Presidential Primary Tavern Nights coming to Peterborough Thursday night

Published: 1/23/2020 10:45:48 AM

For undecided voters tired of being talked at there is an alternative.

A number of disparate groups, individuals and establishments have stepped forward to create a safe place for voters to gather and have civil, respectful discussions about the presidential candidates.

There are four Presidential Primary Tavern Nights scheduled on the Seacoast, one in Peterborough and hopefully more to come in following weeks. Rye’s Steven Borne, author of “Consuming Government,” is the driver for these events across New Hampshire. Borne said he was on a No Labels planning call for its New Hampshire convention when the non-partisan political group asked for call to action suggestions. So, Borne suggested the Tavern Night idea from the “Grease on the Axle” section of Consuming Government.

All candidate campaigns have been asked to have a staff member or local supporter available at an assigned table. Most of the dialog should be between local voters on why they are leaning one way or the other or questions they have about different candidates. The only literature allowed in the tavern must be from that specific candidate and can only discuss that candidate and make no comparisons or statements about other candidates. Tavern nights are civic activities, not political events so there will be no campaign signs in or around the hosting establishments.

The volume of the partisan rhetoric makes many people uncomfortable speaking to each other about any political topic, so Taverns Nights will emphasize civil and respectful discussion, helping people engage with each other, Borne said. Borne reminds that when the Founding Fathers established our democracy, they assumed people would be going to taverns and talking to each other. It’s through these discussions that voters are forced to organize thoughts and rational for supporting one candidate over another.

The Rye Presidential Tavern Night will be at The Atlantic Grill Sunday, Jan. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. The Rye Republican and Democrat committees are co-sponsoring the event and attendees are asked to order a free ticket on Eventbrite to help The Atlantic Grill plan staff.

Peterborough is on Jan. 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Post & Beam Brewery. The event is co-sponsored by the Peterborough chapter of the League of Women Voters and the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.

The Barely House at 43 Lafayette Road in North Hampton will host a Tavern Night Feb. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. The first Portsmouth tavern will be at Paddy’s Grill at Pease International Tradeport Feb. 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. while a second is Feb. 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. on the third floor of the Portsmouth Gaslight on Market Street.

To help with discussions and questions, reference copies of No Labels’ “Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Election” which will be available tagged to one of the eight topic areas highlighting the view from the right and left.

Other communities that need help coordinating additional Presidential Primary Taverns can contact Borne through

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