politics

Edmunds: GOP senator unfair to Trump bus riders

The following letter is a response by Wallingford resident Lynn Edmunds to a Jan. 8 letter by Sen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) in the Rutland Herald.

There seems to be a sad irony in the fact that on his way out of office, a former minority leader of the Vermont Senate would cast such a disparaging net of belittlement over fellow Vermonters and Republicans expressing concern and love for their country. Perhaps Sen. Joe Benning was frustrated with the vile acts of violence that took place at our nation’s capital. But two days later, with little investigation complete, his article illustrates an implied guilt by association for those making the trip to Washington, D.C., and to others sharing the same concerns.

Volunteer takes temperatures of Trump bus riders before departure

In his commentary, the senator paints a very disturbing picture of a busload of Vermonters heading to Washington to verbalize their fears for our country. But in his rendering, he depicts each passenger’s mugshot, identifying them as most unwanted members of the GOP. Thus, he begins his moral outrage by applying broad brush strokes of misguided extremism to the canvas, subtly planting the seed that some in the group could easily be duped into assaulting the nation’s Capitol.  Then standing back to review his work he declares, “These thugs [those who breached the Capitol Building] were Republicans devoted completely to Donald Trump. They are not ‘Patriots.’ They are not ‘real Americans.’ They are anarchists who believe in mob rule, plain and simple.”

But how can Benning presume these bad actors are Republicans, American imposters or even anarchists without implying those on the bus are likely of the same caliber? These assumptions have dangerous First Amendment implications of tar and feather for an entire group of people.

I may not know many who took this bus trip to Washington, but the ones I do know are the salt of the earth and entitled to their dignity and difference of opinion without fear of reprisal, oppression or isolation. However, Sen. Benning, it appears, would like them booted from the big tent for holding views contrary to his — all while he attempts to shine light through a filtered lens of a media that most do not trust.

Americans are not stupid; they know something is wrong, especially when the Supreme Court turns a blind eye to a suit brought by one-third of all 50 states. These justices are supposed to be some of the best and brightest minds in America, yet they chose not to deliberate as if they didn’t understand why so many states were upset. Was this malpractice? It sure seemed that way to those seeking answers they could trust.

I suspect there is enough blame to go around, but nothing is accomplished by cannibalizing fellow Americans with legitimate concerns when the real question remains, what is wrong in America that would make us turn on each other?

Presumption of moral superiority is one of the great threats to our sovereignty as free people; it stifles discussion and suffocates our will to work together for the common good, ultimately destroying our freedom of speech.

  1. BLM, BDS, Vermonters for Peace&Justice for Palestine, etc., are Marxist organizations filled with angry, self-righteous “peace activists” fueled by intellectual…

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  1. I would not accuse any of the Vermonters who took the bus trip to DC of being rioters. However, they did answer the call of the Great Imposter to attend his latest ego feeding rally. By doing so, they were fueling the conspiracy theories propagated by the most corrupt and dangerous person to ever occupy the White House.

    • To what conspiracy theories are you referring – The Steele Dossier? The Russia Collusion Hoax? The Mueller Investigation? The Ukrainian phone call impeachment?

      To which imposter would you have them answer? Biden and his son Hunter and their million dollars deals with Chinese and Ukrainian energy companies? Rep. Swalwell (who sits on the intelligence committee) and his Chinese spy mistress?

      And if Trump is the most dangerous person to ever occupy the White House, why have there been so many middle east peace treaties between Israel and Arab states? Why has North Korea not exploded any nuclear weapons? Why is the U.S. now energy independent? Why are U.S. troop deployments declining? Why have the caravans of illegal immigrants stopped? Why has Chinese aggression and intellectual property theft been checked? Why are NATO spending commitments by its members being honored? Why was the development of a Covid vaccine the fastest in history?

      I sure hope the Biden, you know – ‘the big guy’ – is equally dangerous in his first four years, if he makes it that long before Kamala replaces him.

      • Conspiracy theories: (a) Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election; ( b) Mueller Investigation did not uncover serious cases of obstruction of justice; (c) The biggest of all: Trump won the election.

        Each of your other allegations would require a lengthy discussion. However, consider:

        1. Corruption: NO president has ever had so many associates convicted including to those who lied to protect Trump.

        2. Dangerous: NO president has so viciously attacked his opponents which included the other 2016 Republican presidential candidates, or former distinguished advisors and cabinet members who could no longer work with him.

