Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Our Drug Infested Den

I've stopped listening to stories which begin with "Donald Trump." Well, mostly. It just sort of goes to some back room file in my brain when I hear those syllables and I zone out for a while, until something new comes across the air waves.
Pia Guerra

But reading this week's New Yorker, I learned Donald Trump said he won New Hampshire because of his bold and effective approach to the "opioid crisis" in New Hampshire, which is a "drug infested den."

I would not deny we have a problem with deaths from opioid here, although I really don't know for sure. According to the New Yorker's Amy Davidson Sorkin, we had 22 deaths out of every 100,000 attributed to opioid use. How many of those were people with terminal cancer who chose to end their lives with opioids and how those numbers got generated, I do not know. I do know that death certificate data is garbage in, garbage out. But I'm willing to believe we have an opioid crisis.
Welcome to Hampton, Drug Infested

I'm not at all convinced there is anything government or the medical profession can do about opioid use or addiction or deaths. Watch "The Wire" before you object to that. Until you've watched "The Wire" I don't even want to hear from you about this topic.

But opioid use  is not really what this posting is about. 

It's about New Hampshire. 

As Ms. Davidson Sorkin pointed out, Trump did not win New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire. By about 1,000 votes, but she won.
Pia, again

Which brings me to my actual real subject: Somehow, New Hampshire voters, at least 50.1% of them kept the state blue, and rejected Donnie Dubious.

How this happened continues to be a subject of earnest debate. 

Mostly, probably, it's demographics.  A lot of people who did not grow up here moved to New Hampshire over the past decade.  More of them were liberal Democrats than there were conservative Republicans. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it was not people from Massachusetts who polluted the conservative state of William Loeb's Manchester Union Leader with liberal ideas. Most of the Massachusetts refugees were anti tax conservatives seeking nirvana in a state without a sales or income tax. They live in Nashua, Salem and the Western border towns. 

But others moved in from farther afield, as I did, and settled in the Seacoast or around the university towns like Durham. 

North Carolina has similar enclaves of liberalism around the towns of the Research Triangle, Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill.  And, it ought to be noted, North Carolina voted for Obama the first time and recently, in Chapel Hill, a rowdy band of anti racists pulled down a brass statue of a Confederate soldier, without a single human casualty, as police stood by and shrugged. 
More Pia

But back to New Hampshire. 
I don't know how Clinton won the state. 
My intrepid neighbor, a rabid Democrat, born and raised in New Hampshire, from Manchester to Londonderry and now Hampton, worked the phone banks, knocked on doors, talked to people she had never met, stood on lines outside the polls with Hillary signs, and she says, after all that, she is not sure her efforts and those of people who worked hard like her actually made the difference, but she thinks it might have made the difference and she could not live with herself if she did not try.
Hampton, picket fence in the DID

I'm proud to know her.  
Pride is not one of my favorite emotions. Pride leads to all sorts of irrational behavior and it is often misplaced and it is something you feel about what someone else has done, more often than about what you yourself have done. But, still...Somehow I feel better every morning getting up and going on my bicycle ride and thinking, this state voted against Alabama Donald. 

No comments:

Post a Comment