When I first saw the opinion piece in the Washington Post titled “As a Vermonter, I know: New Hampshire doesn’t deserve the first primary,” I was curious. Then the second line tipped me off as to what I could expect in the ensuing copy.
It was penned by a political cartoonist for the Rutland Daily Herald. Their stock and trade is satire and sarcasm. There may be some salient point buried under the obvious, but too often readers decide it’s probably not worth looking for. It’s like saying, “Look at any map and you’ll see that Vermont is to the left of New Hampshire.”
There’s the obvious statement, but what lies beneath it is the point. And the point is, for the same reason many people around the country hate the Patriots and the Red Sox, the author hates us because we’re a success.
Ouch…that hurt. Survey after survey consistently shows that New Hampshire is at the top of the list for desirable states in which to live, work and play.
But, instead of looking at the First in The Nation Presidential Primary as a unique, personal opportunity for dialog for both candidates and voters, Mr. Danzinger choses to look at it simply as “There’s money in it.”
And his demonstrable argument for having Vermont share New Hampshire’s date on the calendar for the Primary is that “New Hampshire — flinty, self-centered, money-grubbing and tricky — and Vermont — liberal, generous, easygoing and respectful of others.”
As a salable point of difference between the two states, he wrote about how Vermont was “working on statewide health systems.”
Would that be the same single-payer, government-run health care system that Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D.) pulled the plug on in 2014 when he said, “In my judgment the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working families, and the state’s economy?”
Former New Hampshire Presidential Primary candidate Marco Rubio said, “For those who aspire to live in a high cost, high tax, big government place, our nation and the world offers plenty of options. Vermont, Canada and Venezuela all offer you the opportunity to live in the socialist, big government paradise you long for.” I’m sensing he wouldn’t be on board for a joint primary either.
So Jeff, in terms your apple farmer neighbor would understand, your idea of a joint primary is not “Extra Fancy,” it’s “Utility.” And if New Hampshire residents are so “flinty” and Vermonters are so “generous” why don’t you buy some scratch tickets, Powerball tickets and cigarettes on your next booze run to West Lebanon?
We could use the money to make sure the roads into the state from Vermont are all smooth and well paved.
Say what you want about us, but at the end of the day, sticks and stones may break my bones but I live in New Hampshire and you don’t. And that boys and girls is what they call a Happy Ending.