Vermont and America Need Unity

Montpelier, VT –  “That frequent recurrence to fundamental principles, and a firm adherence to Justice, Moderation, Temperance, Industry and Frugality are absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of Liberty and keep government free.”   These words, from Vermont’s Constitution (July 2, 1777), are chiseled into the native granite of our State House halls.

Our state’s forebearers believed so strongly in these values they were further enshrined in our state motto, Freedom and Unity.

From Vermont’s time as an independent republic to its present day role in this republic of 50 states, these principles have been the cornerstone of our system of local self government.

Vermonters know that to be truly progressive — to make good progress, not just good politics —  real leaders will appeal to our nation’s core, founding principles; the decency and dignity of every citizen; and our shared commitment to freedom, justice and opportunity for all.

In his typical flamboyant manner, Senator Bernard Sanders — our self proclaimed socialist — has announced his campaign for president.  There’s no doubt Senator Sanders will generate plenty of buzz.

Americans are afraid for the future and frustrated by the present.

For many years here in Vermont — the entire time Senator Sanders has been in public life — costs have been rising far faster than incomes.  The gap between the rich and the poor has been expanding faster here than in most places.  The working class has been getting smaller.  And we lose a higher percentage of young, talented residents every year to the appeal of hope and opportunity elsewhere than any other state in the Nation.

Fear and frustration are a powerful political cocktail.  But all you have to do is take a good look at Vermont’s demographic and economic realities — and our growing crisis of affordability — to get a good look at what the hangover from a Sanders administration would look and feel like.