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ICYMI: It’s time we rally together, stop placating the extremists in NH

In case you missed it, Foster’s Daily Democrat published an op-ed from Dr. Tom Sherman, Democratic candidate for governor, about Governor Sununu’s cowering to extremists at every level and the devastating effects that has for Granite Staters.

With today being the first day of school in Croydon, where extremists tried to gut their school budget, the op-ed highlights just how much is at stake if Sununu gets another term as governor.

Read the full op-ed here.

It’s time we rally together, stop placating the extremists in NH By Dr. Tom Sherman

Today students in Croydon, New Hampshire, are returning to school like they’ve done every year since the schoolhouse first opened in 1794. But that tradition was jeopardized after extremists voted in March to cut the town’s public school budget in half. The town rallied together to save their school.

In July, New Hampshire residents woke up to learn that the locks had been changed on the beloved New Hampshire recreation center Gunstock Mountain. The center is critical to the area’s economy, and was temporarily shut down after political extremists who wanted to privatize it drove out the existing management team. The county rallied together to reopen Gunstock.

Last year, extremists inserted in the budget New Hampshire’s first abortion restrictions requiring cruel and invasive procedures meant to shame women. They inserted provisions meant to make teachers afraid to teach basic history, they pushed legislation that takes money from public schools, and they pushed legislation that restricts the right to vote. They pushed highly gerrymandered legislative maps. Chris Sununu signed all of these into law. Granite Staters rallied together to push back some of these restrictions, but many remain in place.

In New Hampshire and across the country we’re watching extremists attempt to tear down long-held rights and institutions. Public schools. Reproductive rights. The integrity of our elections. They literally stormed the Capitol building to try and overturn a basic tenet of our democracy.

For years when it suited his political ambitions, Chris Sununu catered to these extremists, giving them a wink and a nod to keep them on his side. He said he was a “Trump guy through and through,” then when the tide turned referred to Trump as “f—ing crazy.”

Sununu appointed an education commissioner who wants to dismantle public schools. The vote to defund Croydon’s schools was years in the making.

He gave life to conspiracy theories about Planned Parenthood and voted to defund women’s health services. He signed the state’s first abortion ban, bragged about doing “more on the pro-life issue” than anyone, refused to take any actions to codify abortion rights after Roe v. Wade fell, and said he’s willing to campaign for the New Hampshire Republicans pushing further abortion restrictions. But he claims he’s pro-choice if you ask him.

Sununu recently hit the campaign trail in Maine with Paul LePage, who is actively peddling unsubstantiated voter fraud claims, who is on the record actively opposing abortion, and who once described himself as “Trump before there was Trump.”

I’m a gastroenterologist, so believe me when I say cut the crap.

You don’t get to spend years ignoring the smoke and then act surprised when the house is on fire.

Sununu is one of many Republicans with higher ambition who has played the game for years to appease these extremists. He distances himself from them in some rooms while hugging them close in others. Sununu is not the only national Republican playing this balancing game. But our democracy is not a game. It’s not a parlor trick. And it’ll be gone before we know it if we’re not careful.

The fight to preserve our democracy is taking place in state houses across the country. The states will decide abortion rights, they’ll decide how elections are run, they’ll decide how schools are funded and what they teach.

We need leaders who will veto measures meant to restrict or limit the right to vote, and who will refuse to entertain conspiracies meant to undermine our elections. We need leaders who will codify the right to choose. We need leaders who will make sure our schools have adequate funding and that educators can teach basic history without fear. And we need leaders who will stand up to the gun lobby and pass common-sense reforms, and leaders who will ignore fossil fuel industry talking points and move forward to expand our renewable energy sources and lower costs.

Before the last couple of years, New Hampshire has had a long history of Republicans, Democrats and independents coming together to find common ground. It’s time we rally together, stop placating the extremists, and do that again


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