Benning: To elect candidates, VT GOP must move on from Trump

by Joe Benning

In the early 1990’s I joined the Vermont Republican Party.  I did so because the VTGOP recognized five core principles: a free market economy; a local and efficient government that kept taxes within reason; an educational system that enabled our graduates to compete in a global marketplace; individual liberty and personal responsibility.  Those five core principles were wrapped together by a glue that bound us together as a society: the Vermont Constitution.  Coupled with Vermont’s proud history of rugged individualism, these things defined our party.

There was no application process when I joined.  There was no litmus test.  I wasn’t asked whether I followed a particular religion or even if I was religious.  I wasn’t asked whether I was pro-life or pro-choice. It was never demanded of me that I swear allegiance to any particular candidate or to every plank in the party’s platform.  Nobody in their right mind would have insisted upon blind allegiance to an idealogue. Civility, integrity and an assumption that our election process was trustworthy were orders of the day.

The only reason a political party organization exists is to elect candidates.  The VTGOP’s sole objective is supposed to be targeted at recruiting and electing those who can get elected. Even George Aiken, perhaps the most frugal VTGOP member, recognized one of government’s chief responsibilities is to help those in need. I’ve now participated in nine elections, the last being my first statewide.  Successful in six and unsuccessful in three, I flatter myself in thinking I understand what it takes to get elected.

So where is the VTGOP today?  A minor contingent still firmly believes the January 6th  assault on the nation’s capitol was a patriotic event.  A few display large flags on their homes and vehicles that say “—- Biden.”  The loudest voices on social media (thankfully still few in number) spew vitriol and hatred against the highest vote recipients in the VTGOP and those who’ve spent the most time trying to hold the party together.  They continue a narrative designed to undermine faith in our electoral process, label those legitimately in need as leeches on society, and adhere to every Q-anon conspiracy imaginable as if it is established fact.

Like it or not, that is an image problem we VTGOP candidates deal with on the campaign trail. Sure, everybody has a right to free speech. But these immature, sometimes dangerous and often bullying techniques will never attract electable candidates or Vermont voters to the VTGOP.  Nobody marching to this drumbeat has a chance of ever getting elected in Vermont.  

Some will argue Donald Trump’s vote tally in the 2020 election (112,704) is something to build upon. Mathematically that is not possible. Vermont’s voting demographic has twice soundly rejected his candidacy, giving Biden 242,820 votes in that same election.  Vermonters want civility, integrity and trust in the people they vote for. The vast majority long ago decided Trump does not provide those things.  No argument will change that. If the VTGOP is to survive and thrive, we’d best be moving on.

VTGOP leaders must recognize the largest voting block in Vermont is not Republicans or Democrats or Progressives.  It is those who consider themselves Independents.  If VTGOP leaders move to rigid right-wing idealogues for comfort, we lose that block. The VTGOP course must remain center/right. As idealogues in the Democrat/Progressive supermajority drive policy that runs counter to Vermont traditions and fiscal capacity, Independents will be alienated. This provides an opportunity for VTGOP candidates who stay true to, and can articulate, our five core principles and the glue that binds them together.

The author is a state senator for Caledonia County and was the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor this year.

Categories: Commentary

63 replies »

  1. Republicans in Vermont were on the losing side long before Trump came along. Maybe Vermont’s remedy is to run DINOs in Democrat Primaries as the Democrats do with Republican Primaries.

  2. Sorry there Joe. Most of the VT GOP candidates this year were either “progressive” posers OR chronically “apologizing” for President Trump in Letters to the Editor & on the campaign trail – apologizing, I guess, for his being the most successful President in approximately 100 years maybe?

    How did that go for ya? You LOST worse than EVER before in VT history. Plan B? Do the exact SAME thing next time around, but of course!

    Sorry, I don’t kowtow to ANYONE for any reason. Nor do I grovel or placate. The VT GOP needs to grow a spine or other body parts that I’m unable to mention.

    Perhaps if the VTGOP had actually spent $$, stopped trashing their own party & its platforms, & fought FIRE with FIRE…..but nooooo… was all “Trump’s fault”. Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah: From Democrats.

