American politician says nuke Japan

Sometimes, people hate what they don’t understand. Sometimes, politicians go so far as to demonstrate this hatred on the public record.


State Representative Nickolas Levasseur (D-NH), pictured to the right above, posted to Facebook:

Anime is a prime example of why two nukes just wasn’t enough.

Leaving aside whether or not the Representative personally enjoys anime, this is an elected official joking about deploying atomic weapons on a civilian population simply because he dislikes their TV shows.

Red Hampshire broke the story immediately on the 24th, which is unsurprising given that such an irresponsible statement ought to be no less than political suicide. Major news media followed suit.

This is not the first time Levasseur has been caught on record saying outrageous things. In 2008 he claimed to enjoy hunting Republicans, calling it “a shooting sport.” Also in 2008, he sent an official email to belittle a voter who asked him to clarify his stance on handguns.

I believe that you would be well served by being tutored in several subjects. Perhaps a lesson on the purpose of civilized discourse or the purpose of representative democracy would be beneficial, or perhaps simply a course on manners. You see, it is a simple fact that people do not always agree. To the contrary, they more frequently do not. Even when around friends, as I was in the committee hearing, we might find ourselves in disagreement. This is not a problem or even a bad thing. However, when we cross the line from opinion to insult, from debate to harassment, then we lose what is best in ourselves and our system. If you wish to have an honest and open debate about the value of handguns versus their harm to society, I welcome it. However, if you wish to dishonor and degrade yourself by using insulting language and threatening tones, then I will not be part of it. While I do not agree with you on this particular issue, I have a responsibility to maintain the honor and dignity of the seat I hold, and I will not disgrace it by getting into a mud pitching battle.

I have to say that I find your comments to me to be at best dishonorable and at worst threatening. While I do not intend any further action, I am compelled to forward this and all other messages of this nature to the House Sergeant-at-Arms.

It seems that the cause of honor would be far better served by scrutinizing the language used by Nickolas Levasseur himself. To borrow a phrase, his outbursts might be called “at best dishonorable and at worst threatening.” Thus far, the New Hampshire House of Representatives has made no move to formally censure him.  These antics are a far cry from the type of behavior Levasseur promised when he first campaigned for election.

Old school politicians talk in terms of the way things should be. I want to focus on the way things are.

Have a word for your elected official?  Representative Levasseur can be reached at nickman205@comcast.net or (603) 782-4862.

17 thoughts on “American politician says nuke Japan”

  1. What I find funny about this is that the nuclear bombs actually contributed a lot to the stories of many early anime…

    Anyway I tried to forward this story and his info to /a/ but it is moving too fast to care right now. Maybe nighttime /a/ will work.

  2. Now /a/ is just saying how they agree with him =_= hopefully the lurkers are at least utilizing the contact info…

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. -_-;; He shames the democratic brand(which i am apart of), how the hell did he get into onto the congressional ticket anyhow?

  4. Ok, let me first say that I’ve said this EXACT THING to my friends many times, but as an obvious joke because I obviously love anime and “the Japanese heritage.” And I usually use it in the context of the latest H-game I’ve played (don’t judge me :P).

    However, having someone say this in a spirit of hatred is pretty much shocking to me. I’m floored that someone could get away with saying such a thing in this day and age where the slightest utterance of a racial slur can get you fired, sued, or whatever else.

    Reading the rest of the article leads me to believe that this guy is a Class-A douche. Why is nothing being done about this?

  5. @digitalboy – Thanks.

    @jojojo – That’s pretty hard to do absent something like treason, but they can and should censure him.

    @Inuhanyou – I’m guessing it wasn’t part of his platform when he ran.

    @Ehrgheiz – The difference is that public figures, and especially elected officials, are expected to be responsible for what they say in public.

    I’m not really sure why there’s no move to censure him yet. Maybe they assume it will all blow over.

  6. Wow, as an Otaku from Japan, his joke is really offensive. Because of anime, the Japanese population should have been wiped out? This is far worse than French socialist Segolene Royal calling anime “vile, hideous.” An American politician joking genocide and ethnic cleansing were better. ADL should condemn him right away.

    Obama should fire him from the Democratic party. Well, he forgave Harry Reid from saying “negro dialect.” But this New Hampshire Democrat guy went too far. Suggesting genocide? No excuse.

  7. A prime example for anyone who claims that republicans are inferior to democrats.

    I am a democrat but I don’t like the notion of republicans being dumber and what not.

