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Forum, Oct. 18: Lots at stake for children in election

Published: 10/17/2020 10:00:10 PM
Modified: 10/17/2020 10:00:08 PM
Lots at stake for children in election

When I became a pediatrician, I had one goal: to help children live happy and healthy lives. And that is why this November, I will be voting for kids.

Over the last eight months, our country has faced countless challenges that have affected children in innumerable ways. From school and day care shutdowns to increased food and housing insecurity, children have been undoubtedly affected. In my own practice I have seen adolescents, recent high school and college graduates, on the brink of entering an adult world full of uncertainty. I have cared for families where parents are juggling the challenges of having a newborn in their home with remote learning for older children and unemployment. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the inequality and inequity that exists as a result of systemic racism that plagues our nation. In 2019, too many were children uninsured or underinsured, which means limited access to the health care they need, including vaccines and preventive health visits.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend (virtually) the American Academy of Pediatrics Conference, where I was able to hear from pediatricians across the country talk about these key issues that impact our nation’s children. Regardless of where we live, it is clear, as Nov. 3 approaches, there is a lot at stake for children in this election.

However, despite these stakes, children are among those without a voice and must rely on the adults in their communities to serve as advocates for their needs. Therefore as a pediatrician, I vote so that my patients’ voices and stories are heard.

I vote to fight systemic racism.

I vote to end childhood hunger.

I vote for high quality schools and day care facilities.

I vote to ensure children have access to the health care that they need.

I vote for kids.

I urge you to do the same.



What defunding the police will mean

Incredibly and unfortunately, this issue keeps appearing each time a person of color is killed by police. How can one reach the conclusion that defunding police is even a point to be brought to the table? The police are not burning buildings and businesses, or throwing stones or Molotov cocktails.

I pose to the supporters of defunding police a few hypothetical questions: Do you have loved ones? Do you own property? Do you have possessions that are dear to you?

Again, hypothetically, take a picture of all these things you have — loved ones, property, dear possessions. Get the police defunding that you so desire and, in 10 years, look at the picture and what you had wrought upon yourself.

And, by the way, if you answered “no” to any of the questions, good luck with that. Those of us who answered “yes” outnumber you.



Democrats are dominated by hatred

Pure hatred is a terrible thing, yet this is what has dominated the Democrats and their media before and since Donald Trump became our president. One chilling reflection of that is the photograph of a comedian holding a Trump mask made to look like a severed head.

The consequences of hating this man and succeeding in taking him from office are great: open borders, a packed Supreme Court, policies that give carte blanche to groups that want to destroy this country, the influence of four female elected representatives (self-named the “Squad”) who hate the values of this country and will have an open door to the Oval Office, giving China back the power to dominate America economically and letting the Europeans off the hook from paying their fare share.

President Trump has made himself vulnerable to this hatred because he is transparent: What you see is what he is, and many cannot accept that. There are no phony attributes to this man. Each time the efforts to ruin our president have failed, yet those promoting the hatred are coming terribly close to succeeding by way of this upcoming election.

Please do not let hatred drive your vote. Cast your vote from a far wider perspective.



Trump’s psychologist niece was right

Since well before Donald Trump became president, and even now, lots of armchair psychologists have been telling folks why they think Trump is such a mess. What would a genuine, doctorate-level psychologist make of Trump, especially if this professional was a family member, one who grew up in the Trump household?

We’ll get back to that.

Amateur though the attempted analysis of the armchair shrinks is, certain patterns became clear in Trump’s words and actions. For one thing, he cannot tell the truth about anything, issues large or small. And nothing is his fault, so all problems must always be someone else’s fault. He demands loyalty but can’t give it. Humiliating and degrading others is his default position. Everybody around him is “weak.”

He uses all the con man’s tricks. If what he says is false, he knows that if he says it loud enough and often enough, certain people will believe him. He is skillful at inventing a crisis, and then seeming to solve it, because “nobody else could do it.”

That psychologist with a doctorate, whose name is Mary Trump, is the president’s niece. She says of her uncle, “Today, Donald is much as he was at 3 years old: incapable of growing, learning or evolving, unable to regulate his emotions, moderate his responses, or take in and synthesize information.”

