The Nashua, NH public library has a display inviting people to give it donations in the name of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. The library displays life-size cardboard cutouts of these two people next to big jars. No choices are available except Trump and Clinton. This is, of course, selective promotion of some candidates above others, which a government-financed library is not supposed to do.
I submitted a complaint about this on the library’s website and got the following reply from Jennifer McCormack, the library’s director:
Thank you for your comment regarding our penny poll: several customers have noted the fact that only 2 candidates are represented. It is correct that the economics of adding a third candidate don’t make sense, it’s $40 for a cutout and another $25 for the jug and that is one of the reasons we chose to stop at only the top 2 candidates as we have done in previous presidential penny polls.
Of course our penny poll is just a fun fundraiser, we are aware that it doesn’t truly represent the options available to voters nor is it intended to. All of the proceeds from the poll go to our Friends group who then use it to fund programs and services at the library.
I pointed out that buying expensive cutouts is unnecessary and doesn’t constitute an economy measure or excuse. I said that promoting some candidates and ignoring others is illegitimate for a public library, whether she considers it “fun” or not, She basically repeated the same assertions.
The Democrats and Republicans are desperately trying to convince people not to vote for candidates from any other party. The presidential debates have excluded all candidates except Clinton and Trump, who’ve turned the event into something sickening. Many polls pretend there are only two candidates. The Nashua Library has decided to throw its little effort into this campaign.
The Nashua Public Library gets its money from Democratic and Republican politicians, of course. It’s not surprising, though it is disgusting, that it uses its position to display huge cutouts carrying the message to everyone entering the library that only two candidates deserve consideration.
Yes, they’re having fun, all right.