Bean: Enough with the armchair QBs, get in the game!

2022 Senate candidate challenges sedentary Republicans to get involved

by Paul Bean

Recently, I wrote an article (“The Real Problem With Vermont,” Jan. 19) criticizing a mindset that was not meant to insult anyone personally, but considering the responses I received, Maybe I struck a nerve?

First of all, thank you for your support and positive feedback.

Paul Bean

One of my favorite responses claimed I offered no new solutions nor ideas. The purpose of my article was not meant to offer a grand idea nor vision for a new development, because the premise of my writing was that it wouldn’t matter what I proposed. The purpose was to critique that very mindset that stops growth.

This mindset has nothing to do with “left vs right” because In some ways they share the same viewpoint here.

The response I received from some of you proved the very point I was trying to make. I will say it once again: growth does not have to be bad.

Some of you were not happy because I didn’t immediately point fingers at the Legislature … if only it were so easy to blame them for everything.

Considering many of the comments came from conservative voices, I’ll beg the question: how many of you made an effort to get Republicans elected? How many of you showed up to sign waves, committee meetings, or walked in parades?

Or how about this: how many of you actually went out and voted?

Remind me again, who isn’t offering solutions or ideas? I ran an entire campaign full of them… where were you?

Far too many Republicans are no different than your typical armchair quarterbacks. They’ll tell you again and again how it should be, but when it comes to actually taking action…crickets.

Nonetheless, this is why we lose, over and over and over again- and why we are doomed in the future.

Many Republicans are no different than the left wing extremists: lost in ideology. So many are completely convinced that our elections are completely rigged, even though so many of us know personally the people running and working the elections, many of us are even related!

Here’s a thought to play with:

A good strategy to destroy your opponent? Convince them that trying to win elections “isn’t worth all that effort because it’s all rigged anyway.” Might as well just sit at home and complain about it…

It is this very defeatist mindset that has been inflicted upon Republicans in Vermont. Want to take the easy way out? Give up before you even start and be sure to have a reason why you would have failed anyway: “It’s rigged.”

If you are truly concerned about election integrity (a valid concern for all of us) tou should run for JP or Town Clerk, or volunteer at a polling location to see how it was done. If you are someone who ran for any position, and you lost, and you feel that you lost because of election integrity, my hat goes off to you. Thank you for running, I disagree with you on your point.

Where is my critique of Democrats and liberals? Well? I disagree with them on many of their policy positions and their completely irresponsible spending of money. But when it comes to winning elections, they out-number conservatives 129-45.

The only reason we should be pointing fingers at the Legislature: “taxes, fees, regulations, rules, restrictions and others that stifle and discourage any and all new enterprises.” I’ll say it again: We elected these people.

We can’t keep discouraging new ideas, or new perspectives if we want to win elections. We can’t keep insisting that we “Take Back Vermont” because that Vermont is gone and not really worth taking back… I am working on building this new vision every single day and I am not alone.

This is not an essay meant to critique the left. The purpose is to get Republicans to take a hard look in the mirror and ask the question: am I just another critic pointing at “the man in the arena?”

I know what it feels like when you feel there is no hope, thus no reason to try. I know what it feels like to lose too. Instead of blaming our local losses on “rigged elections,” we should focus on building a message that resonates with actual Vermonters.

We need to start thinking about redefining what it means to be a Republican in Vermont. Please. Drop the national narratives, immerse yourself within your community, and make friends with a “liberal.” They are just people too.

The author, a young Northfielder, finished fourth in the three-seat race for Washington County state senate last November.

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Categories: Commentary

29 replies »

  1. Stand up RINO’S and hold the line period!!
    Wake up or go home period!!
    We Republicans have use for RINO’S PERIOD!!
    A RINO is the same as a liberal leftist Dem Swamp 🐀 Rat period!!

  2. Stand up RINO’S and hold the line period!!
    Wake up or go home period!!
    We Republicans have no use for RINO’S PERIOD!!
    A RINO is the same as a liberal leftist Dem Swamp 🐀 Rat period!!

  3. Citizens of Vermont have an outline for the best possible governance that doesn’t require any new ideas. Just long forgotten ideas. They can be found in both the Vermont constitution and United States constitution. These ideas are not popular with majority of Vermonters.

    I have deep respect for Paul Bean for stepping up. I have run for the Vermont legislature three times and lost three times promoting constitutional, fiscally responsible solutions to what ails Vermont.

  4. Follow the money trail – case in point, from FTX, didn’t Becca Balint receive roughly $1.1million? Whatever happened to that Huge Story?