        3. Middle East treaties: A result of U.S./Israel attempt to align other Arab nations against Iran.

        4. North Korea: Dictator given a place on the world stage while being allowed to continue to develop nuclear weapons.
        Perhaps it has something to do with the love letters exchanged.

        5.Energy independence: The U.S. will continue to be more independent as alternative energy sources get big government subsidies like the giant oil companies.

        6. Troop reduction: A good thing; however, Trump’s isolation rhetoric has resulted in a massive increase in Chinese influence in Asia, South America, and Africa.

        7. “Caravans” stopped: No doubt due to the wall (200 miles of rebuilding?) paid for by Mexico, or perhaps you preferred the policy of separating children from their parents with hundreds still in that condition.

        8, NATO: Attacks on the effectiveness of NATO right out of the Putin playbook.

        9. Covid vaccine: A miracle in the advancement of science, a branch of learning denied by many Trumpsters. U.S. developments were matched by those in Great Britain, Russia, and China.

        Hopefully, a President Biden will bring back civil discourse which will allow this country to begin healing.
        : :

      • Now we’re getting somewhere. Discussing actual points and policies, not promoting adolescent innuendo.

        OK, let’s consider:

        1. Corruption: NO president has ever had so many associates convicted including to those who lied to protect Trump.

        False: Nixon’s Presidency remains the most criminal, with 76 different individuals charged with felony indictments and 55 of them convicted or pleading guilty.

        2. Dangerous: NO president has so viciously attacked his opponents which included the other 2016 Republican presidential candidates, or former distinguished advisors and cabinet members who could no longer work with him.

        Viciously? You mean calling them nicknames like ‘sleepy Joe’, ‘mini Mike’, ‘crooked Hillary’, ‘low energy Jeb’, and so-forth? Your hypocrisy is showing.

        How about ‘Adolf Twitler’, ‘Agent Orange’, ‘Cancer in a Wig’, ‘Cheeto Führer’, ‘Diaper Donald’, ‘Hair Hitler’, ‘Orange Slug’ or the hundreds of other pejoratives used over the years? How do these nicknames compare to your false characterization of Trump as the most corrupt and dangerous person to ever occupy the White House? Did Trump ever hold up an effigy of Obama’s bloody severed head on national TV?

        3. Middle East treaties: A result of U.S./Israel attempt to align other Arab nations against Iran.

        Yes. Not an ‘attempt’. It worked. That’s but one of the benefits of his mid-east foreign policy. There are others – like declining troop deployments.

        4. North Korea: Dictator given a place on the world stage while being allowed to continue to develop nuclear weapons.
        Perhaps it has something to do with the love letters exchanged.

        OK. It worked didn’t it? You don’t disagree that North Korea stopped testing nuclear weapons. Trump used honey and vinegar – a place at the table and economic sanctions. And what would you recommend? Nuking North Korea?

        5. Energy independence: The U.S. will continue to be more independent as alternative energy sources get big government subsidies like the giant oil companies.

        So, you admit it. The U.S. is energy independent. Even while every energy sector, including solar and wind, are heavily subsidized.

        6. Troop reduction: A good thing; however, Trump’s isolation rhetoric has resulted in a massive increase in Chinese influence in Asia, South America, and Africa.

        I’ll repeat what you said: It’s ‘A good thing’.

        But you ignore the fact that Trump limited Chinese imports, supported Taiwanese and Hong Kong democracy, imposed caps on Chinese media entities, delisted shares of China Mobile Ltd., China Telecom Corp., and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd., after the Treasury designated them as Communist Chinese “military companies.”

        We’ll see what happens with China when the Biden family connections to the CCP are fully exposed. But, for now at least, Trump’s China policies have worked better than anyone else’s. And I give Secretary of State Pompeo much of the credit.

        7. “Caravans” stopped: No doubt due to the wall (200 miles of rebuilding?) paid for by Mexico, or perhaps you preferred the policy of separating children from their parents with hundreds still in that condition.

        Please. Get the numbers right. It was more than 400 miles of wall newly built or replaced, not 200 miles. And no, Mexico didn’t pay for it. I never said they did. But Mexico did put 15,000 troops on the border to help thwart the caravans.

        And that the separation of children from their parents, and the construction of ‘cages’, was started by the Obama administration, seems to have eluded you. Nonetheless, you do admit that the caravans stopped.

        8, NATO: Attacks on the effectiveness of NATO right out of the Putin playbook.