  8. Saying something like that privately is one thing, but saying it publicly, especially if you’re a politician, is another. And I would guess that he probably knows little to nothing about anime and has the distorted view most Americans have about it – that it’s just “Pokemon or porn.” (which some of it is, but as we all know, a lot of it isn’t).

    Though I hope that statement wasn’t serious, it’s insulting both to Japanese people (since most of them watch at least a little anime) and people in America or other countries who like anime. I wonder if Japan has taken the comment seriously or has just passed it by.

  9. Isn’t this sort of obviously a joke? It was on his private page, although it was sort of stupid of him to post it even there. Still, it was not spoken with any degree of seriousness. Why on earth would he even care enough about anime to honestly mean such a thing? It seems sort of crazily blown out of proportion.

    Even the Reganite thing is really obviously meant to be humorous. You can rightly argue it was inappropriate. But it’s a stretch to treat this like it was meant seriously.

  10. @Yumeka – Serious or not, it isn’t very appropriate for an elected official to go on record making this kind of statement.

    @Meagan – This is irresponsible for the same reason Regan’s joke about bombing the USSR was deemed irresponsible. It, too, was a joke about a serious topic, and it went on the public record, which is why it wasn’t appropriate. Levasseur’s Facebook and Myspace were set to be accessed by the public and therefore cannot be considered private communication.

    If you don’t see the harm in a joke, let’s substitute in another heritage. What if he had made a similar joke about lynching blacks in the deep South, and said that it should have happened more? Would you then agree that this would be inappropriate? I think most people would be appalled by such a joke, because lynching really happened. Similarly, the nuclear bombing of Japan really happened. Are Asian-Americans somehow less deserving of respect than African-Americans?

    @Monsieur LaMoe – I note that he has removed the picture with Obama from being his Facebook icon. As his associates in the Democratic Party have not announced any measures against him, it seems they are waiting to see if this blows over.

    @Janette – Indeed; poor choices can and have been made by members of both parties. Anime Diet’s last article on a politician covered a Republican; this one covers a Democrat.

  11. I’ve said this on my Twitter earlier. No matter how one wishes to bypass this as merely a joke, a glib remark made in jest, it is one done in truly poor taste, and shouldn’t be heard out of the mouth/type of a politician, ever. If anything, this is humor more fitting a snarky fringe-geek than a state representative. It is simply imprudent to be both.

  12. Joke or not it does not matter he shouldn’t go public with his humor.

    Prime example:

    Take a regular person like you and I we twitter the same thing “Anime is a prime example of why two nukes just wasn’t enough.” people are going to react but not since we are regular citizens everyone will just say “Why you think this” or “You don’t like anime?” or “So Anime is not good anymore? 3rd nuke will bring out a lot better anime?” etc…

    Now, take a celebrity or someone famous. They said the same thing do you think people will react the same way? NO. Because his an important figure and not just some random person.

    When you have a job where the media is around you and anything you say is shown to millions of people it is VERY important to pick your words right.

    Just look at our last president George bush…

  13. he probably watched some horribly dubbed anime. anyway, mike do u have anyone covering Anime Central in May (rosemont, il)? i’m probably going, want me to do some recording for your site?

  14. Because it was a joke, I am afraid that a common sense is unveiled. It may not be a pure racism but is callous of what their fathers did. I am ashamed that most Americans never imagined the cruelty of burning numerous children and women alive by inventing and testing the firebombs and a-bombs.

    Did you know that they first contoured many cities with the firebombs to enclose people then “filled” the square with the burners from one side to the other, knowing most houses are made of wood. Yes, they targeted residential areas. My old relative still recalls that a tiny burning piece on a window glass horribly melted it all. (She was a hospital nurse, unable to leave her patients, and survived in the concrete.) Did you know that, by the time of Hiroshima, they knew Japanese were preparing for surrender, but they could not stop the craving to test on Japs and did it – twice.

    Of course we didn’t. Unlike Germany, where citizens have been told of what their fathers did being led by the wrong leader, our government is a continuum of the pre-war, though slowly changing. There must be ways to make Americans learn many truth, behave right, and respected by the world for their good soul, just not for economic and military powers.

    Well, I might have written this on a wrong board – forgive me. (Let me know of more appropriate boards ;-)

  15. What *I* find amusing is that he LOOKS like a nerd… Like a Star Wars fan or something. A lot of people who look like him and like something other than anime usually hate anime.

    Not only that, he’s a politician. Being at that kind of high rank in the nerddom makes him feel superior enough to make such comments.

    Where’s your ego now? I’m less concerned about the comment and more concerned that New Hampshire elected a Pick/Universe programmer as an elected official.

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