  5. “Many Republicans are no different than the left wing extremists: lost in ideology. So many are completely convinced that our elections are completely rigged, even though so many of us know personally the people running and working the elections, many of us are even related!” Your words here is called “cronyism.” How better to sway the “selections” when those inside the club control the machines, the ballots, the people counting the results, and above all, the money. You fail to point out our local, State, and national mainstream media is a biased, propaganda machine. How better to control and surpress information when an alternate opinion, idea, or information cannot be shared or even expressed? My local “newspaper” won’t publish any letter if it does not fit the “narrative.” Front Porch Forum? If you don’t tow the narrative there, you will be cancelled and account terminated. Why is the Republican caucus in New Hamspire the polar opposite of Vermont? Perhaps you should reach across the Connecticut River and ask the leadership there what they are doing to be successul in fighting back against the machine. Perhaps the reason is New Hampshire isn’t as corrupted as Vermont? Maybe the NHGOP has the guts and fortitude to remove their own party cronies and sway the populace with good policies rather than pandering personalities peddling empty platitudes.

  6. Conservatives and RINOS: How can a party that represents 25% of the vote split in two and win an election?

    • I agree. Just look at the numbers. There are simply more dem/prog voters by a long shot. Mr Bean doesn’t seem to recognize the nature of our population.

  7. When Republicans start running candidates that appeal to a majority of voters then they will do better. I badly wanted to vote for Repbulicans in the recent election but, except for Phil Scott, they were election denying zealots. No can do.

    • Well then, you are exactly the type of person that is responsible for what this legislature is doing. Voting for the same thing time and time again expecting a different outcome is the definition of crazy. If you badly wanted to vote for a republican why didn’t you? because you can’t break through the liberal fog you live in.

  8. Mike I regret to inform you Scott is not a republican!!!!!! Most Republicans are actually Democrats but NO Democrat is ever a republican.

  9. I’m sorry but there is too much here to swallow from a young person that didn’t live in the old Vermont who says it wasn’t that great. While I see he’s trying to get people to act, he is too young to realize that many of us have been acting for years. We have an influx of liberal people who escaped whatever hell they were sick of and came here to turn it into what they left behind by voting for democrats and progressives. People who made money elsewhere have come here because the word gets around about how liberal the state is. There is no point in voting for a republican who is dem/prog lite. We have so many RINOs now that we have a uniparty with a few solid republicans just like California. I really don’t need a lecture from a young man who is hardly invested in life, so I’ll stop here.

  10. Well, my thoughts are often out of step with many of the commentators on VDC, but I, for one, appreciate this young Republican’s courage, commitment, and thoughts. What the GOP needs is more electable candidates! We actually let about one-third of legislative seats go uncontested in the past election! How do you win that way? Paul’s plea is for more Republicans to step up, run, and be prepared to accept an unfavorable result.

    Stolen election? Fraud? Well, maybe, but where is the evidence? Just claiming that something is true doesn’t make it so. I work at the polls in Barre Town on Election Day, and I am confident that the process is honest and the count is accurate. (Then again, Barre Town pretty consistently votes Republican, and maybe that’s because the process is honest and the count is accurate!?) But there have been numerous recounts in various municipalities over the years, and the hand count has always verified the machine count, with only very slight deviations.

    And Paul Bean’s other point is that our candidates must be electable! A candidate who is well out of step with his or her district’s electorate will most likely lose. No surprise there! Phil Scott wins because voters recognize that, like Peter in the Dutch fable, he has been holding his finger in the dike to prevent the deluge of taxes and regulations that will come upon us if the Dems and Progs have total control. Even now, the dam has a thousand leaks, because the opposition has a veto-proof majority. And that’s because not enough electable Republicans stood up to run for office six months ago.

    We would be well advised to listen to Paul Bean’s counsel, especially if you are young and will have to live for many years with what the legislature enacts.

    • Mr. Koch, You were a legislator for how long? Of course you wouldn’t find fault in what he says, you two are on the same page. He is well intentioned and I applaud that. However, you support a republican governor who basically does nothing to support new republicans so as to not irritate the leftists who get him elected. Let’s look at his last two opponents, a transgender man and a legislator whose experience was a organizer of a dance competition. Could that be why he receives high voter numbers? The republican committee of which you were a good ole boy has failed Vermonters for years. Vermont is run by dinosaurs and ideologues, McDonald, Sears, Brock etc. and Progressive women the worst kind of elitist and now the professor from Gillagen’s Island is senate Pro Tem. There’s more than enough blame to go around but the biggest issue is that Vermont attracts liberals because the word is out that that’s who we are. But not all of us. Vermont has a uniparty of back slappers and a few real conservatives and that’s where we are.

