State Rep. Steve Shurtleff: Hate and bigotry come to town

  • Ann Coulter AP

For the Monitor
Friday, September 14, 2018

Here in New Hampshire, we believe that everyone is equal regardless of who you are, what you believe, or who you love. But that is being threatened because former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and conservative pundits Ann Coulter and Howie Carr are joining forces on Sunday to promote their hateful and extreme world view in our state. Viewpoints that are antithetical to who we are, and threaten the fair and open beliefs we all hold.

Except for a few instances, New Hampshire has largely been able to avoid this poisonous rhetoric, but times have changed in the age of Trump. The beliefs and viewpoints of people like Coulter and Lewandowski operate at a different level than the competitive and goal-focused arguments we’re used to as the host of the first-in-the-nation primary. We are used to having lively debates on policy, but with radical and greedy officials like Trump in office, and with politicians like Gov. Chris Sununu refusing to ever speak out against them, those conversations have only grown more heated. There is no question that our country is at a crossroads and as a pivotal swing state, New Hampshire is a crucial part of that debate.

But people like Lewandowski, Carr and Coulter go beyond this debate and scoff at our state’s attempts to hold tight to civility and mutual respect. They stoke outrage and give voice to racist and offensive viewpoints. They spew bile and hatred daily, with no thought to the consequences.

Lewandowski wrote off the separation of families at the border, mocking innocent children who were being locked up in cages. Carr has built his career offending those who deserve our attention and care, most egregiously when he mocks and blames rape victims. And not to be left out is Ann Coulter, who has written whole books full of disparaging comments about Muslims, immigrants, the LGBTQ community and others. They proudly represent the worst and darkest corners of our country.

Their views are not New Hampshire’s views. We trust and respect our neighbors, and rely on more than politics to determine our opinions. These three are coming here in an effort to disrupt our way of life in hopes of using their disgusting brand of entertainment to discourage and divide us. We cannot let them succeed.

We can’t stop them from speaking, but we can reject their hatred and bigotry. We can instead focus our attention on making New Hampshire and our country a stronger, and more welcoming place. We can reject the bigotry that Lewandowski, Coulter and Carr have built their careers on and stand up for the values that we all know make our Granite State a great place to live and work for all of our families.

(Rep. Steve Shurtleff of Penacook represents Merrimack District 11 in the N.H. House of Representatives.)