Back story: a Manchester right wing talk show host put a poll up on is web site for people to vote on who should be the person of the year for greater Manchester. A Manchester police officer, Dan Doherty, who was badly wounded but survived a shooting in 2012 was nominated, as was a free stater whom I’ve never heard of. A facebook page was put up for the free stater, vote for Amanda Bouldin for person of the year, encouraging people to vote for her. This all happened over the weekend – the same weekend that the Union Leader gave front page coverage to the case of right wing viral pneumonia that hit Rush Limbaugh and others over comments made at BH by Rep. Cynthia Chase – comments that I thought were over the top, because, like them or not, the free staters are here, and they do have a right to live here.
Some of comments made by free staters on the face book page were ugly, and vicious. Much as I have hoped that we can find some common ground with free staters, these comments – and the failure of anyone on the web site to denounce the comments – make me wonder if there is a reason to try. One person, identified as Daniel Cuevas, called a murdered Manchester police officer a “pig”. Another, David Crawford, called Officer Doherty a “statist brute”, and referred to the website where the poll was posted as a “statist website.” The latter comment drew a response from Ms. Bouldin: “It’s not a statist website”. Oh, referring to a right wing talk show host as having a statist website is worthy of rebuke, but not calling a wounded Manchester police officer a brute? Are you kidding me? When someone else asked why Officer Doherty was nominated, a Mike Lorrey said, “he arrested kids who had done chalk on the side of a building.” Another comment, referring to the number of people voting, mentioned “the pigs, the piglovers, the sheeple….”
The free staters had a field day with Rep. Chase’s comments, making it a giddy national extreme right wing story d’jour for the Rush Limbaughs of the world. However, the silence of the free staters over this mean spirited, juvenile garbage about people who risk their lives for our safety and security every day in Manchester has been deafening. Shame on them, shame on all those free staters who did not say one word in protest of the idiocy spewed by their colleagues in the free state project. If they are going to live in our state, it is not too much to expect that they show some level of civility and respect.
What about the Republicans? They have welcomed the free staters into their party with open arms. No press release from Wayne McDonald? No ire from elected Republican officials? Craig Benson invited the free state project into our state – no criticism by the former governor? Rush Limbaugh? Will the Union Leader give this the same front page treatement?