      • The greatest part of a forum such as this displays the “cronyism” vs. the critical thinkers who know if we stay on this path set forth by the old guard, our Country is lost for good. What many do not want to admit or confess is the level and breadth of corruption is real and the evidence is real. I do not know Mr. Bean, but I know his generation is facing far worse consequences than mine. Oddly, my generation grew up in the “no nukes” era and where are we now? Facing a world turned upside down, threats of nuclear missile launches, the rise of the fourth reich, and a society lost in a wilderness of lies and deception. I do believe we are in WWIII (or maybe IV), we are in the worst recession in generations, and it will turn into a depression in the blink of an eye. Those in the seats to change this deadly course continue to whistle past the graveyard and lie to the public with impunity. Why? Perhaps the photo ops at the State House, February 2019, with representatives of the Chinese Communist Party is the first, most obvious clue. Yet, no one seemed to notice and no one seems to care.

      • I use to feel the same way as you about Phil Scott until I ran for office.

        Then I started to understand what he was up against and tried to do all I could to listen and learn about what we can actually do.

        Phil Scott supported a lot of new candidates including me…

        I do not know you, and I do not mean to be offensive in asking this question BUT, in what ways did you support local candidates in this last election?

        If you were out there putting in the work, I applaud you and thank you. If otherwise, I ask for your support in 2024. A vote counts, but we need to see your face and hear your voice.

      • Dano… you said you didn’t even read it but commented like 4 times…clearly I struck a nerve LOL.

        My family was in business in this state for 100 years and we’ve been hear even longer.

        Congrats on being a “real conservative.”
        See you out on the trail…

    • It can be argued that the far right of the Vermont Republican Party displays behavior that is comparable to that of a petulant 3-year-old. Like young children who often throw tantrums and pout when they don’t get their way, the far right can also exhibit similar behavior when things don’t go their way. They refuse to compromise or work with others to find solutions to problems, instead opting for tactics that are uncompromising and divisive. Like children who may spite themselves and their own interests by acting out, the far right also act in ways that are counter to the best interests of their own party and its members. Their extreme positions and tactics can damage the public perception of the VTGOP and make it harder for moderate conservatives to achieve their goals and win elections. This can put the future of the party at risk and prevent it from effectively competing in elections. Their behavior can be seen as tantamount to that of a petulant child, acting out in ways that are disruptive and potentially harmful to themselves and those around them.

      By spreading misinformation and casting doubt on the electoral process, the far right may be sabotaging the very system that allows for fair and democratic elections. This behavior is not only concerning, but it also undermines the foundation of democracy and the trust that people have in the electoral system. It is important to recognize and address these tendencies within the far right, as they can have serious consequences for the future of the party and the stability of the democratic system.

      The far right wing of the VTGOP lacks the determination and drive necessary for appealing to the average Vermonter and securing victories in elections. Instead of putting in the effort to find solutions to the issues at hand, they take the easier and less productive route of complaining. Their fixation on complaining instead of finding solutions displays a lack of commitment to progress and a disregard for the needs of the people they seek to represent. This kind of attitude and behavior is unacceptable and undermines the credibility of the party as a whole. Those within the far right must change their approach and prioritize the hard work of finding solutions if they hope to have any success in winning the support of voters and making a positive impact.

      • Re: “By spreading misinformation and casting doubt on the electoral process, the far right may be sabotaging the very system that allows for fair and democratic elections.”

        But if there is doubt, what then?

        In Vermont, we have no signature verification process for mail-in ballots. No chain of custody assurance once a ballot is removed from its envelope.

        In Arizona, they have signature verification. But its chaotic at best. Kind of like the ‘hanging chads’ of the 2000 election fiasco.

        It’s not the skepticism of free and fair elections that’s problematic. It’s the absence of a verifiable process. I’m not an ‘election denier’. How can I be. We don’t have a system that provides for the discovery of evidence to prove that an election is legitimate or not. I can’t prove that an election was stolen any more than you can prove that it wasn’t.

        That’s the problem.

      • The reality is all processes fallible. If we had signature verification, people will argue the system was hacked and rigged. There’s no end in sight for people to imagine ways the election has been rigged against their candidate.

      • Yes, Mr. Arnold. But some voting processes are considerably more fallible than others. Eliminate unregulated mail-in balloting – apply for an absentee ballot the old-fashioned way if you must. Otherwise, show up at the polls with your photo id, check in on the voter-checklist, and vote on a paper ballot.

        My point is, as the process exists today, most of these common-sense procedures aren’t consistently used. Again, being skeptical about the existing process isn’t the problem. The existing process IS the problem.

