Commentary

Conservative network forming – are you in?

by Tom McLinden

If you are a fellow conservative, I invite you to join me in forming a new conservative action network in Vermont. Our mission would be to promote conservative ideals, and push back against the tidal wave of the progressive/socialist ideology over-taking Vermont.

Tom McLinden

Right now Conservatives are scattered across the state acting as armies of one. I believe the Vermont Conservative community, when organized, focused, and energized could be a force for good. By facilitating ongoing conversations, the exchange of ideas and information, calls to action, and a shared agenda we can leverage the impact Conservatives have on legislation, and the political dialogue. And given recent attacks on the First Amendment rights of Conservatives, the network can support fellow conservatives who speak out.

The network would not be in conflict with the VT GOP, I hope on many days there will be synergy between the two. If you believe the VTGOP’s job should be to get Republicans elected, as I do, the party is better off sticking to the issues. And, the promotion and defense of conservative ideals will not complicate the lives of moderate candidates.

I see this like teaching the Bible. If you want more Christians, you teach the Bible. You can cast about looking for more Christians but if no one is teaching the Bible the supply is limited. Right now no one is teaching the Conservative bible in Vermont. No one is teaching the principles of conservatism that are the real draw to the Republican party once they are understood and appreciated. And no one is opposing head-on the larger Progressive agenda, its destructive impact on the state, or the highjacking of the American and Vermont culture.

The network will begin as an email database that will allow us to start a conversation. We can build on the network as we go. The first priority is to get everyone onboard who should be, so please forward me the emails of people you’d think should be on the network, so I can invite them to join. The working name I’m using is the Conservative Vermont Network. I’ve avoided using words like Liberty, Freedom, and Patriot. They are great words, but because there are already so many organizations using them they all seem to run together. 

Once the network is up and running, we can talk about ACTION, which will be the primary mission: letters, presentations, petitions, marches, articles, phone calls, and networking with like-minded organizations. I will also share ideas on issues, agenda, and goals, and welcome your input on the same.

Please email me to be added to the network. Please remember to recommend the network to your conservative friends or colleagues, or send me their email addresses directly. My email is tom@mclinden.net.

A final shout-out to Rob Roper and the Ethan Allen Institute, and Meg Hansen both outspoken leaders for the conservative cause. Linking people and organizations like these will be at the heart of the new network. I hope there will be many.

The author, a Stowe resident, is a letter writer, fund-raiser, presenter, organizer of VT Lt Governor debates 2020, local leader, logo designer for political parties, political website developer, Facebook page manager, former new product innovation specialist and design firm owner.

13 replies »

  1. I believe working together with VT GOP is a good idea, however, I believe that this network must also be willing to assertively challenge VT GOP as necessary.

    Conservatives are now aware that not all Republicans share their values. Honestly, Phil Scott would barely if even make the grade as a Libertarian.

    Consider, too, as Guy Page recently reported here four VT GOP Republicans voted “yes” on S.15 (universal mail-in voting) while three Republicans rightly voted “no”.

    Electing Republicans should not be paramount to electing conservatives who may be Libertarian or Independent candidates.

    We understand VT GOP is walking a tightrope when it comes to producing electable candidates. Still, there should also be a higher, more conservative standard for Republican candidates. Sans this, and despite some excellent elected Republicans, the VT GOP is proving ineffective against leftists.

    All said I’m solidly in favor of earnest efforts to unite conservatives across the state, so count me in.

  2. We already have the Ethan Allen Institute and Christian Action Ministry as conservative groups. How will this one be different. If we get too many conservative organizations it may dilute their effectiveness. Maybe joining already existing groups would give them more clout.

  3. Is this not more preaching to the choir? It’s not that I want to promote the leftist point of view – but enjoining their commentary at the source seems a political road as yet less followed. This is what I prosed on TNR.

    Is it not tellingly curious that our Governor, his administration, our legislators, and those who voted them into office, are conspicuously absent from this discussion? That they ignore this very reasoned list of grievances begs the question, yet again, of how to remedy our corrupt condition. I am, admittedly, at a loss on the matter. Perhaps its time to take this debate into the lion’s den.

    There is a leftist Vermont blog by a fellow named John Walters, that accepts commentary. The Vermont Political Observer. a.k.a. the VPO: Analysis and observation of Vermont politics from a liberal viewpoint.

    If anyone has the stomach for the typical leftist dribble and personal ad hominem attacks on conservative points of view, may I suggest preaching to this different choir. Refugee commentors from Seven Days and VT Digger frequent Walters’ VPO, where they expound on what can only be described as the misguided and misleading perspective they assign to conservative points of view.

