By Paul Dame, VT GOP Chair
There are three things that I see fundamentally separate Vermont Republicans from the Progressive Democrat alliance that currently controls the legislature; affordability, accountability and flexibility. Progressive Democrats have a lot of different priorities, even some that come into conflict with each other, but at the heart of every Republican I know are these three simple rules that government ought to live by.
Every bill that Republican legislators look at one of the first questions they are asking themselves, and those who propose it “What does it cost?” or “Can we afford it?” Since many of our Republican legislators work in the private sector, or even own their own business their daily life outside the “Golden Bubble” is often characterized by a frequent denial of things they would like – to ensure that they have everything they need. We have to make the best of the limited resources we have in our daily lives – and as Republicans we bring that through process to our work in the legislature as well. The question is never truly whether or not the State’s Government can afford it – the question is always whether or not the taxpayers can afford it. The government doesn’t have its own money – it can only take from the taxpayers. At the end of the day, they are always the ones who pay. Sometimes by paying higher taxes, and sometimes by paying higher costs for the policies the government has implemented. Affordability doesn’t always mean being cheap. Sometimes affordability means having some insurance – because a catastrophe is even more unaffordable than a modest premium to share the risk. In 10 years I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Democrat-sponsored piece of legislation come out of Montpelier that demonstrated they have shared this concern.
The second question that usually comes up is “Who will be responsible?” As I mentioned in an earlier Monday Message, we have had a pandemic of outsourcing legislative decision-making. I cannot stress how dangerous this is. I understand that Progressive Democrats in Montpelier want to advance policies that would not otherwise be popular, so they resort to creating untouchable boards who are insulted from democracy and who make policy that very few see or know of, and almost no one will change. While they intend to “protect” themselves from political or partisan influence, what they also do is shield themselves from accountability. Ironically enough, former Democratic Governor Howard Dean recently retweeted a video of Justice Souter talking about the fundamental breakdowns in society when problems are not addressed and people don’t know who is responsible. And yet it is his own party that continues to add new layers of government that make it harder and harder to find the person who is responsible. Both parties have done this in Washington as well, constantly delegating their power and decision making to unknown administrators. Republicans want to see decisions made by the people who elected them. So fi they don’t work out, they know who is responsible and can demand more of them.
The third question that Republicans usually ask is “Will this work for everybody?” Progressive
While Democrats claim to care about diversity, many of their policies are one-size-fits-all over-simplifications that seem to shoehorn the entire population into one way of thinking, one way of acting, one acceptable way of being. Republicans overwhelmingly want to give people the freedom and the flexibility to do what is right for them and their family. That means creating opportunities for Vermonter who don’t fit the mold (and seriously, how many Vermonters fit ANY mold?) Not every Vermonter wants to improve the environment by committing to live in an urban apartment and take public transportation while restricting their diet and mandating certain health care choices. Some just want to grow more trees, and drive a Dodge Ram down their road to clean up the neighborhood on Green Up Day. Vermonters all need something different in their family life, in their education, in their community involvement, in their job opportunities. While Democrats seems to intentionally pit one group against another (poor against the rich) Republicans want policies that everybody (not just Democrats) can agree on.
Republicans are all going to apply those principles a little differently, depending on where they are from and who they represent. But at our core we want our state’s government to better care for the people. We need it to become more affordable for the people, more accountable to the people, and more flexible with the people who are here, and may come to our great state in the years ahead.
If this is the kind of Republican Party you want to be a part of, join us to make it happen. You can run for office, to turn the tide of the Progressive Democrats and their unaffordable, unaccountable restrictions. Or you can join your local town or county committee and help other Republicans do the same. Never has it been more important – and never have we had a better opportunity to make a positive impact on our state, and for our fellow Vermonters.
The irony is that the chairman of the Vermont Republican Party has to step up and state the obvious. Aren’t these positions Vermont citizens want to be reflected by elected officials, whatever their party? How did we elect folks who don’t even seem to know this is what we want?
These are just THE right positions for a proper Governance.
That is why the Progressives shun these goals and positions
They fear, they know, that if the voters learn who they are,
and what they are doing to us,
They will be out of a job Pronto!
Voters take a look inside, and wake up!!
Turn the Tide of this Progressive loss of freedom and Propserity.
I like what Dame says, but how does that fit with the “big tent” philosophy that VT Republican delegates are in favor of by a two to one margin? Apparently the Republican party can stomach people who do not agree with these principles in order to achieve perceived political gain.
I do not favor this approach. I would rather stand for something and be shot down than cave to “political” pressure and gain illicit power. This is not a pragmatic stance, but I believe with our founding fathers that God governs in the affairs of men. Right makes might as Abraham Lincoln said.
I believe that the appeal for our party will not come from making it easy to be a Republican but by taking the hard nosed, unpopular stances that are necessary to save our country, which includes righteous positions on moral issues.
But people need to be educated on why these stances are good for the future of our country and the future of our children and why the policies advocated by other parties are bankrupt. Is the Republican party resourceful and savvy enough to pull this off? Or are we, like the Democrat party, relegated to manipulation and deception to gain power?
Just my thoughts. I invite replies.
Paul, why do you try to draw a distinction between progressive democrats and regular democrats? They are both communist and socialist in their beliefs, their actions and their policies. The only possible distinction is some of the people who consider themselves regular democrats are so naive and gullible they don’t realize it. Please point out the policy differences between them.
Please proof read this article. Typos distract from your message. For instance I think you mean insulated and not insulted.
Also, it is worrying that you insist on using the logical framework communism rather than that of limited government. For instance, the three questions you ask are all related to the detail of a policy, but the big picture is ignored. As a result our Republican Governor has signed not one, but two bills restricting gun owners’ rights. Our Republican Governor has castigated, shamed and outright insulted those who choose not to receive an experimental injection for a disease that is slightly more dangerous than a cold. And our Republican Governor is using revenues received from the Federal Government to make state bureaucracy bigger than ever.
Government should have no role in deciding who carries “acceptable” opinions. Government should not be involved in deciding whether a crime if a “hate” crime versus a non “hate” crime (whatever that could be). government/schools should never have a final say in an individual’s health choices.