In her best-selling book, Too Much and Never Enough, she continues: “Donald takes any rebuke as a challenge and doubles down on the behavior that drew fire in the first place, as if the criticism is permission to do worse. ... (P)eople are literally dying because of his catastrophic decisions and disastrous inaction. With millions of lives at stake, he takes accusations about the federal government’s failure to provide ventilators personally, threatening to withhold funding and lifesaving equipment from states whose governors don’t pay sufficient homage to him. ... His acquittal in the sham Senate impeachment trial was (a) reward for bad behavior.”

The doctor is in, the doctor has spoken and the doctor is right.


North Haverhill

Refusal to acknowledge support for president

I relocated to Woodsville a month ago and thought, being new to the area, I would subscribe to the local paper. I realized after receiving my first two issues, on Oct. 7 and Oct. 8, and getting a look at the political cartoons, that I’d made a big mistake. One-sided politics, and all day, every day, bashing President Donald Trump and the GOP.

You refuse to acknowledge that a whole lot of us support the president and think he has done a good job.

Is it possible to subscribe to obituaries and classifieds only? Asking for a friend.



The people’s house becomes a petri dish

The following is etched into the base of FDR’s monument in our nation’s capital: “I never forget that I live in a house owned by all the American people and that I have been given their trust.”

The vision of the current occupant of our house is to serve only a portion of our populace. Even among those he chooses to serve, he demonstrates disrespect by recklessly avoiding infection-control procedures and spreading his illness to even his closest staff and advisers. He turned our house into a site for a super-spreader event.

When I noted Clay Bennett’s cartoon in the Sunday Valley News depicting the White House as a petri dish for COVID-19 (“Pen & Ink,” Oct. 11), I realized again how far President Donald Trump has moved our country away from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s dignified vision.

It’s up to that portion of our populace not served, and ignored, by the current administration to use its voice to restore our house to its former status. Vote on Nov. 3. Your voice is heard only by your vote.



Correcting imbalance in supply of ‘fake news’

President Donald Trump has raised concerns about “fake news” in the liberal media, but I am convinced that most fake news comes from right-wing sources. Why should the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter dominate the annual Yellow Journalism Awards? Today, I seek to correct this imbalance.

Before beginning, I must thank my Muses: Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, William Barr, Devin Nunes, Lindsay Graham and Rudy Giuliani. I composed this during a bout of insomnia, when I was worrying about the future of our country

I begin where many stories begin, with a birth narrative. We all know that Fred Trump Sr. was not much of a husband. It’s been reported that he spent more time wearing sheets than sleeping on them. So he decided to adopt. After World War II, Stalinist Russia was devastated and it was easy to adopt children. All it took was a few rubles in the right hands. So Fred Trump traveled to a Russian orphanage, adopted a 6-year-old boy named Donetz, and anglicized the name to Donald. Sadly, we are unable to verify this. In 2000, Donald Trump had the place leveled so he could build a golf course. But we should demand to see his birth certificate. There is other proof. Underneath his comb-over is a birthmark, almost identical to that of Mikhail Gorbachev, a pattern unique to Russian-born males.

This explains many things. Some think two of Donald Trump’s three wives were foreign-born because immigrants will take service jobs that no American was willing to do. The real reason is that Trump can speak Russian to these wives. It also explains his reluctance to criticize Russia, his secret homeland. Some have suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin is blackmailing Trump over his financial ties to the Russian mob or other, even less savory activities. Actually, he and Putin spent their first years, a generation apart, in the same orphanage. No wonder he trusts Putin over the American intelligence community.

Donald Trump is a great patriot, just not for the country he leads.



No need for a Lebanon community center

I could not believe reading in the paper that the Lebanon City Council is going to have a meeting about building another community center — their own community center (“Lebanon to hold forum on creating community center,” Oct. 9).

People all over the world are sick, businesses here are closing, people are in need of jobs, food, etc., and the council wants another place to play (at the taxpayers’ expense, of course). And don’t counter with “exercise.” Shame on all of you.



Assault-style rifles have no place in public

I’m an old white guy, a hunter and I own guns. If one chooses a handgun for home defense, OK, it’s a legal option, even though I’m aware that people who own guns are more likely to be killed by guns than people who do not own guns.