  3. I tried to like the above comment. But…funny I can post a comment here but the program says I am not signed to like someone’s comment.

  4. Oh, by the way Joe – Vermont hasn’t voted for a republican presidential candidate since the 1980’s….loooooooong before Donald Trump.

    Nice try Joe. But as you know, you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

    Trump didn’t lose. YOU did.

    • Mr. Benning can’t see through his own hubris enough to understand that the reason he didn’t get elected was his own voting record, and personality.

      -He voted for the very same mail in ballots that prevent anyone but the progressives from winning.

      -He voted for prop 5/Article 22 fully knowing it’s a potential eugenics amendment to our constitution.

      -He obviously doesn’t understand that January 6th was a large setup, by whom is still up in the air red or blue.

      -Numerous times email responses from Mr. Benning have come across my desk so to speak and why anyone would vote for a man with that personality is beyond me. He speaks of others vitral and anger and yet almost every one of his reply emails or online responses are of contempt and angst.

      I recently heard a complete socialist (and no he’s not a native) talking about the election and how he voted and why (90% of what came out of his mouth was complete and utter lies that were probably told to him because he doesn’t do any research at all on his own). At one point he says but I did vote for one Republican, I voted for Benning because he seemed to understand the social issues that surround our country, this directly after hating on Trump and his hubris.

      We often hear people speaking of Rino’s and progressives in disguise, and here we see a person who is a complete socialist and the only Republican he voted for was Mr. Benning. It makes it hard for me to believe that you’re a Republican when the socialists vote for you.

      The bigger irony here is that the only candidate that I can think of that has the hubris of Trump is you Mr. Benning.

      Sometimes it’s painful to look in the mirror isn’t it, is that why you detest Trump so much?

    • Too late now. You should have read VDC & TNR and you would have figured out what Benning was.

      • Oh I knew what his voting record is, I heard him loud & clear on many issues, even heard some ‘slight of hand’ tactics in his answers yet still thought he would be a bit better than Zuckerman. This note from him goes way beyond what he led us to believe. Oh Vermont–when will we wake up!

  5. Joe, the world of elections has changed since the day Joe Benning joined the Republican party.
    Back then the electon process earned the right to be trusted. Today, we have extended mail in ballots, drop boxes, same day voter registration, vote counting both before and after the polls officially open and long after they close, and internet connected voting machines.
    All of these measures have proven to be openings for vote fraud. None of them have been proven to increase the integrity of the vote system. In general, Democrats favor these measures which if exploited would harm our election systsem. Generally, Republicans favor protection measures such as requiring voter identification and mail in ballots for those who truly need them, a limited number. Our liberties are protected and preserved by assuming that the voting system needs strong security and that changes to that system require strict scruteny. Voter Photo ID is favored by 81% of Americans.
    Eternal vigilance is the price for Liberty (John Philpot Curran); failure in that vigilance leads to servitude. No longer can Americans assume the integrity of Vermonts’ voting structure.

    • Barr says: “But it is now clear he lacks the qualities essential to achieving the kind of unity and broad election victory in 2024 so necessary if we are to right our listing republic. It is time for new leadership.”

      Really? Trump has the same ‘qualities’ he’s had all along. He’s consistent. We know what we’re getting.

      Barr, OTOH, mimics the typical false premises we see from most deep staters, who have nothing of substance to report. For them, it’s continued vagaries, innuendo, nothingness, and the camouflaged sophistry of ‘tonal response’ and ‘churlishness’.

      If you have a specific issue with which you disagree, say so. Offer a positive alternative. Notice that Barr doesn’t disagree with any of the several Trump policies he cites in his missive.

      It shouldn’t be how you ‘feel’ about Trump, but an assessment of his policies. Again, we’re not electing a high school junior class president or a prom queen. Trump demands your attention. Barr wants you to look the other way. The choice is yours.

      • Is this the same Bill Barr that sat on the Hunter Biden laptop like he was waiting for it to hatch before he appointed a Special Counsel? Just wonderin’?

