Forum, May 13: The Trump Minority

Friday, May 12, 2017
The Trump Minority

This is in response to the Forum letter “One-Sided Coverage” in the May 9 Valley News, which stated that “virtually one-half of this country voted for Donald Trump.” Only about 58 percent of eligible voters actually voted in the election. About 26 percent of eligible voters voted for Donald Trump. That is actually about 19 percent of the overall population.

Ramsey Papp


Clarifying My Position

I’d like to clarify my position on student voting, which wasn’t clearly expressed in your May 11 article, “Hanover Voters Reject Dartmouth College Student Residence Amendment.” It’s true that I struggled with the conflict between my belief in the right of students to vote where they go to school and the potential that they could sway the vote at this particular Town Meeting. But I believe that, as residents, Dartmouth students are fully entitled to participate in all Hanover votes, including general elections and Town Meeting, and they certainly had a stake in Tuesday’s vote.

I would add that I consider the students to be a vital part of our community and encourage them to continue voting here.

Dick Green


The Day After

The Valley News did a better job of explaining the Hanover zoning amendments that were on the ballot the day after the election than before it!

Shari Boraz


Legalizing Drugs Has a Cost

It appears that Matt Cardillo (“No Case for the War on Drugs,” May 4 Forum) is about to get his wish, as the Vermont Legislature has voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana. However, from the context of his letter, it seems he’s not willing to stop there, but has declared all-out war on the war on drugs. The prison population statistics he cites are relatively meaningless, because many states have decriminalized marijuana, and far fewer people are imprisoned for possession or consumption of small quantities than for crimes against persons and property which many resort to in support of their habit.

People also do prison time for large-scale dealing in heroin, cocaine or other exotic, potent opioids, and for contributing to the deaths of those who intentionally or inadvertently overdose, often because their drugs are laced with lethal poison.

Mr. Cardillo urges us to “legalize now and deal with it.” I wonder, how would he propose that the family of Ellen Koelsch should deal with her death at the hands of a wrong-way driver on the interstate allegedly under the combined influence of marijuana and alcohol? Or perhaps the survivors of those who were killed in the crash of a church bus in Texas with a vehicle driven by a confirmed marijuana smoker? When we refuse to deal with the problem of drugs by restricting access to those who irresponsibly use them, our only alternative is to have to deal with the consequences of impaired driving.

Today’s marijuana is far more potent than what my college classmates smoked decades ago. And now we are hearing about deaths in New Hampshire from overdoses of Carfentanyl, designed for anesthetizing large animals. Things will soon reach the point where Narcan may be ineffective in bringing someone back from an overdose.

Cardillo feels that “the social, economic and moral cost of the war on drugs is almost unimaginable and certainly unforgivable,” to which I would pose the following question: What are the social, economic and moral consequences of losing that war?

William A. Wittik


Congrats, Norwich Farmers Market

On behalf our members, staff and board, we congratulate all the farmers, vendors and volunteers who have made the Norwich Farmers Market an extraordinary success these past 40 years. From its opening in 1977 to this day, it remains cherished as a vibrant resource of food, craft, flowers and music. As noted by Nicola Smith in her article (“40 Years of Steady Growth: Norwich Farmers Market Digs In at Route 5 Site,” May 10), “The Norwich Farmers Market has offered a model for farmers markets that followed it.”

The founding of the Norwich Farmers Market — like so many locally owned ventures — came about through the hard work of people offering quality products at fair prices to their neighbors. We are grateful for the day when a few local farmers brought their idea for an outdoor market to our Co-op board of directors. Providing a parcel of land at a fair price was the natural way to cooperate.

Customers were quickly drawn to the ideals of knowing your farmer, valuing local economic impact and sharing conversation at a local outdoor market on a Saturday morning — principles nearly forgotten in the 1970s, but soon revived by farmers and food producers around our region and beyond.

So, we commend the work of the founders and of the countless individuals who have made the Norwich Farmers Market a great success. You have helped to spread the farm-to-plate movement throughout our region and nourished our families along the way.

Anthony Roisman, Board Chair

Edward Fox, General Manager

Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society

Will the Truth Get Out?

Would Nixon ever have been forced out of office if all the proprieties of the classified world been observed? It is reassuring to think so, but I am not so sure. So where is Deep Throat, now that we need him, 40-some years later?

It is deeply disturbing to see some of the best-informed political people in the land reduced to silence on the subjects of whether or how the Russians interfered in our 2016 election, officials lamely admitting that they might be revealing classified information if they told the citizenry what they know. Surely keeping secrets is desirable in many, many circumstances. But is the concealment of anything that the government has pronounced “classified” the highest and most paramount principle anybody can think of in this season?

Just asking.

David Montgomery


Democrats’ Double Standard

The Democrats seem to have forgotten that the badly misnamed Affordable Care Act was passed by means of parliamentary shenanigans, in admitted ignorance of both its contents and their consequences, and against the wishes of a majority of the public (as well as the blatant lies told to sell it). They’re holding the Republicans to a much higher standard in their ineffectual attempts to repeal and replace the act than were ever adhered to in its passage.

I suppose it’s only natural that the Democrats should guard the double standard so jealously ... after all, it’s where they live.

Anthony Stimson