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Forum, Nov. 4: Be in This Political Moment


Saturday, November 03, 2018
Be in This Political Moment

On Tuesday, voters will again peer into the future by determining the political composition of Congress. The nation’s midterm elections, the quadrennial “revolution” ingrained in our Constitution, usually act as a corrective to the presidential election. The 2016 “revolution” made clear the seismic alterations in the national political fabric of the last 40 years.

This 2018 vote, more than any other, will be an endorsement or a rejection of those changes. The current Congress supports this president.

Over its history, our national political profile has cycled from liberal democracy to reformist populism and back again. Social and economic profiles have reflected these swings by moving from mutual tolerance to class and ethnic conflict and from social interdependence to oligarchy.

I believe the current political moment represents an extreme in this 40 year political swing, an extreme that celebrates income inequality, lethal scapegoating of minorities and a partisan fracture in perceptions of truth and falsity.

Please get to the polls to help the nation decide whether to sustain or reject this historical extreme. Jump the hurdles — bad weather, long lines or documentation difficulties — to be in this moment.

Charles DePuy

Enfield

Red and Blue, or Blue and Gray?

I do not expect this to appear in print in time to influence anyone’s vote in Tuesday’s midterm elections, but I was appalled to read letters from numerous writers urging straight-ticket voting (usually for Democrats), instead of considering the individual candidates.

Last I knew, we elect individuals and not political parties to represent and serve us in the various spheres of government, be they local, state or federal. We live in Vermont and New Hampshire, not Chicago, and it’s incumbent upon us to consider the character and integrity of those coveting our votes.

Both major political parties have been sorely embarrassed by those who have fallen below expected standards. Living in Hartford for the last 40 years, I have come to respect certain Democrats for their character, sincerity and willingness to listen to diverse views from their constituents, even if I haven’t voted for them or always agreed with their positions and platforms. Such flexibility is necessary in a community where one party appears dominant. That’s why I’m concerned about those who would paint entire states or the nation blue or red.

On all of our currency there are two phrases, “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust.” The first tells us we are a nation of many people of diverse origins and differing visions as to what’s best for our society. Notwithstanding some of what we’ve witnessed recently, we are one people. The second tells us we are accountable to a Supreme Being for how we exercise our freedoms. This exercise of individual freedom is totally at variance with those of any political party who would try to force us to march in lockstep with their ideologies.

I’m not sure who devised the current color scheme to identify political parties, but I’m concerned that we are unwittingly following a divisive precedent. The previous colors used were blue and gray.

William A. Wittik

Hartford

Don’t Disrespect Their Sacrifices

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has let stand, for now, a law signed by Gov. Chris Sununu last year that will make it harder for many college students and new residents to vote in the midterm election (“State Prevails in N.H. Voting Law Dispute,” Oct. 28).

Onerous ID requirements in the new law will also discourage others from voting by creating longer lines on Election Day, especially in precincts likely to vote Democratic.

Republicans say that Senate Bill 3 is designed to eliminate widespread voter fraud. But they know that there is virtually no evidence of such fraud.

Since the 2016 election, the New Hampshire attorney general has accused only seven people of violating election laws: one who mailed in her dead husband’s absentee ballot, another who voted in two towns, two people who voted in the wrong town, and three who voted in two states.

The GOP argument that an earlier court order to employ 2016 voting procedures would cause confusion was preposterous. There was plenty of time to reproduce the 2016 domicile affidavits that allowed the election two years ago to go off without a hitch.

Hundreds of thousands of American men and women in uniform have fought and died to protect our right to live in a representative democracy.

If we now allow that right to be compromised by a nakedly partisan effort to hold onto political power — or if we fail to turn out to vote on Tuesday — their sacrifices will have been in vain.

Stephen Dycus

Strafford

Listen to Michael Cohen

Because of all the other craziness that’s been going on this didn’t get much press when he said it, but I thought every potential voter should see what Michael Cohen — yes, that Michael Cohen — said on CNN: “Listen, here’s my recommendation. Grab your family, grab your friends, grab your neighbors, and get to the poll, because if not, you are going to have another two or another six years of this craziness,” Cohen said in a brief interview outside of his Manhattan home.

“So, make sure you vote. All right?”

These were the first remarks, and his first on-camera comments to the media, since he pleaded guilty in August to eight criminal counts.

Good voting advice coming from someone who knows true craziness.

In either Vermont or New Hampshire, Tuesday is your chance to stop “this craziness.”

Paul Regan

South Woodstock

Just Three Words ...

Hate won’t win.

Barry Wenig

Lebanon