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I have more confidence in what U.S. is capable of than Tony

To The Daily Sun,

Tony Boutin, I was wrong. You are not just an angry 12-year-old with his middle finger stuck on the shift key. You are an angry 12-year-old bully with his finger stuck on the shift.

You know diddly and you prove it constantly. Yelling doesn't make you right. But like Republican convention speakers, you think that calling people names will make others stop. Please. You're a bully who hates it when people talk back and dare to dispute your facts. You like to point out that anyone voting Democrat is idiotic, foolish, asinine, and moronic. New Hampshire has gone Democrat in the general election five out of the past six elections. I think people disagree with you. The state is sick and tired of the conservative rhetoric. But here are some of your desperately sought answers.

1. I'm no Democrat. Never was. I was raised Republican and went independent in 1980. I'm actually a centrist.

2. I don't scream or rage. But I dislike zealots, extremists of all ilk, and bullies. I believe that respect given is respect earned. I actually agree with some of your stances, but you browbeat people about them.

3. I agree government is too big, but the GOP hasn't had a single moderate nominated candidate since 1972. Bush in 1980, Huntsman in 2012, all swept away by the Goldwater/Reagan conservative movement, the same movement that started the hate and discontent we see in Washington and across the country.

4. Our "first credit downgrade in history" occurred after a GOP-led Congress voted to raise the debt ceiling. S&P's actions led to condemnation of their actions by both sides of the House.

5. Welfare is indeed rampant — I agree with you. We need reform that no one seems willing to implement.

6. Terrorism is epidemic? Let's look at that. Terrorism spread after Ronald Reagan expanded into the Middle East via Beirut, and then got worse after we armed Iran, Iraq, and the Taliban. Then younger Bush invented a war against Iraq and messed up that region. Is it any better now? Nope, not at all. But epidemic? You are more likely to be killed by lightning strike than terrorism.

There are fewer terrorism deaths now than there were during the Cold War. There were more deaths caused by toddlers with guns in 2015 than there were terrorist deaths in the US. Elsewhere in the world? Yeah. France is paying a price for a Trump-like approach to terrorism with profiling, stomping on civil liberties, and cultural attacks on immigrants. It doesn't make the attacks right, don't get me wrong. But when you resort to minimalizing and name-calling of people, they tend to get bent out of shape.

7. The economy? The Bush period from 2001 to 2007 was the weakest since 1948. It continues to be weaker than the previous 15 presidents because we had serious booms before and after the Great Depression. The decade from 1910 to 1920 saw zero GDP growth, Tony, so you're wrong by two presidents. But hey, we're in a global economy now and just out of the biggest depression since the 1930s. You blame the president, but seem unwilling to put any blame on Congress. Our economy is growing, and the stock market seems to be going gangbusters. People my age who are saving for retirement and kid's college are getting the best returns in a long time; far better than the end of Bush II. Interest rates are down and your Social Security check is still coming in the mail, right Tony?

8. You complain about the economy, but then you complain about the Top 1 percent and the Top 10 percent getting richer. Well guess what? We aren't a manufacturing economy any more. There are no new industries. The rich are getting rich from service profits — a fragile benefit. The stock market is flourishing, the GOP won't allow the closure of tax loopholes, but I still make less money now than I did 15 years ago. You want to cut back on that?

9. "Every entitlement program in the past 70 years is bankrupt"? Medicare? Medicaid? We've had a GOP president in office for 36 of those 70 years and you blame it on the other guy? If it weren't for people you castigate, Social Security would be privatized and empty by now. Stop being a hypocrite.

10. Why are the wealthy getting wealthier? Capital gains breaks, inheritance rules, and charitable giving. Those are three of the biggest benefits the wealthy have. The GOP opened those things up, and folks cashed in.

You throw plenty of mud, Tony. Some of it's dead on. Congratulations. You get a sticker. Seventy-five percent of Americans do indeed think we're going in the wrong direction, but 50 percent think the president is doing a good job. That other 25 percent must be the Congress, lousy candidates from the major parties, and kvetching from people like you. No rose-colored glasses here — but perhaps being on the opposite end of the Baby Boom from you, I have more confidence in what our country is capable of. You don't.

I served my country. Did you? I've held elected office to make a difference. Have you? I don't know what has your knickers in a knot, but it's not pretty. And if Hillary wins? You're gonna be unbearable.

I like Johnson/Weld personally. That orange-haired buffoon and gasbag you swoon over would be an unmitigated disaster. The U.S. would become an embarrassment. And Hillary? I don't trust her, and she'll simply spawn more angry white curmudgeons to spew diatribes to local papers.

So don't accuse me of being afraid of you. I stopped being afraid of bullies when I was 10. So button up your sweater Tony — I answered as many of your questions as I could using words you'd understand.

Alan Vervaeke

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We voters have chance to bring Forester's dedication to the entire state

To The Daily Sun,

New Hampshire needs an experienced, intelligent, responsible, compassionate governor who listens to the citizenry with an open mind.

For six years now, Jeanie Forrester has been serving her district extraordinarily well as a state senator. She views public service as our nation's founders intended: As a duty and a sacrifice, rather than as a path to power and wealth.

If Jeanie is unfamiliar with an issue, she researches it thoroughly. If she disagrees with you, she is forthright about it. When a matter is worthwhile, she works unflaggingly. And despite the years of largely thankless effort, she somehow manages to remain both positive and humble.

Now that she's running for governor, we voters have an opportunity to bring her dedication and work ethic to all the people of New Hampshire.

Brad & Elizabeth Rohdenburg


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