        Attacks? You mean ‘criticism’, don’t you? Well-deserved of course. Nonetheless, you don’t disagree that NATO members are finally paying more of their share of the expenses – saving American taxpayers billions of dollars. BTW: Have you actually seen Putin’s ‘playbook’? Is Russia about to invade Europe? Or have you been reading the Steele Dossier again?

        9. Covid vaccine: A miracle in the advancement of science, a branch of learning denied by many Trumpsters. U.S. developments were matched by those in Great Britain, Russia, and China.

        Whoa, wait a minute. You never heard of operation ‘Warp Speed’? And what ‘Trumpsters’ ever denied that the development of these vaccines wasn’t miraculous? You’re clearly projecting your own bias in order to distract from the fact that your assessment is fallacious.

        And regarding the Chinese vaccines: ‘Global trials have produced varying efficacy rates, raising questions about the Chinese Sinovac vaccine.’ But be my guest. You can take the Chinese vaccines if you like.

        10. Hopefully, a President Biden will bring back civil discourse which will allow this country to begin healing.

        We’ll see. But if we’re relying on your discourse, as listed here, I’m not going to hold my breath.

        In conclusion: I appreciate the discussion. It clearly points out that Trump was nothing like the most corrupt and dangerous man to occupy the White House, as you characterized him to be. I can only hope that characterization doesn’t apply to the next President. We’ll see.

  2. I simply don’t understand those who wanted to see Trump defeated from 2015 onward, have thrown every insult and disparaging remark toward him and his supporters, and have levied accusations and charges against him for four years right up to date. The Dems win! The Rinos Win! They are taking over the helm, they are throwing the party of all parties for themselves next week – yet still, the vitriol and venom hasn’t subsided at all? How many victories has one seen where the winning team is so angry, upset, and vengeful? Will they ever leave the field of play and get on with their victory laps or are they too blinded by hate they continue to chase their own tails? Truly bizarre behavior of the winning left and right!

    • Melissa, it is interesting to hear you use the words “disparaging”, “angry:”, “accusations”, vitriol”, and “vengeful”. Have ever listened to a Trump rally?,

      • The difference, Mr. Devino, is stark and telling. The language of Trump, while similar and, in my opinion, often distasteful, is always directed at a select few.

        At the media and educational institutions that stifle our free speech and misrepresent our history.

        At the hypocrisy of those in government who, for example, conjure collusion and insurrection using fraudulent evidence while, at the same time, discounting hundreds of legally sworn affidavits of witnessed election irregularities as non-evidence.

        And lastly, at those who break our existing laws in the name of some contrived political and social superiority – yes, including everyone who used the DC Trump protest to breach the Capitol grounds, no matter what their political affiliation.

        The language of the Left, on the other hand, while the same in its character, is Totalitarian. The Left applies its disparaging, angry, accusations with the broadest of brushes, at anyone and everyone who not only disagrees with the Left but may simply question its motive and justification.

        Conservatives, basically, just want to be left alone. They really don’t care what those on the Left do so long as the Left allows them to live independently. But Leftists, apparently, can’t help themselves. Theirs is a Faustian bargain – trading something of supreme moral or spiritual importance, for some worldly or material benefit.

        Ironically, the Left’s bargained benefit is better attained by asserting one’s individual responsibility, because what is surrendered in the Leftist’s bargain is ultimately far more valuable than what is obtained. Why else does Leftist economics, public education spending and social welfare, for example, continue to result in increasingly poor academic performance and the demise of inner cities?

        But because individualism, as we ‘deplorables’ understand it, is the ultimate existential threat to the Leftist, they will stop at nothing to disparage and destroy anyone and everyone who threatens them.

      • Hi John,
        If you truly believe your fellow Americans who embrace freedom, liberty and the Constitution are a threat to you, you are directly under a spell of disinformation and well designed propaganda. If you study the CCP and how it controls it’s citizens there and abroad, you may understand the deep concern Patriots have for the state of the Nation at this juncture. Spoiler alert: God Wins!

  3. Melissa,

    I don’t believe the rioters who stormed the capitol waiving Trump and Confederate flags “embrace freedom, liberty, and the Constitution”. Sorry!

    • Mr. Devino’s remark is yet another example of a Leftist false dichotomy.

