Valley News Forum for March 27, 2023: Politics needs a little moderation

Published: 3/27/2023 6:23:24 AM
Modified: 3/27/2023 6:23:14 AM
Politics needs a little moderation

It’s time to move past the continual dichotomous thinking holding our nation hostage and eroding our sense of community. For years populists on both sides of the aisle have sucked the air out of the room and left little space for meaningful discourse. It’s time for change and is unlikely to come from either extreme.

The problem is not the existence of radical fringe elements; there will always be dogmatic adherents of political ideology. The problem is the disproportionate attention they are given. Sensationalism is not policy, yet instead of discussing how we as a nation will navigate the serious issues we’re facing the focus is on slogans and gossip. Instead of policy we discuss fears, censorship, utopian ideas, generalized promises, tribalism, semantics and nostalgia. Emotion, no matter how strong, is not policy. Policy is an achievable goal with a plan of action. Name-calling, false balance arguments and whataboutisms is not reason.

Parties must begin to police their own. A politician advocating to abolish the police shouldn’t be taken seriously. Be wary of simple solutions to complex problems. However, the greatest political threat to the public’s safety is politics of retribution. Retribution is not policy, it is not a measurable or achievable goal and at best creates a chain of resentment. Politics of retribution threatens the liberties of all.

It should be remembered the majority of Americans rejected the newest iteration of the Republican Party. Second, out of a field of Democratic candidates the party selected a moderate criticized during the primaries for his willingness toward bipartisanship.

It’s time for a return to the basics: championing the greatest good for the greatest number is a winning strategy. Alienating an ever-increasing number of people with the aim of achieving a plurality is not. Civility and recognizing the humanity in those we disagree with is a more effective method of advocacy than bullying. The political center is not reactionary, nor is it an attempt to compromise between two extremes. People and political issues are rarely binary and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Charles Olsen

West Fairlee

Support medical aid in dying in NH

On Wednesday, March 15, the Valley News contained an article (“Woman granted right to end life,” Page A2) about Lynda Bluestein, a 75-year-old Connecticut resident with cancer who has reached an agreement with Vermont to allow her to access “medical aid in dying” (MAiD) under Vermont’s Act 39 law, despite not being a Vermont resident. We celebrate this courageous woman’s capacity to successfully advocate for her own “autonomy, control, and choice in this private, sacred, and very personal decision about the end of (her) life” — and her efforts, with the help of others, to evolve the law in Vermont to afford access to MAiD to nonresidents of that state.

We will each die at some point, in many cases after enduring pain and unimaginable suffering over extended periods of time. As Ms. Bluestein noted, it is “hard to die the way you want to die” in most states. Maine state law allows this practice, and legislatures in Massachusetts and Connecticut are currently considering it. New Hampshire has no provision in its laws allowing one to choose the time and place to peacefully end one’s life. Medical aid in dying is being considered, discussed, accepted and legislated in other states — in short, normalized — and it is time for New Hampshire to come on board.

We, the undersigned, strongly support legislation allowing MAiD in New Hampshire. Please email us at if you would support MAiD legislation in our state. We anticipate publishing a list in the Valley News of at least one hundred names of individuals who have expressed their support. When we have sufficient names, we will circulate the proposed wording of the notice and ask you to sign if you are willing.

To learn more about this subject, consider as a source for up-to-date knowledge about end-of-life choices.

Mark Nunlist, M.D.


Cappy Nunlist


Susan Gillotti


Martha S. Hennessey


The WOKE religion

I sometimes believe we are in another Kulturkampf except instead of a secular government fighting with the Catholic church, it is a secular society struggling against the WOKE religion. An atheist would claim that religion based on faith ignores reality, I think that WOKE is nearly the same, a religion based on an oppressive ideology that ignores reality. It is a most cruel and unforgiving religion.

David W Szelowski


Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


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