However, I do not, for the life of me, believe that assault-style rifles should be allowed on the streets or in public places. No good can come of it.


Bradford, Vt.

Concern for coverage of preexisting conditions

One thing I know for certain, more of us have preexisting conditions than do not. Just think about yourself, and your family and your best friends. Do any of them have high blood pressure, diabetes, issues of the heart, arthritis, chronic back issues, asthma, COPD, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis? All serious preexisting conditions that require ongoing medical attention, treatment and support.

Until recently, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I felt I could say that I was very healthy — not perfect (a bad knee, I should drop some weight and I have asthma, but not a serious case) — so I did not dwell on preexisting conditions for me or my very healthy husband.

But now that I have joined the club no woman wishes to join, I must regard my health differently, and with increased concern about how the government and insurance companies are allowed to deal with me and my preexisting conditions.

We should all be very concerned about this topic, as well as what will happen to the Affordable Care Act, which helps and covers many millions of our fellow citizens. My youngest sister and her husband, formerly self-employed, are among those who absolutely need the opportunities offered by the ACA.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has represented our values, especially regarding health care support, with her wonderful leadership: She reaches across the aisle with her calm, quiet, confident and self-assured style that has been highly respected and appreciated by the citizens of New Hampshire.

Her opponent, Corky Messner, is a newcomer to New Hampshire and does not know us, what we think or how we might feel about being covered, even with our preexisting conditions. Perhaps he has no preexisting conditions. Good for him. But we do.

Do you want to protect your health? Do you want to be assured of coverage of your preexisting conditions? Support Sen. Jeanne Shaheen — again or for the first time. She deserves our support, and we need hers.

Wishing you good health and good coverage.



Ray Gagnon will offer solid guidance

I am writing today to ask Sullivan County voters to support Ray Gagnon for District 1 county commissioner. He is a staunch advocate for Sullivan County. In my experience, he has a vast knowledge of both state and local resources and understands how to navigate systems to benefit our county. He is fiscally smart and understands the issues faced by Claremont and the towns in Sullivan County. He is also a good judge of character and will continue the long tradition of hiring the best county managers.

Sullivan County faces pressing issues, not the least of which is the renovation or replacement of the county nursing home. With Gagnon as a commissioner, I feel certain that the nursing home project will receive solid guidance to assure the most responsible outcome.

He is a knowledgeable and dedicated citizen of Sullivan County who is willing to step up and work hard on our behalf. He will not hesitate to make hard decisions. He has a big heart and truly loves the city of Claremont, Sullivan County and the state of New Hampshire. You can’t go wrong with a vote for Ray Gagnon on Nov. 3.



Omer Ahern Jr. will be dedicated to the people

This is in proud support of Omer Ahern Jr. as a candidate for Grafton County commissioner for District 3. Ahern has served Wentworth admirably during the past two years as a Selectboard member and as a representative to the Planning Board. His knowledge of rules, regulations and procedures will be put to good use in his service to Grafton County as a commissioner. He is truly dedicated to the people he represents, not on serving the interests of “big government.”

His many years of experience in public positions have given him the skills necessary to operate at all levels of government in all circumstances. He is well deserving of our vote and can be trusted to make the right choices as he helps prepare county spending plans.

I am aware, as is Ahern, of the need for frugality, especially during this pandemic. Given the chance, I know he will execute his duties with care and empathy for all Grafton County taxpayers. I trust him to make correct decisions when spending other people’s money. He will be our voice in the room when it comes to the county’s budgets.

I rarely write letters endorsing candidates, but this is based on my firsthand knowledge of his expertise, frugality and commitment to service. We can always rely on him.

A vote for Omer Ahern Jr. is a vote in favor of the best interests of the people of Grafton County.


Wentworth, N.H.

Two candidates working for their communities

I believe it is safe to say that much of what is happening in our country seems beyond our control. We are barraged with angry, negative voices trying to drown out an opposing point of view.

Newbury and New London are fortunate to have representatives who possess integrity and who respect and listen to each other and their constituents. We may not agree with their votes on every piece of legislation, but they have demonstrated that they are working for their communities and the state of New Hampshire. Please join me in voting for Karen Ebel, Democrat, and Dan Wolf, Republican.


New London

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