Raymond Buckley: New Hampshire’s Thin-Skinned Democrat Chairman

Contributor Dexter Tarbox calls out New Hampshire’s Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley for his trigger happy block button and desire to block any attempts at bipartisan solutions, at the expense of fixing our political ecosystem.

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The New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley has more than a few beefs online. This week, the Chairman—who is chronically active on Twitter/X—seemed content to have settled them by blocking nearly every dissenting voice, including accredited media outlets like NH Journal and The New England Take. For a man who is otherwise happy to hand-down rather venomous criticism of his adversaries, he appears to be quite thin-skinned when it comes to any critique. 

Although this pattern of behavior isn’t new for Buckley, his reasoning is ever more frail. For instance, in blocking The New England Take, he declared its editor a “fool” on account of his support of former President Donald Trump’s election fraud allegations. This in spite of the fact that A. J. Kierstead (the editor) has consistently avowed the opposite stance. NH Journal likewise has an editorial policy which is often contrary to the Trump narrative.

Perhaps Mr. Buckley was thinking of my differing contributions to that outlet, or perhaps—more likely—he was not thinking at all; but it nonetheless betrays his scattershot opposition to legitimate counterpoints. 

How is the leader of a major political party in one of the most important primary states so averse to serious political discourse? Is not one of his most important roles as a Democrat thought leader to actively engage with alternative views on the important issues of the day? Buckley has been challenged for the leadership as recently as 2021, and his mounting aggression surely must place his lengthy primacy in contention. What’s more, his vocal support for disgraced state representative and accused pedophile Stacey Laughton (even after Laughton’s previous criminal convictions came to light) cannot but draw a grim pall over his term as the party’s leader. 

Buckley’s open disdain for New Hampshire’s powerful libertarian contingent represents an even more naked unwillingness to exist within the political reality of the state. Some of the most prominent NH libertarians have been victims of the Buckley block for several years. It’s hard to believe that most mainstream members of the Democratic Party are as willing to exist in the dialectical vacuum that the Chairman so vigorously embraces. 

Who can be so childish-foolish as to claim victory in a debate by stopping his ears?

Indeed it’s true that online discourse is oftentimes a discourteous and uncomfortable domain; but it’s also undoubtedly true that society is better served through contests in the arena of intellectual rivalry than it is in a partisan echo-chamber. Neither party profits by isolating itself, as the prolonged history of all the world’s existence so clearly bears out.

This piece is shortly slated to appear in the Union Leader, in which forum Mr. Buckley will be unable to block it.


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