Forum, Feb. 1: Return of the Nullifiers

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Return of the Nullifiers

I was very pleased to read in the Jan. 26 Valley News that the Trump administration is finally cracking down on sanctuary states and cities (“Feds Seek Proof of Burlington Policy,” page B1). On any kind of reflection, you should be, too.

After all, those advocating resistance to the law are nothing more than modern day Calhounists, as in Vice President and Sen. John C. Calhoun, the brilliant but evil 19th-century spokesman for slavery, states rights and the principle of “nullification.”

Calhoun was the most prominent proponent of the legal theory that states could simply reject any federal law that was unpalatable. The theory was finally extinguished by the Civil War and the near destruction of the Union. (As an aside, the descendants of the tens of thousands of white men who gave their lives in order to free black slaves are now being vilified by the left. Do not be surprised. This is out of the playbook of Stalin and Mao).

It is a supreme irony that today’s “Progressives” are espousing the same disregard of the law as the slave states of the past. I would suggest that you do not get to pick and choose the laws you will observe in a working democracy. If you do not like them, you seek to change them by constitutional means.

God save the Union.

Richard Chapman

Norwich and Brookline, Mass.

Missing Subtleties of Soft Power

The sycophantic supporters of Donald Trump clearly think of themselves as straight shooters who wear “big boy pants.”

Unfortunately, people who talk or write or think like that are probably incapable of understanding the damage done to our nation’s international influence and image when we rely solely on military and economic might to get our way.

Sadly, the subtleties of Max Boot’s intelligent, thoughtful essay (“Trump Squanders America’s Soft Power,” Jan. 26) on the importance of diplomacy to get people to do our bidding are probably beyond the ability of most Trump supporters to understand in their black-and-white world.

Richard Klovdahl

Braintree, Vt.

So Many Broken Promises

Why are some people up in arms about Donald Trump’s reversal of a campaign pledge? I’m referring to Trump now supporting a path to citizenship for so-called “Dreamers” after promising to get tough on immigration.

Why hasn’t there been a response to other pledge reversals, such as the border wall? Trump said over and over that a wall would be built and Mexico would pay for it.

How about the tax reform that wouldn’t increase the national debt? Instead, he’s shoving an expensive wall of dubious benefit down our collective throats instead of using that money for infrastructure improvement — another campaign pledge — after championing a tax reform that will dramatically increase the national debt. Where’s the outrage about those broken promises?

Presidential candidates often make promises they later find can’t be fulfilled. Trump should acknowledge that it isn’t possible to follow through on all his campaign pledges. And he should give up trying to build a wall.

America simply can’t afford it.

Mary Jean Mueckenheim


Thanks for Doing the Math

Voters in New Hampshire can be grateful to William H. Waste (“The Numbers Don’t Add Up in N.H. School Voucher Debate,” Jan. 26), who has “done the math” to show why SB 193 will benefit only a small minority of those students seeking alternatives to public schools at the expense of funding for the public schools, which are accessible to every student in the state.

Deborah Metzger


Special Places, Special People

I want to express my thanks for some special places and people in the Upper Valley.

I recently drove to River Valley Club to do my workout. When I finished and got to my car, the electronic portion of my key fob was missing. I returned to RVC and everyone I encountered turned out to look for it, either in the building or the slushy parking lot.

We never found it, but a large number of caring employees went way out of their way to help. Then a kind neighbor drove up to get me so I could retrieve the spare fob to take to the dealer to get another. Five hours and nearly $200 later, I was back in business.

The next night was spent at Shaker Bridge Theatre in Enfield watching the opening night of Constellations, another not-to-be-missed theater event that Bill Coons and his crew masterfully pull off with regularity. When I exited the theater there was what looked like a ticket on my windshield.

Apparently, in the slushy conditions, I had partially parked on a sidewalk. How happy I was to see the word “Warning” in large letters. Thanks to the Enfield police for being understanding of an inadvertent error on my part.

The following night I attended Northern Stage’s “New Works Now,” where we get to see three never-before-performed shows — one of which we learned is going to be performed Off Broadway — for free. Pretty impressive for a regional theater!

The play we saw was written by Dartmouth student Stephanie Everett and was titled It’s Fine, I’m Fine, a thoughtful, intense, riveting and funny one-woman show she wrote and performed about the impact three concussions have had, and continue to have, on her life. Mature beyond her years and a joy to listen to (yes, she is also a superb singer) we were skillfully taken along on her still continuing journey.

How fortunate we all are to live in the Upper Valley with its kind people and extraordinary events.

Barbara H. Jones