Dame: Blame people, or blame policies

By Paul Dame

Paul Dame

One of the differences between the Democrat and Republican party is not only our different solutions to the challenges that face us in today’s economy, but more importantly a fundamental difference in how the two parties identify the causes of those problems.  Democrats blame bad people, Republicans blame bad policies.

If you listen to most of the Democrat talking points you would hear that we can blame Vladimir Putin, or maybe greedy gas station owners for high gas prices, white cops are to blame for racism, anti-vaxxers are to blame for COVID deaths, parents are to blame for contentious school board meetings, greedy landlords are to blame for high rents, the rich are to blame for poverty and old people are to blame for driving up house prices because they keep living so long an occupying them.  With so many groups to blame it’s no wonder so many people seem so angry these days! 

Democrats usually see a particular group of people as the problem, so their solution is either to eliminate that person or group of people – or compel them by force to behave differently.  That’s why Democrats are becoming the party of punishment.  They see every challenge we face as pitting one group against another, and so often their solution is to eliminate, or hinder one of the two groups.  They talk about punishing greedy oil companies with an unexpected windfall tax, or punishing cops by removing qualified immunity, punishing parents by calling the FBI on them, or increasing property taxes until fixed-income seniors have to move out of state.

Meanwhile Republicans view the world very differently.  We believe that everyone is trying to do the best they can, working within the limitations they have.  Instead of blaming bad people – we look for bad policies that push people in a certain way and try to address the cause of the problem, not just attack the symptoms.  

We see the clamp down on oil & gas drilling along with the termination of the Keystone Pipeline as a significant factor in high gas prices. Rampant government deficit spending is causing inflation. We see the rental and housing problems as due to a policy that drastically restricts supply while demand increases.  

There isn’t some group of mysterious boogeymen with waxed mustaches plotting our demise.  It’s a simple fix that we have the ability to address ourselves, if we only have enough people working together with us to change the policy. We’ve got good people who are just stuck under bad policy.

This means that Republicans can actually offer solutions that reduce the harm and animosity that we are all getting overloaded with in today’s political environment. When Democrats blame groups of people, the only solution is to basically get rid of those people, or somehow disenfranchise them. If a group of people is the cause of the problem, they can’t solve it unless they go after “those people” in one way or another. Meanwhile Republicans offer solutions that can be implemented without pushing anyone out of the conversation. In addition, our policies can sometimes be implemented when we are in the minority, but have enough influence with like-minded independents to make a policy change.

The Republican approach to fixing problems is producing amazing results across the country.  Places like Florida, Texas, Tennessee and others are all experiencing strong economic growth and attracting talent from across the country. Meanwhile places like California, New York and Illinois are struggling sometimes just to keep their streets clean and safe. And the 2020 census confirmed what many suspected, people are moving to states where legislatures set good policy, instead of hunting for a new group of bad people.

Vermont is and always has been home to me, and I truly believe there is no other place like it on earth. We do not have a problem with our people here – but we do have a problem with some of our policies and the direction they have been going. For over 20 years Democratic majorities in Montpelier haven’t been able to fix the problems of housing or jobs. They are either unwilling or unable to see that it’s the policies we are pursuing (or fail to pursue) that are the problem. 

The author is an Essex Junction resident and chair of the Vermont Republican Party.

Categories: Commentary

15 replies »

  1. I don’t agree with much that comes from the Leadership of the Vermont State Republican Party, but I loudly applaud and strongly agree with this very well stated analysis.

  2. Its not that montpellier legislators cant fix housing or employment problems, the truth is their policies purposely create and perpetuate the problems to ensure they keep their jobs and have more power. In their view, the bigger the problem, the more government intervention is needed to fix the problem. When in fact, it was initially government intervention that created the problem.

    And there is one “mysterious boogeyman plotting our demise” and his name is Klaus Schwab and he heads up the Word Economic Forum. Ask anyone you may know in the Netherlands. Farmers there are currently having their land stolen (much easier when the population has been forcefully disarmed) by their government at direction from the WEF which wants to globally monopolize food production,(yes, bill gates, our country’s new largest private land owner who is pushing fake meat, is a buddy buddy with Klaus and a huge donor to the WEF), and they want one global government. Yes our border is still wide open and at this point it seems clear biden and the democrats want to completely destroy the economy and the whole idea of the USA. Oh and yes the WEF is one of the biggest promoters of the mrna jabs and has said the world is currently way overpopulated.

    • How about using your full names? Yes, there are nearly 50,000 people named ‘John Smith’ in the United States. But while some duplication is inevitable, there are ways to have a unique presence. So, if you’re truly interested in free markets and personal responsibility, use your real names, differentiate yourselves, and your positions (i.e., ‘policies’).

  3. People are the problem because People make Policy.

    Blaming policy is the proverbial red herring. Blame the collective. Blame the government. Blame the policy.

    Policies change. People, not so much. In a free market (be it personal, political, or economic), some people are independent, they support free markets, and accept responsibility for their policies. Others, be they Republicans or Democrats, hide behind the universal collective, criticize anything and everything but themselves, and demand uniformity.

    Milton Freidman said it best. “The great virtue of a free market system is ….. it only cares whether [people] can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”

    Unless and until these two precepts are fully understood by all, conflict is inevitable, because a universal, authoritarian collective cannot survive while any independent free markets exist.