  11. That word salad wasn’t worth my time. I stopped reading after the 3 year old petulant child. Complete with dem/prog talking points and deflection combined with flat out BS. A quick scan of your words didn’t require reading. You are the same demo/prog that pushed for and supported the fake republican Liam Madden. Even Roseann Arnold turned out to be a real republican, you could learn from her. Ps, Republicans aren’t the ones who trigger easy, that’s your cult.

  12. Mr. Bean: As one who criticized your lack of specifics early on, I find your omniscient hubris in standing with most of Vermont’s legislators. I’m relatively certain you mean well. But, as the common idiom is often cited – the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    I read your web site.

    Point 1: Self-sufficient state economy: What do you mean? Have you ever run a business? Aren’t we already ‘connected’?

    Point 2: Quality Education: Have you ever served on a schoolboard? How about the Workforce Investment Board? Do you have any idea what happens when businesses interact with the public-school monopoly?

    Point 3: Environmental Stewardship: Ahh… Climate Change. And not one word about the recent development of small modular nuclear power plants or the gorilla in the room, Hydro Quebec electricity already available at 7 cents per kwh.

    Point 4: Individual Responsibility: Your point here belies a contradiction. “My vision is a Vermont powered, fed, built, funded, and governed by Vermonters.” Ahh yes, Funded and Governed. What’s your opinion on pure or direct democracy? You know… two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

    I look forward to your next missive.

    • Truly I would love to hear your alternative ideas…ones that could actually get people elected.

      It’s almost like people like you WANT guys like me to fail simply because it is easier to sit back, point fingers, and complain rather then actually doing anything…

      I assume you’ve not been actively involved in politics and if you were it was a million years ago.

      “I look forward to your next missive”

      Your entire response is the entire point of the article. It DOES NOT MATTER what I come up with to guys like you… You are already dismissive of anyone who tries to do anything. Perhaps over years of failure and loses you just become cynical…and for that I am sorry.

      I wont waste my time defending my points because I know who I am, what I stand for, and what the Vermonters who I want to represent ACTUALLY WANT.
      WHY? because I knocked on thousands of their doors. I met them at events. I called them. I emailed them. I begged them for their feed back.

      10X more of an effort then you’ve likely ever made… you’re nothing but an arm chair campaign manager

  13. We’ve got to support the young GOPers, Teach, guide, talk to, help and convince or learn, We need more of them and won’t get them without support. At the very least – we all have to vote. Too many don’t.

      • I worked bey hard to get real republican candidates elected.

        I drove around VT to attend debates and even went door to door with information to be told by most people they no longer vote because they don’t trust either political party.

        I have attended republican committee meetings both Rutland county and Clarendon republican committee

        And what I have personally found is that our republican representation lies to us and censored us if we are not in total acceptance of what they choose to cram down our throats.

        I have called candidates to hear exactly their platforms and to internet The things I disagree with to have a lively debate with them.

        I attempt to expose the things as a republican that I disagree with.

        Republican leadership lied to the voting public representing a candidate from another party. Showing her as a republican candidate in a picture for their candidate meetings across the state.

        She was ineligable from runing on the republican tickect as a republican candidate according to party rules.

        And any member of republican leadership violated the rules as well by signing a letter of support and pushing her as a candidate.

        I also fought hard against republican candidates that were supporting PROP 5 and ARTICLE 22.

        A small group started a write in campaign for Gregory Thayer at his request and he went on to support Joe Benning and ARTICLE 22 being pushed by members of the republican party to do so.

        He then denied his involvement and blocked me from his Facebook pages when I asked why he was supporting Joe Benning and ARTICLE 22. That wa The reason Gregory was in the race to begin with.

        This was after we used our own money for a website that he was instrumental in helping design after posing for picturesat the Rutland Republican Headquarters on Strongs avenue. They were used on his write in website.

        So because I believe in our first amendment and our right to ask questions of our government I have been blocked on The Rutland County Republican Page and The Clarendon Republican Committee page as well.

        It is evident that republican leadership is afraid of the truth
        and are opposed to vigorous debate which judging from The statements above we desperately need it.

        I spoke directly to my representative, Arthur Peterson, on The phone about this and I am quoting what he said to me:
        “I don’t care about the constitution or your right to free speech, I am blocking you from The Clarendon Republican Committee Facebook page.”

        And I no longer receive any of The notifications from our committee that I used to receive.

        PETERSON won by 5 votes after a recount…Does he think this creates support for The republican party?

        If this is how our representation treats us…then what?

      • Richard Ley, how do you know the election results weren’t the fruit of your labor? Your message may have been successful.

      • Richard Ley, how do you know the election results weren’t the fruit of your labor?

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