      • I agree! Barr is a Turncoat! He found out he didn’t have the stomach or the courage to go against his elitist friends and Stand with Trump, so he caught a case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. This way he has hero status in the D.C. Swamp. What a huge disappointment he turned out to be!

      • The same one that worked under H.W. Bush…. Who in Pence’s own words Pence met in 1988 when he was 29 years old.

        Trump was surrounded and had no idea going into it.

        “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it”

  6. Seeing in these replies why I left my vote blank for Lt. Governor. I don’t vote for RINOs or Democrats. Governor choice was left blank also. I figured democrats would carry Scott to victory.

    • True. And as far as RINOs… expect a kick in the rear when democrats are in but it hurts harder when a so-called Republican kicks you.

    • @ Richard

      Independents are open minded people who don’t blindly pull the lever for one party or the other. If you think your insults make me feel bad, they don’t.

      • VTIndependent

        Not my intention to make anyone feel bad, just an observation. Trouble comes in when people are so open minded that their brains fall out.

    • As an Independent, I’m not ashamed of being a former Democrat. I woke up in 2008 when the banksters pulled off yet another heist. I noticed how chummy Bill Clinton and George Bush became – seemed odd. I researched back to certain events and found information that was hidden or removed from the public. I noticed how many of the same people were in prior administrations – many worked for Goldman Sachs. I noticed Bush, Sr. was in charge of the CIA and no-name McCain was a porky POW. I listened to JFK’s speech about Secret Societies. I read Eisenhower’s farewell speech. Then I wondered about that flag on the moon and how did that moon buggy fit into the module? The more questions one has, the answers are right in front of our faces if we choose to look beyond mainscream[sic] media. Here in Vermont – how does such a small population need ever growing budgets and more taxes. Nothing get’s resolved, it just gets worse. We still have no broadband after Douglas started that scam how many years ago? Kingdom Con?

  7. When the establishment continues to go bonkers over one man after so many years, what is the real reason they obsess over him? Why does Trump live rent free in so many heads? I assume he has the receipts and holds something powerful they can’t remove from him. If that wasn’t the Truth, they wouldn’t bother to attempt to take him out several times over. They wouldn’t bother to investigate him several times over and come up with nothing. They wouldn’t bother weaponizing the DOJ against him which is unprecedented. They wouldn’t bother writing op-eds ad naseam – orange man bad! All of them are being exposed by their own panic and attempts to cover up what they have done. The Truth is coming out and they can’t stop it.

    • Melissa, you are so correct! People need to ask themselves just why Trump is being so vilified. Just perhaps he’s getting ready to expose the Deep State globalists of all the evil they’ve perpetrated. He’s an extremely brave man who has been beaten to a pulp with the lies daily thrown out by the MSM so that people actually believe all this as if it’s gospel. People, please stop looking at his NY mouth but open your eyes to a man who loves America and restored our country when he was president: Economy, borders, energy independence, worldly respect, so so much more-he kept his promises to make America great again after 30+ years of US increasing decline.

  8. You know, I’m really glad I’ve decided to leave Vermont. Not only are we overrun by leftists but I’m realizing just how nasty so much of the right is here as well. Neither of you tolerates other viewpoints. And I’m proud to consider myself an Independent; if I move somewhere that registers voters in parties, that will be mine.

    • It is a mistake to assign the emotional aspect of rational tolerance or ‘nastiness’ to what is, or has become at least, the victims of a ‘blood sport’.

      We have become the pit bull or the gamecock, maneuvered into a corner with an unnatural adversary, and forced to fight for the immoral pleasure of our captors, usually those posing as our protectors, … our masters.

      Perhaps it has always been so. But the instinct to survive, manifested by the release of hormones that prepare our bodies to either stand ground and deal with a threat or to run away to safety, is not an emotional response. Ethical and moral ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ no longer apply, no matter how rational we may have been before being cornered. At this point, only basic survival instincts and our personal faith will prevail.

      We are being trained by our handlers, as we have been for more than 6000 years. And the stakes today are far greater than any primitive wagering in a barnyard ring or cockpit with dogs or chickens fighting to the death.

