known to speak out of both sides of his mouth on any issue, but now appears to be firmly entrenched in radical Trumpism. Let’s not let New Hampshire lose its way. We must return to government for all the people.

Vote for Dr. Tom Sherman. Vote for a sane and rational New Hampshire government.

Amy Feitelson, MD

Rye, N.H.


We cannot help but wonder if the Governor Sununu you saw in his earlier terms was, in fact, a mirage.

Underneath his ostensibly folksy demeanor, we have always thought, lurked certain unpleasant characteristics of his pater familias—just carefully hidden.

Something about this state, though—and it can’t be gerrymandering—seems to favor Republicans for that office.

Win or lose, New Hampshire Democrats who accept their party’s gubernatorial nomination deserve some kind of battle ribbon.

The Editor


The Peaceful Transfer of Power is Essential

To the Editor:

For democracy to survive, citizens must trust and respect the outcome of the vote, ensuring a peaceful transfer of power. Otherwise, democracy dies, and power is transferred only upon death, violence or the rare abdication.

Lorraine L. Hansen

Rollinsford, N.H.


You are, of course, absolutely right. It’s a measure of the Republican Party’s degradation—and the corporate media, as well—that this point even needs to be articulated.

Here’s another point that should be obvious, yet can’t be yelled loudly enough: Congress has no business seating anyone who took part in the January 6th insurrection.

The 14th Amendment says “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion….”

The Editor


This Conspiracy Is No Theory

To the Editor:

How is it, that the “leaders” of the far-right believed they could con their way into owning the Presidency? That simply by concocting made-up rationalizations, lacking even a scrap of real evidence, they might actually replace the Rule of Law with their own fantasies?

Until recently, the far-right had mostly been relegated to the sidelines of public policy. But also, they had long convinced themselves that, if only they could gain, and stay, in power, they would know how to run this country so much better than the left. That when they finally had the chance to make the bold moves, the American people would come to their side once and for all. They can’t accept that the American voters legitimately chose otherwise in 2020.

But consider their track record. Pushing the big lies of their times, these people railroaded the U.S. toward the gigantic blunders of Viet Nam (Gulf of Tonkin incident, My Lai, Domino Theory), and Iraq (greeted as liberators, WMD), among others (Bay of Pigs, Afghanistan).

As soon as Mr. Trump showed up he quickly became the Republicans’ ticket to potential fame and fortune for anyone willing to bend to him—at a great price, to themselves and ultimately to the country.

How is it they were so confident of success for January 6th? With his well-placed co-conspirators in business, military, intelligence, secret service, National Guard, and the police, Trump was able to minimize awareness of the threat in advance, and able to slow the response once the insurrection began. The President alone could have stopped them; he alone didn’t try. He wanted force to prevail.

Parroting untruths, those at the top have let loose an avalanche of self-serving, outlandish, proclamations. These have heedlessly been taken as gospel by so many of our fellow citizens. Many have shrewdly been played, and used, for suckers.

Now, hovering so near yet still so far away, these forces will stop at nothing. They have resolved that their lofty ends will justify any unlawful, unconstitutional, means they deem necessary (see: January 6th). If they grab control, there may be no more free-and-fair elections, no recourse to law. It will be Might Makes Right. It will also be too late to turn back.

Mr. Trump demanded loyalty, then fired any of his hires who slighted him. Throughout his term, however, he did issue 240 pardons and commutations, many if not most for (illegal) pay. These included Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, Charles Kushner, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone Jr. (twice), George Papadopoulos, Alex van der Zwaan, Joe Arpaio, Rod Blagojevich, Dinesh DʼSouza, Bernard Kerik, Scooter Libby, and Michael Milken. In his final days he issued executive pardons and commutations to dozens of people, including supporters and former aides facing federal indictments and serving sentences for convicted crimes. Yet Mr. Trump gave no pardons or commutations to any of his loyal rioters. Oh yes—he has now promised, if elected, to pardon any still in jail in 2025. Maybe.

To those who have joined this tribe: enjoy your new causes, your new friends. But please realize that in the privacy of a voting booth, you can still choose reason.

Ralph Peabody

Portland, Maine


Nice to see we’re not the only ones taking this long view of Republican wrong-headedness. You did well to be so concise. Given almost any opportunity, we’re wont to drag readers back to the Harding administration. What the hell, it’s only a week since Veterans Day—let’s remember, briefly, Charles R. Forbes.