      Ms. Casey never said “the rioters who stormed the Capitol waiving Trump and Confederate Flags embrace freedom, liberty and the Constitution”. Mr. Devino said it: in a continued display of the dishonest projections that afflict the Left’s tyranny cast upon us. In fact, Ms. Casey said nothing at all about the ‘rioters’ in her referenced comment. But as I explained earlier, Mr. Devino, and the Left, will stop at nothing to disparage and destroy anyone and everyone who threatens them, even as they are compelled to lie in order to do so.

  4. Very articulate overview. The left’s snarky dismissal of such compelling issues…the refusal to even want to discuss them has been the narrative for years now. This think the continuing chorus of the “emperor has no cloths” will be the best tactic for us. Much conversion work to be done here.

  5. In a rebuttal of my assertion that Trump is the most corrupt president in our history, Mr. Eshelman stated: “False: Nixon’s Presidency remains the most criminal, with 76 different individuals charged with felony indictments and 55 of them convicted or pleading guilty. ” I will accept his statistics as valid, so that would make Donald Trump #2.

    However, even Richard Nixon did not pardon those who lied to keep him in office, so I think DJT may deserve the top spot.

    • Will you accept this too, Mr. Devino?

      According to Politifact: Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election (and we all now know how legitimate that was) netted indictments against 34 people and three entities. Only 16 were convicted. However, 25 of the people indicted were Russian nationals or Russian intelligence officers having nothing to do with Trump. In fact, only six of the 34 indicted were ever Trump associates, and none of them were working for Trump when they were indicted.

      For the record, even under the Reagan presidency, 33 of his associates were indicted with 16 being convicted.

      And while we’re at it, why aren’t others working in the government during the Trump era not mentioned? Why, for example, was FBI Director Comey not indicted for leaking classified information to the NYT? Why was Hillary Clinton not indicted for destroying emails subpoenaed by Congress? Never mind the several other FBI bad actors. We may hear more about them when the expanded Durham Investigation wraps up.

      Nonetheless, in the final analysis, Mr. Devino can ‘think’ whatever he wants to think, and so can I. That’s why I think Mr. Devino is continuing to distort the truth to meet his biased narrative, as many unfortunate souls are want to do these days.

  6. People who continually beat on Trump, are usually from the Left, the media, and Tech media and have been Left for a long, long time, with very few threats to their longevity…… until Donald Trump shows up. They cannot handle this because in the arena of ideas and strategy that wins, they cannot do it unless they resort to subversion and downright crookedness. Another four years of Trump and they would end up being “Left Out” no pun intended. They are still scared that certain ones in the Conservative ranks will prevail, so they are taking steps to confront them with bogus flap that will go nowhere, as should be the case.
    All this ridiculous flap is indicative of just who these people are and what they are made of. The Republicans have to get a united spine and exercise those spine related issues in an upfront, take it to them mode’ Just look at their record;( The Left’s) they have produced nothing, absolutely nothing only a two year impeachment that was thrown out, and a Mueller con-job that was protecting the crooks entrenched in U S Government high places, while trying to make people think he was hard at work to put Trump where they wanted to; it blew up in one big failure with Mueller at the helm, the day Muller went before a Congressional Hearing. You can’t believe a word they tell you.
    Good will eventually overcome evil, but it will take a while, and it will not happen until the R’s become united. Get some back bone, people. America deserves to be at the behest of righteousness, not continual con action.

    The above is what needs to be said in our local papers, but it will not be anytime soon.

  7. Given that you have mentioned the Mueller Report in your response, Mr. Eshelman, I assume that you have read it. (If not, you can borrow my copy.) If you have read it, you will recall that the report concluded that the Russians did interfere in the 2016 election, not by stuffing ballot boxes but through social media. You no doubt also remember that several key witnesses were not allowed to testify at the hearings leading to potential obstruction charges which may be revisited some day.

    Trump once boasted, “I have the world’s best memory”, (available on video). He more recently amazed us with his mental capacity with the infamous “Person-Woman-Man-Camera-TV” list which he said proved he was “cognitively there” to lead the nation. (You can’t make this stuff up!)

    If you did read the Mueller Report, I would call your attention to the often-forgotten Appendix C. Although he refused to meet with Mueller, Trump agreed to answer questions submitted in advance. With the help of his lawyers, he managed to say, “I have no recollection”, or “I do not recall”, or something equivalent at least 34 times by my count. (I may have missed one or two.)
    In conclusion, if you wish to explain the rationale for Trump’s behavior, I suggest you not bet the farm on your interpretation of the Mueller Report.

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