      What lesson is to be learned by this comparison? First, always have an exit strategy, a fallback position. If one must fight, doing so on one’s own terms, from a position of maximum flexibility and strength, is tantamount to survival. And it’s better to have brief and inconclusive skirmishes than to make the ultimate sacrifice. The longer one can survive, the more data one has with which to make informed decisions. At some point, if we are successful, our handlers will have only themselves on whom to wager. Who knows then? Perhaps it will be the meek who actually inherit the earth after all.

    • I am not sure what not VTIndependent anymore observed that was judged as intolerant, but I reserve the right to civilly disagree with anyone on anything and to argue my case passionately. Truth is totally exclusive, which may cause angst in those whose narratives have hit a brick wall and have to fall back on psychological manipulation to win favor. I pray for these people. They need healing from past wounds which our contemporary society has left untreated. The treatment lies not in the political, but in the spiritual.

  9. It is better to reign in hell than serve in heaven

    Before the election on the tube, I saw Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell say he didn’t think the Republicans would take the Senate because of the quality of the Republican candidates. This was a blatant rebuke of all the Trump endorsed senate candidates.

    A few days after that statement on Newsmax Dick Morris said that what McConnell is trying to do is destroy all of the Trump endorsed America First candidates, the reasoning being he would rather be Senate Minority Leader than Senate Majority Leader because that majority might have the vote to remove him as leader and give it to Rick Scott-R-FL. When the red wave didn’t happen, McConnell trashed the MAGA candidates again.

    How could this be? A republican that didn’t want to take the Senate and put a halt to the Biden agenda, with the biggest reason that being Biden would not be able to get judicial nominees, federal and supreme court thru the Senate. Was there a conspiracy between the Democrats and McConnell? The Democrats funded several MAGA candidates in the primaries with the hope that they could beat them in the general by labeling them extremists. Now all the swamp creatures are coming out to say it was Trump’s fault and that his candidates lost the Senate. Really?

    McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund had over 100 million dollars to help Republican senate candidates get elected. So, what did he do with the money? Let’s start with Arizona. McConnell gave zero dollars to Blake Masters. Masters was outspent by 64 million dollars. Kelly 73 million Masters 9 million. In Pennsylvania OZ was outspent by 15 million dollars. Fetterman 52 million OZ 37 million. In Nevada Laxalt was outspent by 34 million dollars. Cortez Masto 46 million Laxalt 12 million. In Georgia Walker was out spent by 43 million dollars. Warnock 75 million Walker 32 million. In New Hampshire Bolduc was out spent by 34 million dollars Hassen 36 million Bolduc 2 million. McConnell stopped sending money to Bolduc after he was endorsed by Trump. Republican governor and rino Chris Sununu won election by a wide margin but didn’t lift a finger to help Bolduc. He gave ZERO dollars to Gerald Malloy, Now we get to Alaska where the Alaskan Republicans censured Lisa Murkowski. Then Murkowski’s friends put in ranked choice voting to make sure that Sara Palin and Kelly Tshibaca both Trump endorsed candidates would be stopped because Murkowski couldn’t win in a straight up election. McConnell funded Murkowski because she would vote for him as minority leader. This is even after Murkowski said she would be voting for Democrats. Murkowski had six times the funding of Tshibaca.

    Now the Trump trashing starts. It was the election deniers. It was abortion. We have to go in a new direction. Trump’s time is passed. His candidates can’t get elected. Why? It’s because they fear Trump. He is a threat to people like Mitch McConnell’s and the Uni-Party’s power. If you recall when he was elected in 2016, he had to rely on the Republican establishment’s recommendations to fill White House and cabinet positions, FBI, CIA, etc. And they made sure they put people around him to weaken his authority. Not so this time. If he should get elected again, he will be able to drain the swamp by coming in with his own staff, cabinet and appointees that will greatly diminish their power. Tucker Carlson’s interview with former congressman Steve King from Iowa King said Paul Ryan did everything he could to thwart funding for the border wall.