Forbes swung Washington state for his poker-playing pal at the GOP convention in 1920. Harding rewarded Forbes by making him the first Director of the newly consolidated Veterans Bureau.

The Bureau was pretty stingy towards veterans, denying 85 percent of disability claims from those who were wounded. Under the table, though, it was more than generous to Forbes and his cronies. Director Forbes once bought—and took a kickback for—“a 100-year supply of floor wax…for 25 times the regular price.” [Washington Post, May 30, 2014.] He’s estimated to have looted the Bureau of about $2 million—worth some $33 million today.

Forbes made the mistake of visiting the White House as his misdeeds were surfacing. His old pal Warren—a big, strong guy—grabbed him by the throat and shook him “as a dog would a rat,” saying, “you double-crossing bastard!”

Forbes eventually spent about twenty months in Leavenworth. Presumably there’s a record of which cell was his. We have some thoughts about its future occupancy.

The Editor


Karoline For Congress? Not!

To the Editor:

I read Karoline Leavitt’s issues page online. It was filled with Fox News Talking Points, but left out a few rather vital facts.

For example, she is strongly in favor of privatizing Social Security. Social Security runs very well (in spite of what Fox says). The only purpose of privatizing Social Security is to allow some big Republican donors to skim billions of dollars at the expense of retirees. She is also in favor of raising the retirement age. Great plan, Karoline.

She is against allowing the government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare and she is against capping insulin at $35/month for seniors.

Karoline Leavitt strongly supports the January 6th rioters. Against overwhelming evidence, she still insists that the 2020 election was stolen, she spreads the lie that there were widespread voter irregularities.

Karoline Leavitt stands for higher prescription drug costs, tax cuts for the wealthy, the destruction of Social Security, the January 6th rioters, and the big lie that Trump won the election.

What she cannot explain, because no one can, is why Trump lost 60 of 61 court cases claiming voter fraud and irregularities! Facts are just so inconvenient.

For decent government, vote Chris Pappas.

Michael Frandzel

Portsmouth, N.H.


You know, when you put it like that, Leavitt does seem a bit too detached from reality to represent the First District down in D.C. What a relief to wake up Wednesday morning and learn that we were spared not only her but General Cat Box, too.

Pappas took the district by a margin of about eight percent. That’s respectable, we suppose. Leavitt’s lunacy seemed to us to warrant, though, a margin about three or four times greater.

The Editor


Boomer: Don’t Do As We Did!

Dear New Hampshire Gazette,

Hello Gen Y and Gen Z! Young people care very much about the future of our planet. We boomers are passing on this mess. You believe in science and science can address many of our problems. But countless Republican candidates don’t believe in anything, other than attacking the liberals, cutting taxes for the rich, and cozying up to Donald Trump. They have no plan to deal with any of our problems, including inflation and the economy. (Have you heard them offer even one idea for dealing with any of it?) They deny the reality of Joe Biden’s victory, they deny that climate change is caused by human beings, the Christian nationalists reject evolution, and their more noxious fellow travelers deny the Holocaust. You do care about the future. Why on Earth would you vote for any of these people?

Michael Behrendt

Durham, N.H.


You’re not wrong. Being of the same spoiled vintage, though, we can see why today’s young people might be reluctant to listen to the likes of us.

The Editor


Fascism as a Tactic

To the Editor:

Is fascism the word to describe what’s happening? There are various styles of fascism. Jason Stanley, a professor of philosophy at Yale and the author of How Fascism Works, sees it more as a political tactic to gain power and/or money, rather than a type of government.

There are beliefs and qualities that undergird fascism: authoritarianism, ultra-nationalism based on patriarchy, militarism, hierarchy with obedience to the leader, belief in a mythic past of greatness that has been taken away (which justifies violence to get power “back”) and projection onto opponents of what they themselves are doing. In the U.S., they may see the enemy as liberal elites, intellectuals, immigrants, black people, and women. In this war-like atmosphere any tactic to control the enemy is justified.

The self absorbed ultra rich (Trump, Koch, &c., fossil fuel industries, politicians, lobbyists, moneyed interests) encourage these distraught people to think the “liberal elites” are the cause of their sense of disempowerment, fear and anger. It distracts this working class from seeing how the ultra rich elites exploit them. They use the democratic process to turn democracy into a dictatorship of the entitled, greedy oligarchy.

