Forum, Nov. 6: Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the adult in the room

Published: 11/5/2019 10:00:21 PM
Mayor Pete Buttigieg isthe adult in the room

I haven’t made my mind up yet, but I like what I have seen thus far from Pete Buttigieg (even if still have to Google the spelling of his last name). I was a huge Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016, fending off friends who tried to convert me to supporting Hillary Clinton, and even dropping out of the Democratic Party because of the obvious way it fixed her nomination. However, I am not the same person I was three years ago, and I don’t believe we live in the same country we did back then.

To my core, I believe the only way the Democrats will win the presidency next year is get back the independents and moderate Republicans who voted (you may read that as “settled”) for Donald Trump. And I don’t believe the way to do that is with sweeping reforms that fit into the narrative the president has been spewing — that Democrats are socialists, are coming from your guns, signify the coming of the apocalypse, etc.

A lot of what Buttigieg is proposing appears to be the result of considered thinking, rather than populist appeal. For example, “Medicare for All Who Want It” may seem a tepid proposal to those who want immediate change. But what it isn’t is a promise to take away what Americans are comfortable with in exchange for what many fear would be an erosion of their liberties — true or not.

Buttigieg is young and he’s only been a mayor, but he is also the adult in the room. And while I’m not thrilled he’s taking money from the wealthy, I’m also pragmatic enough to know that if he doesn’t fund his campaign, he won’t be there long enough to have a chance to win.

God knows we need to get Donald Trump out of office. And the candidate who shows me he or she is smart enough to present progressive ideas without alienating half of our country will be the one who ultimately gets my vote.

BARRY WENIG

Lebanon

All of our presidents are ‘acting’ presidents

In his recent Forum letter, George Sutherland says he’s “perplexed” about the number of acting heads of departments and agencies in the Trump administration (“Acting the part,” Oct. 21). I wonder why he’s perplexed. “Acting” or “permanent,” they are members of the president’s Cabinet. They are working to move forward the agenda that brought President Donald Trump to office. They and President Trump are working despite the almost three-year best efforts of the Democratic Party to overturn the 2016 election results. I’d suggest the feeling of being “perplexed” is misplaced.

As for the comment that we have an “acting president”: Nice try at delegitimizing President Trump, but it won’t work. In point of fact, every president of the United States is really an “acting” president. We don’t have “presidents for life” or “bloodline” leadership or anything of the sort. Our presidents are in office for four years, and the voters then decide whether the president deserves a second four-year term. Two four-year terms is the limit, and then we move on.

There’s no need to be “perplexed.” Everything is just fine.

ALAN TANENBAUM

Grantham

Trump’s two-fer in Ukraine

I believe evidence will show that the purpose for the president’s putting the screws to the Ukrainians was to force them to come to terms with Vladimir Putin. Once they had capitulated to Putin’s demands, which would have forced Ukraine back into Russian’s customs union, put an end to corruption investigations, and restored to favor politicians and oligarchs loyal to Moscow, including the terminated prosecutor general, a peace deal would have been reached under which Ukraine released claims to Crimea and to breakaway republics in the Donbas. And then Donald Trump would have claimed success in brokering such a peace deal.

The Biden gambit was intended to throw Trump critics and journalists off the scent, to sow political division in America, to serve as a provocation and to set Americans upon each other while Russia makes off with the prize. It is a piece of disinformation provided to Trump through his back channel to Putin, Rudy Giuliani, by Russians loyal to Putin — the same Russians who financed the purchase of a congressman from Texas for purposes of removing the ambassador to Ukraine who stood in the way of all of this. For The Donald, it just happened to be a two-fer. Ingenious, those Russians.

But you did not hear it from me.

TYLER P. HARWELL

New London

Memorial for Romaine Tenney

My wife and lived through the era of Romaine Tenney’s dispute with the state of Vermont (“Memorial meeting turns into tree debate,” Oct. 31). We followed the news and wished he would win the argument, knowing that the state has more power. When the house was burning, we realized that he was inside. It was very shocking. My idea for a memorial would be an accurate carving of the Tenney house in granite. Everyone who saw it would agree it was the most beautiful house in Ascutney, with its unique windows with sash and glass on a diagonal and fancy trim. I hope we don’t forget what it looked like.

When the interstate was being built, we would hear them drilling the ledge all day, then loading the hole with explosives. At 5 p.m. they would blow a whistle to clear the area. Then a very large explosion would detonate, sometimes even shaking our house a mile away. It sounded like Tenney was still protesting.

ROYAL HOUGHTON

Ascutney




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