    When I was a correction officer an old timer told me when an inmate asks you for something or tells you something always ask yourself why. What’s their angle? So what is the Republicans angle? The angle is the Republicans are using conservatives like the Democrats use Blacks. They only come around when it’s time to vote. They never give us what we want. Is it time for a new Constitutional Party?

  10. We need to stop thinking of Trump as the establishment deep state has deceptively marketed him to the low information voters…the mean tweeter, the womanizer, the egotist who will start WWIII, the racist…think of his as an agenda…and agenda that can be also carried by others like DeSantis or Tim Scott or Krisi Noem. Honestly, Trump would do far more good to lay down his Presidential ambitions and play kingmaker to dozens of other candidates who love the USA and it’s Constitution. Due to the devious and deceptive tarnishing by the deep state and major media, Trump has too much baggage to rely on him to save the country in 2022

  11. Joe Benning voted along with the Progressive/Marxists in our government to BREAK our Vermont Election System. He VOTED YES to make the ALL Mailed Ballot System that was used for Covid Emergency Voting in 2020, to be our permanent voting/election system.

    We now have a Broken, Untrustworthy, Election System in Vermont. There is no longer a “ballot chain of custody,” There are many avenues for corruption and cheating with ALL that is now allowed such as:
    1.) 24 hour ballot drop boxes
    2.) ballot harvesting
    3.) no accounting for un-voted mailed out ballots
    4.) no voter ID’s, safety precautions or signature matches
    5.) ballots mailed out 40 plus days before election day by outside

    All this and more on top of the previous mandated use of untrusted ballot counting machines to count our votes. Don’t be fooled by the mindless gas-lighting. NONE of the election result numbers can be trusted.

    Ask Joe Benning why he voted YES to the breaking our Vermont Election System? See the Bill and confirm his YES VOTE HERE:

  12. Trump’s appeal was exactly what Benning praises: nonideological and real action for the 5 principles he lists (free market economy, local and efficient government that keeps taxes within reason, educational system that enables people to compete in a global marketplace, individual liberty, and personal responsibility), which ought to be supported by all Americans, both progressive and conservative (ie, the two sides of the Western liberalism coin).

    Just as the Democratic Party long ago (openly) betrayed their “progressive” credentials, so the Republican Party had betrayed their “conservative” credentials in the name of “recruiting and electing those who can get elected”. Trump was (is!) the Independent candidate for restoring a responsible (and Constitutional) government that serves the American people, which is, again, something all sane people ought to support. His personality is precisely what enables him to challenge the neolib/neocon globalism/imperialism that shapes both the Dems and the Repubs. Like it or not, he is America writ large.

    Which side are you on, Joe?

  13. Hello again, Mr. Benning.

    Re: That you weren’t “asked whether I was pro-life or pro-choice” … might suggest that you weren’t listening.

    In 2019 you opposed H.57, the bill providing access to abortion in Vermont for any reason, at any time, or for no reason at all. Yet you supported Article 22, that expands the scope of consideration from ‘abortion’ to ‘an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy’. Was it your intention, in 2019, to oppose H.57, that addressed only abortion, in order to open the door later on to allowing virtually any issue arising in the vast and undefined arena of ‘personal reproductive autonomy’?

  14. Spoken like at True RINO. Your problem Joe is you think like Democrats you have the say in how we the people think. Maybe you should look at the Left for a bit. Democrats have destroyed this country. You and the VTGOP Rino’s did absolutely nothing for Vermonters that work for a living. You all should be thrown out of office. Oh wait you are. This state is the 4th highest to live in and the 48th for income. Tax payers get porked daily. School system is worthless. They are now teaching CRT and Transgenderism and you guys just let it happen. You and Flipper are no Republicans trust me…

  15. I think the hate on the Left has nothing to do with whether or not we are Trump endorsers. I was attacked repeatedly for being “a Trumpie” — it didn’t matter what my actual policies or qualifications were. Thomas Frank warned the Left that making its entire policy prescription about hating Trump was an abandonment of working class people and a long-term failing proposition. I don’t think Vermont’s GOP should oversimplify the problem to “pro or con Trump” any more than the Left. Donald Trump is not the decider of Vermont’s abysmal fiscal disaster — Progressives are, and they eagerly hold the bag. That is not Trump’s fault, nor will our future Party be decided without reference to core fiscal and conservative values. The litmus test of January 6 and questioning voter integrity (which Dems do shamelessly, in a double standard) is a cheap calculus. The debates in the future will be about pensions solvency, high taxes, failing schools, etc. The shallow rubric of January 6th is the dumbing down of intelligent policy discussions — whether embraced by the Left or the Right.