This extremism in some of the public and N.H. legislators is fascism.

Are these people thinking about our most critical problem, global warming?

If you care about global warming, don’t let these misguided people take power through your vote or lack thereof. Sununu has been obstructing progress in dealing with climate change so those who make a lot of money can make even more. Vote Democratic.

Dorothy Currier

Concord, N.H.


We have to agree with Stanley that normalization is a large part of the problem. In this, the GOP leadership and the corporate media—including NPR, we might add—are all guilty.

The GOP normalizes fascism for its own self-interest. Why do the media do it? Mostly out of gutlessness.

Wikipedia has a useful section on what’s called “the view from nowhere.” Here are some relevant excerpts:

Journalism scholars and media critics have used the term view from nowhere to criticize journalists’ attempt to adopt a neutral and objective point of view in reporting, as if reporting “from nobody’s point of view.” Jay Rosen has argued that journalists may thereby disinform their audience by creating the impression that they have an authoritative impartiality between conflicting positions on an issue.

Jeremy Iggers quoted Richard S. Salant, former president of CBS News, who stated: “Our reporters do not cover stories from their point of view. They are presenting them from nobody’s point of view.” Iggers called Salant’s assertion “plainly incoherent, as is the notion of observations untouched by interpretation.”

Rosen has used the term to criticize journalists who hide behind the appearance of journalistic objectivity so as to gain an unearned position of authority or trust with their audience. He advocates for transparency as a better way of legitimately earning trust. ….

Writer Elias Isquith argues in a 2014 article for Salon that “the view from nowhere not only leads to sloppy thinking but actually leaves the reader less informed than she would be had she simply read an unapologetically ideological source or even, in some cases, nothing at all.”

The Editor


Can We Keep It?

Dear Editor:

Although Tuesday’s election results were better than expected, I think it is way too soon to think the threat to our democracy has ended. While the predicted “red wave” did not materialize, the resulting damage to our democracy will still be serious. It appears that Republicans will narrowly control the House and may take the Senate. The result will be two years of House Republicans investigating Hunter Biden, members of the January 6th Committee, Dr. Fauci and impeaching President Biden. They will also attempt to undo what President Biden and the Democrats accomplished by holding the debt ceiling hostage, threatening to cause a default which would cause economic chaos.

A Republican Senate will severely limit and delay all judicial nominations, leaving the courts without sufficient judges to administer justice quickly. With all the Republican talk of inflation, crime and immigration during the campaign, they will do nothing to address those problems, they will be too busy focusing on phony investigations and impeachments to actually try governing.

Another serious and less noticed threat to our democracy on the horizon is the ongoing efforts by Republican led States to pass laws restricting voting rights. This will has been and will continue to be supported by the Republican-controlled Supreme Court. Of particular concern is that the Court will hear the case Moore v. Harper this term. This case deals with the fringe legal theory of the Independent Legislature. This decision could give nearly unchecked power to State Legislatures to set rules for federal elections. The result would be what Trump tried to accomplish in 2020 by having Republican State Officials or Legislatures in battleground states change the results of the election in favor of their party’s candidate. This has been the Republican game plan all along, to ensure never losing another Presidential election, since they control enough states and their Electoral College votes to determine the winner.

Once all the levers of government control have been corrupted, it will be almost impossible to return to our former Democratic Republic. A Democratic Republic that Ben Franklin said the founders gave us, “if you can keep it.” What happens over the next two years, and especially the 2024 election will determine if we can keep the Republic the founders gave us.

Rich DiPentima, LTC, USAFR, Ret.

Portsmouth, N.H.


We’ve have been spared, it seems, the horrors of a Republican Senate in the hands of Mitch McConnell. Good thing, too, since it appears we’ll be suffering under a House under the so-called leadership of Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The Supreme Court will, of course, continue to roll over our rights like a deranged juggernaut, crushing the spirit of the Constitution as it goes.

What we’d like to know is this: why shouldn’t the Senate Judiciary Committee hold some hearings to investigate a few sitting Justices? It seems to us there’s ample evidence of perjury. How about an impeachment over conflict of interest?

The Editor

Leave a Comment