  4. Fix the corruption and treasonous acts on both sides of the fence – is that possible when the world is run by a criminal syndicate? The Liberal World Order does include the RINOs – it’s beyond most “party” faithful to comprehend but many are getting it now across the world. One enemy cloaked in evil – the war is real and it is biblical.

  5. “Liberals think conservatives are bad people with ideas: conservatives think liberals are people with bad ideas” Dan Bongino podcaster. It has nothing to do with policy, that is just the outcome.

  6. I think it was Ann Rand who stated to the effect, politicians will make everything illegal so no matter what you do you will break a law and could be arrested. This is exactly how progressives think and act. Had enough yet? We could vote them out you know! What a breath of fresh Vermont air that would be. TAKE BACK VERMONT, or live in progressive misery.

    • Re: “We could vote them out you know!”

      If only that were the case, Dano. But you and I, and the hand full of others commenting on VDC, can’t vote them out. There are simply too many wolves.

      “A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” James Madison

      But Benjamin Franklin recognized that Madison’s ‘auxiliary precautions’ would be insufficient when he said: ‘… this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; … is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic governance.’

      Apparently, we have arrived at this crossroad, yet again. And there’s nothing in the Constitution saying people must be as wise as the Founders or that the people can’t be corrupted, as it seems many are.

      “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money” – -Alexis De Tocqueville

      All we can do, in this case, is avoid the fools, survive, and outlast them.

  7. Jay, I agree that voting them out is wishful thinking, but the alternative is what? Short of some kind of revolution in Vermont there are no other avenues than to try to wake people up. I’ve lived 6+ decades in Vermont and I’ve never seen things this bad. I’m actually thinking about leaving my birth state because I can’t afford to live here as a widowed senior unless I sign onto all the welfare benefits available to me of which my personal ethics will not allow me to do.

    I get it, that we won’t get all the changes at once. If we can elect enough republicans (not RINOs) into the house and senate, we can grind the destruction of Vermont down by vetoes being upheld. Just eliminating the super majority of our out of state legislators would help. The other factor is the media. People need to read and view other ideas that are censored by the VT liberal media. Even in the Times Argus, I’ve noticed letters to the editor and responses that prove others are tired of the liberal leadership in Vermont.

    As long as I can breathe and pay for my internet, I will be trying to make people think. As it is now, we have an illiterate voting population due to censorship of the media and an influx of people with the money able to withstand the progressive taxes and regulations. We have become the trustafarian state blended with the welfare state and the once middle class is being squeezed out. Live Free or die across the river may not be perfect but it sure as hell looks a lot better than here.

    • Re: ‘… but the alternative is what?’

      Dano: First, play their game. Don’t let false pride (your ethics) get in the way of tactical decision making. If it’s legal, do it. Sign on for all of the benefits you can qualify for. You won’t be taking anything you didn’t already pay for. Take the money before someone else does. If we all do it, they (the Administrative State) will go bankrupt that much sooner.

      The problem with electing people to government positions is the inherent corrupting nature of those positions.

      But shouldn’t the people we elect be compelled to do the best they can on our behalf? Isn’t that what government is supposed to do?

      No! The best elected official shouldn’t be doing anything, except getting out of the way. Read Federalist #10 and #51. Government should be striving to do less, not more. Consider the thoughts of Henry David Thoreau.

      ‘I heartily accept the motto, – “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, – “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.’

      We just have to elect people who understand this.

      But how do we know who they are?

      Typically, they don’t want the position in the first place. The best analogy is the call to serve on jury duty. There should be no personal gain allowed when functioning as an elected government operative, other than the commensurate compensation for one’s time and expenses. Even for important positions like the presidency. Government officials should ‘moderate’ society’s free market transactions in accordance with the Constitution, not indulge in them.

      But conflict of interest is a compelling notion.

      “It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices [checks and balances] should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” – James Madison

      In the final analysis, your fate is in your hands.

  8. We have moved so far beyond the wisdom of the founding fathers we are floundering as a country. I studied constitutional law in college. What Madison said surely makes sense, but we have so many unconstitutional laws and federal agencies now, where is the road back. My age won’t allow me to wait them out (the moonbats running government) so I suffer under their policies like so many others in my position.

    We have a lawless president who has violated numerous federal laws and the constitution, and we suffer because there are no honest members of the democratic party to remedy the situation like impeachment or the 25th amendment. The republicans are powerless, do nothing but talk and, in some cases, assist him in more violations. So, the nation suffers.

    We have a governor who violated our constitutional rights during the covid fiasco. Our constitution says, no Marshall Law in Vermont so they called it a medical emergency which violated the federal constitution. The federal and Vermont’s government are one party rule but instead of protecting the citizens they protect the party. There are no angels in either government but plenty of evil men and women whose calling and benevolence is to themselves and their party.

    Jefferson said this in a 1787 letter to William Stephens Smith, the son-in-law of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson used the phrase “tree of liberty”

    “What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure”.

    Hopefully, we can wake the people up before any such rebellion takes place but in a recent survey, 3 in 10 Americans stated that it will be necessary because our government has gone way beyond our control as citizens. Of by and for the people is now an empty phrase no longer taught in our school. I’m too old to wait them out, I can only try to change minds to change the government within the lawful order of elections.

    • Like the frog sitting in the slow boiling pot, I believe we’re already in the midst of rebellion. How violent it becomes remains to be seen. But the social prelude to our Civil War is eerily similar to what we see today. Expounding as we are here, today, is therapeutic, to be sure. But changing minds appears to be out of the question.

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