    • Now, John, you’re again sounding like the conservative, anti-establishment, advocate I thought you were. For a minute there, judging by your comment in the ‘support-trump-in-2024-or-not’ article, I thought you might have been devoured by the dark side. Stay strong.

  16. The reality is that Vermont Republican’s have as much an impact on the presidential election as it does on “climate change”.

    Does being Pro- or Anti- Trump help Vermont candidates win local general elections?

  17. Mr. Benning tried to play Phil Scott’s fiddle. He figured if Phil could hoodwink the republicans, so could he. If he could get to LT. Gov. when King Phillip decided to quit and spend his millions, Joe could run for Gov. and start the RINO dance all over. Benning knew he would have to cower to the progressives to win the governors job. But, elections have consequences and now another RINO is removed from power in the republican party. His loss, republicans (real conservative republics) gain. As soon as the RINO leadership is all replaced, republicans can start to win again. With the super majority owned by the progressives, the only way to wake people up is to give them (progressives and democrats) enough rope to hang themselves in the eventual financial ruin of this state.

  18. You are not a Republican Benning, you are a RINO ! Vermont Republicans voted for Trump because he was and is a True Conservative unlike you Benning. The VTGOP needs to move on from Joe Benning. They proved that’s what they want by how few of them voted for you this year. Good Riddance…

    Brian Judd Conservative First/Republican Second. I AIN’T NO RINO !

  19. Trump is the shiny blunt object the opposition is using to hammer the right into submission. Does Trump have personality deficits. Some might say so. What scares the left is the policies of Trump and that he could lead the way for many years and upset their agenda. He tricked them once and they are now in TDS about him and obsessed about his possible return. Has Trump been a lightning rod in the nation. you betcha. Are his policies necessary… probably more than we know. I do not like the past Trump and his broken dishes in the china cabinet, but I do like his policies, and I am guessing that those broken dishes where necessary.
    I could care less about who loves or hates the person what about his vision for America? That is what we need to be focused on. Go ahead hate the man but look beyond him at the policies that will be our future. Would you rather have a Biden light up next?
    Look where we have fallen in two short years! This is where the left wants to take you. They are doing all they can to make you feel guilty about supporting the orange haired man with the wrecking ball. Will I vote for him again,,, we will see.

    • Amazing!!! I will forever SUPPORT Donald Trump and I will Vote for him. THIS man loves America and America first! Vermont GOP needs to stop with the Anti-Trump narrative once and for all!!

  20. Joe Benning, I did not vote for you in the midterms. You are all for prop22, which is the murder and modern day sacrifice of unborn children. Nor did I vote for any Republican that did or was planning on supporting Prop 22, sorry Randy Brock my conceince is clear. This country has a sin problem, not a right, left, Republican, Democrat, etc. problem. In God We Trust, just mere words coming from VTGOP, too controversial. Joe, I am said to say I have no faith in any of you, elected or not. You don’t stand by what you say, you bend at the first sign of pressure, and compromise with the best of em. I don’t have faith in our ” free and fair ” elections. Anyone with common sense can see the last 2 election cycles had ” problems”. Not only that, Like Trump or not, this Country was better off, even you can’t deny that Joe. Inflation, Taxes, Border, should I go on? Stop blaming Trump, either that run as a Democrat, you sound just like them.

  21. Thank you for your sanity. I, too, remember when Vermont Republican meant right of center, common sense, non-dogmatic. That could be a winning formula today but the insurrectionists, election deniers, conspiracy believing MAGA crowd has doomed the Republican party to irrelevance

    • We got another go along to get along guy.

