Four local Democratic legislators signed a sloppily written column that appeared in Thursday’s Sun with no evident proofreading by any of them. I’ll take a wild guess that it was the work of Rep. Anita Burroughs, whose disjointed maunderings it most resembled.
Despite appearing under the names of Burroughs, Jerry Knirk, Chris McAleer and Steve Woodcock, the column begins with a reference to “My Republican colleagues…” Use of the first-person singular by four authors is revealing, even for Democrats who make a point of deploying incorrect pronouns to signal their allegiance to woke dogma. Anita must have convinced her more coherent cosigners to endorse it sight-unseen.
The column’s obvious goal was to portray Republicans as partisan extremists, and to inspire editorial condemnation from the Democratic faithful. It has already had some success.
The attack is based on riders to the latest state budget, which Anita deplores as a partisan job, but of course she has no objections to partisan legislation of a Democratic flavor. Remember HB106, from 2019? That was the Democratic majority’s attempt to undo legislation designed to stop nonresidents from voting in New Hampshire. It was a purely Democratic scam to restore the bloc of out-of-state college students who put Maggie Hassan in the Senate, and Anita backed it to the hilt — then, and since.
Her claim that the “Divisive Speech” law will censor “conversations within the public education system” has some small merit, I’ll concede. I don’t like it myself. It somewhat echoes the laws Southern states passed after Nat Turner’s rebellion, prohibiting the distribution of abolition literature, but at least this time the would-be censors hold the higher moral ground.
Still, Anita and her cosigners aren’t the First Amendment champions she pretends they are. Educators nationwide have been disciplined for expressing conservative ideas even outside of school, or for simply questioning progressive ideology. In February a UNH professor was pressured into resigning over social media posts in which he fulminated against progressive policies under an alias, knowing that conservative thought is unacceptable in the university system. His rant was no more radical than the critical race theory at the crux of the “divisive concepts” debate, but nary a peep about that censorship from Burroughs, Knirk, Woodcock or McAleer.
On July 6, “Education Week” published an article inadvertently revealing the real reason for resistance to divisive-concepts prohibitions. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers are unapologetically supportive of the very claptrap embodied in the infamous 1619 Project — the product of an activist journalist masquerading as a historian. The “Education Week” article lamented that “nearly a quarter of teachers, principals, and district leaders do not believe systemic racism exists.” Teaching that it does exist is the unmistakable goal.
How dare parents try to protect their children from such radical political indoctrination? How dare their representatives respond to their outrage? How dare legislators create Education Freedom Accounts, to help fund alternatives to an increasingly partisan public education system?
In her impersonation of three guys and a girl, Anita also shuddered at legislation on late-term abortions, calling it a “slippery slope” to an abortion ban. Like the “divisive concepts” restriction, the abortion bill represented a backlash to radical Democratic initiatives — such as unrestricted full-term “abortions” that strike even an abortion supporter like myself as willful murder. Incidentally, Anita could use her “slippery slope” apprehensions to help understand gun-rights advocates who recognize her support for any and all firearms restrictions as evidence of her secret desire to ban guns altogether.
Anita also lambastes compensation for victims of a Meredith investment fraud. This is one of the budget riders she claims “could never have been passed on their own,” but it did pass on its own. In fact, her beloved Democratic governor, Maggie Hassan, signed it into law in 2016. This year’s appropriation merely provides the funding that was never forthcoming. If that compensation reverses the direction of Anita’s goal for wealth redistribution, it was the only example she could find in the budget — and it’s miniscule, compared to Democratic giveaways of public funds. The appropriation amounts to considerably less than one-thousandth of the budget.
Come on, Anita. Can you spell “petty”? I knew you could.
William Marvel lives in South Conway.