    Is it not worth a try? Afterall, my misery on VPO would enjoy some conservative company for a change.

    • I have actually done just this, as I too, think it’s a powerful approach. I joined the democratic group’s meeting and countered just about everything they were touching on during the meeting. More of us should follow this path. I found the majority of the group to be ignorant of the facts on some topics. Granted, I wasn’t invited back, but joining the meeting doesn’t require an invite. Just knowledge about where and when.

  4. What are the following? How are we going to manage complex change needed? Without all of the below we’ll yet again fall flat on our faces. Being cannon fodder gets old.

    Vision
    Skills
    Incentives
    Resources
    Action Plan

    Getting a list of conservatives is needed. But what is the vision? How are you going to work within a subverted state? Just talking about the typical trops of values will get you no where in the sea of propaganda and sophistry.

    Can people expose the underbelly of socialism while not losing those who have been indoctrinated and believe their neighbor is evil, because they are conservative? If you can’t go to a leftist hang out and get people on your side….too bad so sad, you won’t have the skill set to make a difference.

    This will take years to accomplish, how are you going to give incentives to keep the troops moral up?

    It’s gonna take time, money and equipment, how is that going?

    What is the action plan, have the parts been broken down in small steps, easily done and identifiable for people to accomplish? Many hands make light work.

    We all have to be rowing in the same direction. The resources and numbers are against us. There are many groups out their looking for political power and influence.

    We must know the terrain and the enemy in order to live another day. Otherwise, cannon fodder will be yet again our destiny.

  5. I don’t know if I’m in because I don’t know what you mean by “conservative”. More importantly though, I don’t think it matters. We live in (more or less) a democracy, and you likely don’t have the demographics in your definition of conservative to wield any political power.
    Decide what exactly you’d like to conserve, and if you start small enough, you may get enough people to matter.

    I would start with conserving the US and Vermont constitutions. You might be able to conserve that.

    If you try to take on marijuana, euthanasia, abortion, and rock-and-roll music, all our kids will be on puberty blockers and reporting us to the authorities for thought crimes real soon.

  6. This is a great idea, and thoughtful comments. I couldn’t agree more with the statement that we’re acting as armies of one. Colin DuPee, your comment that we’re outnumbered- I know we’re outnumbered in Vermont, but also, I’ve noticed that so many who seem more “conservative” are also less likely to be outspoken about their opinions. We are not raising flags and painting Main Street with our political slogans. Most of us don’t have slogans. Most parents that I talk to who disagree with kids wearing masks in school (or at least, disagree with the mask all the time, even outside), have decided to keep quiet about it. I may be the only one in Burlington continually reminding the Superintendent, Principal, and other staff at my kid’s school that this is not ok, but I know I’m not the only one who thinks that way. Just an example. I know we may not have much political clout at this point, statewide, but we are intelligent, discerning people and we have really valuable input to offer, and our civil liberties are being trampled, and that in itself is enough reason to join forces and speak out together, even if it doesn’t change policy.
    I do think that continual pressure aimed at the ethical sensibilities of “liberals” may be somewhat effective. We can make excellent arguments for our positions and their logic is usually pretty weak or nonexistent. My son used the word “scripted” to describe their style, and I couldn’t agree more. I haven’t heard anything NOT scripted out of the mouth of a liberal in over a year now. With enough pressure, I believe they’ll admit they’re inept- even if they don’t concede their control over our lives. I have gotten confessions, not of ineptitude, but just of “we’re just doing this because they told us to and we have to” from his school. They haven’t been able to provide any scientific evidence for any of their actions, but it doesn’t seem to bother them.
    That’s my personal experience with trying to reason with those in power. The superintendent could be described as a low level functionary, if I’m using that term right, so I know it’s nothing like trying to engage in dialogue with anyone who actually creates policy. They’re harder to get through to but not impossible. I’m waiting to hear back from Kesha Ram re: my posting on Front Porch Forum about “vaccine hesitancy” (responding to her post about certain BIPOC vermonters getting to jump the line for the vaccine) and why that term is insulting (to all of us, whether we want the vaccine or not). It would be interesting if she responded, to hear what she had to say. I’ve considered joining city council meetings for public comments but they’re insanely boring and the council members talk SOOO SLOWLY…I suspect it’s a tactic to keep people who actually like action and change out of their meetings. A network could make these meetings more interesting if we knew there’d be more than one of us showing up to comment.
    Thanks, Tom, for your commentary.

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