      Get over it most of it is an actual conspiracy the problem is you’ve had your head in the sand for too long.

      All those years of you being common sense and not paying attention to any of the conspiracy theories allow the conspiracies to actually happen. Maybe some didn’t happen in Vermont but they’ve certainly happened countrywide.

    • You are NOT paying attention Mike. Vermont has the Big Tent GOP where ALL beliefs and candidates are allowed and welcomed to run Republican and they did. How did that work out?
      Trump’s Fault?????

      You have all the right “woke” words in your post, but they are aimed at the wrong people. The Progressive/Marxist majority in Vermont’s Government are the Constitution Hating Insurrectionists and Traitors.

      Remember the true definition: an insurrectionist is someone who is working to overthrow their government. Most of our elected persons in Vermont, hate, ignore and seek to destroy our Constitutions which are the Supreme Law and Foundation of our Governments.

    • I remember a Vermont when I could talk and debate with my liberal friends without them getting triggered or calling me some name and storming off. True liberals of the past disliked authority and then the party was hijacked by progressives from out of state and the liberals took them under their wing. They were used only to be disenfranchised as a party of the working people and morphed into a party of elite snobs funneling tons of money into this tiny state. Every Vermont institution has been infiltrated by progressives aided by the invasion of not for profit social justice organizations with the money to flood the airwaves and print media with their anti-American, Anti-Vermont, pro-new world order agenda to control the people, the healthcare, the education, the government and this is what the indoctrinated voted for.

  22. Joe: Your finger-pointing at some in the GOP appears to blame them for your election loss. That is divisive, not unifying. Criticize the Leftists instead; they voted against you and for Zuckerman, despite his flaws.

  23. Platforms don’t win General Elections. People do.
    To win an election, WE need to address the issues and concerns of the majority of the voters and the majority isn’t anywhere near our Republican perceived issues.
    People vote for those who understand their needs and have solutions (well, mostly handouts). If WE can’t do this and we’re running on a singular “stand for something” platform we’re martyrs.
    Guess what? Vermont is widely believed to be one of the least religious states in the union. Running on religion is a losing cause.
    Calling people Marxist and Fascists is another losing point.
    Calling every election suspicious is ignorant.
    Calling the governor a RINO is ignorant.
    Calling those Republicans and independents closest to you RINOs or Tranrepublicans is grossly ignorant.
    Perhaps, a better term for the “Real VT Republicans” is the Ignorant Republicans, Intolerant Republicans…

    • Maybe you should just say calling out the truth is a losing proposition?

      I mean that’s your point here right?

      Because from where I stand, religion is important and you’re right, Vermont is not very religious. Vermont at least in its politics is full of marxists. The elections are suspicious. The governor is a republican in name only (not once has he attended a republican event for the record in at least two years, just in case you were wondering). Many Republicans in the party sound just like progressives so therefore in my opinion are also Republicans in name only.

      Lastly and importantly standing for what you believe in should not be martyrdom or intolerant.

      I think finally and most importantly those on the conservative side are either not given a voice to begin with OR their voice is hidden in the lies and deceit, by the media and rinos of which you speak.

    • Tom,
      If you are afraid of the truth and hearing others views, perhaps you shouldn’t engage in sites like this. Speaking the truth is essential.

      Does GOD exist in your world? Are there morals in your world?

  24. With all due respect, I must disagree with the notion that a political party organization exists for the sole reason to elect candidates. I hope Mr. Benning did not mean this, because it belies his premise of joining the Republican Party because of its five core principles. A political party must be able to be differentiated from other political parties in order to have a reason to exist. The “big tent” philosophy is counter productive in the long run. If I vote for a Republican candidate, I want some assurance that that candidate will support legislation that is built upon Republican principles. Maybe in the past people had enough integrity to not call themselves Republican if they did not agree with Republican core values. Not anymore, apparently. There is a widespread idea both nationally and in Vermont that there is, in reality, not much of a meaningful choice between Republican versus Democrat candidates. If this belief is so widespread, there must be some truth in it. The remedy is more differentiation rather than less. There must be some type of accountability to keep this differentiation intact.

  25. Joe,

    Winning doesn’t matter if the person you’re electing is out to destroy your state.

    You obviously can’t separate truth from fiction and your disturbing belief that somehow Trump is bad is disgraceful.

    Have you even bothered to take time out from your propaganda spreading campaign to look around the country today and see what’s your buddy Joe Biden has done to America?

    I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on if you can’t recognize that we were much better off under president Trump then we are under this corrupt administration which will soon be exposed there is something wrong with you.

    Even in your latest statements you can’t stop trouncing on your primary opponent for showing up to participate in a historical event at the capital of the United states of America.

    Are you really trying to convince others that what took place was done at the hands of patriots?

    Why doesn’t the FBI answer the questions at congressional hearings about their involvement in the january 6th event at the capitol and how their people played a part and what happened there?

    You thought using your propaganda would immediately thrust you into the second highest office in the state of Vermont however people here are more intelligent than you would like to believe.

    Face it Joe you lost because people don’t trust you… And it’s for good reason.

    I would never vote for someone that supports the slaughter of The unborn and the mutilation of our children and the destruction of the family unit.

    You forget one thing Joe government is we the people not you the politicians control we the people.

    I’ve been here a long long time and our state used to be a beautiful state until people just like you came along and started to sell their rotten apples.

    Vermonters want Vermont back not a bunch of loonies trying to control vermonters.

    And you continue to say you’re a Phil Scott republican which tells me you support the left agenda because you guys vote for and support Joe Biden.

    A Phil Scott republican is a sellout to Vermont and America.

    I know Dave Zuckerman personally and I do not support his agenda at all..

    But the reason Dave gets elected and you don’t is because Dave has a great personality and he’s not afraid to tell the truth..

    I can’t believe anyone in their right mind would vote for someone who does not support their values just because they claim to be a republican.

    No thanks Joe, it’s because of people like you that Vermont is a lost cause.

    Maybe california is more suitable to your political beliefs.

    I’m encouraging everyone to continue to vote for people that respect your values and want to make Vermont the beautiful state it once was.

    May God bless the green mountains of Vermont and the United states of America.

  26. Joe and Phil are Democrats. They have always been Democrats.They sure do get an awful lot of Democrat votes as Republicans. Joe should try listening to the voters instead of his fellow party members, like a real leader. Republicans can have my vote, but Joe and Phill need to go first, they are hurting the party.

  27. Was so hoping to get rid of Joe Benning.
    Here is a bit of an email about the “insurrection”

    “ At last count there were well over 500 criminal indictments filed against individuals who participated in the January 6th insurrection. Each indictment is accompanied by an affidavit of probable cause that describes the individual, their alleged motivation, and what gave a federal judge probable cause to determine whether the charge should stand.

    It is apparent that nothing I say to you is something you are willing to consider, but please, do yourself a favor and read a few of those affidavits of probable cause. Each one actually cites the affiliation of those who were able to be identified. I’ve seen dozens of Proud Boys, III Percenters, Q-Anon and Donald Trump supporters (all calling themselves “Patriots”), but in my book a “Patriot” isn’t somebody who gets whipped up with emotion based on internet conspiracy theories and then invades the Capital intending to stop the counting of legally certified state ballots and “Hang Mike Pence.”

    Oofaah. No Joe, you don’t get it.

  28. So Joe–What part of “Make America Great” bothers you SO much? My wife & I actually met Trump in NYC many years ago, seemed like a nice guy..If he can’t be bought, the “Press” hates him, the Deep State hates him (Russia Hoax, falsified warrants, etc.), the RINO’s hate him, the Chinese & Globalists FEAR him, the Cheap Labor “Chamber of Commerce” hates him, and YOU dislike him then he MUST be OK in my book! Hey Joe–Didn’t YOU advocate for MANDATORY “vaccinations”? Your “fans” (see all these comments) have listed all the cars on YOUR Crazy Train, and even though Zuckerman’s a Prog I voted for HIM as he’s misguided but HONEST, more than I can say for YOU Joey! (Plus the Lt. Gov. is only a chair-warmer “job”)

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