Society & Culture

Facing “the insanity,” Vermonters fight back

Lawn signs began to be seen in Chelsea and nearby Orange County towns this summer after a local garage owner Wayland Childs was arrested after trying to recover stolen property. Police had not investigated the theft due to staffing shortages. Page photo

By Guy Page

“Does it feel like the world is falling apart? That’s because it is,” Radio show host/biographer Eric Metaxas wrote recently. “The insanity you see on all fronts simply proves that you are still sane.”

Metaxas will speak at the Celebrate America dinner tonight Sept. 10 at 6 pm at Capitol Plaza in Montpelier and tomorrow morning Sept. 11 at an all-day seminar at Ignite Church in Williston. He will be joined by China Policy expert Gordon Chang and conservative radio host Will Johnson. For tickets and reservations (still available) go to The three men will address “the insanity” on national and global fronts, and how to fight it. And they will learn how Vermonters are fighting it, too. 

In a handful of nutshells, here’s some of what’s happening in Vermont. 

Pro-Abortion backlash – while Texas and other states are outlawing most abortions after six weeks with the seeming consent of the U.S. Supreme Court, Vermont is half-way to passing a Constitutional Amendment that would uphold all abortions at all times. Not unlike the Constitution of the Confederate States of America’s explicit protection of slavery, Proposal 5 would constitutionally enshrine the “right” to an abortion against any national or state legislation. 

Vermont Speaker of the House Jill Krowinski was serving as executive vice-president and lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of New England when Gov. Peter Shumlin appointed her to fill a vacant seat in the Legislature in 2012. Five years later she was elected majority leader and this year was elected House Speaker – evidence of the political influence of the state’s largest abortion provider and advocate. Krowinski said Sept. 2 that Prop 5 “articulates the values that we share as a society. We can think of no better way to show our commitment to personal reproductive liberty than a constitutional amendment.”

Vaccine/mask mandates – Krowinski’s Prop 5 statement includes this assertion:  “In Vermont, we believe that health care decisions should be made by an individual and a health care provider.” But in the upper echelons of Vermont state government, apparently not all health care decisions are created equal. Krowinski and other legislative leaders have been insistent about government-required mask mandates. Gov. Phil Scott this week extended until October 4 universal masking for students, promised grants for schools that reach student vaccination limits, and announced that all state employees must be vaccinated. 

Schools boards too are trying to exercising local control over the pandemic. When Gov. Scott initially announced his  ‘advisory’ school masking and vaccine policy in August, every school district complied but one: tiny Canaan, the Northeast Kingdom town where, as the locals say, you can stand with one foot in Quebec, the other in Vermont, and spit into New Hampshire.”

Police manpower shortfalls, uptick in crime – Police departments were having staffing problems even before state and local governments began restricting police funding and practices in the wake of the George Floyd killing last year. Now, police departments in Burlington, Montpelier, Rutland, Brattleboro and elsewhere are struggling to fill vacant positions. Some police departments are unable to provide 24/7 coverage. 

Of Burlington’s 75 police officers, 31 are actively seeking work elsewhere, U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ophardt said last month. Brattleboro police are working doubles to cover the shortstaffing. The Vermont State Police are 34 troopers shy of their full complement of 334. The Department of Corrections and county sheriffs also report staffing shortages.

As a result, Burlington businesses are hiring safety escorts for late-night patrons and staff. Burlington police say many serious crimes go unreported out of fear of retaliation or ‘normalization’ of crime. Chelsea garage owner Wayland Childs was arrested this spring after police say he, in desperation, approached and assaulted a person fencing property stolen from him. According to news reports, he had reported the theft to police, who did not investigate property crimes due to manpower shortages.

Cost of living increasing – A July study of each state’s most populous city found the average Burlington family spends $497 on groceries, second only to Honolulu’s $557. The average cost is $356. Vermont electricity is seventh highest in the nation. It’s housing stock, oldest in the nation, is becoming increasingly scarce as urban dwellers flee cities and restrictive state and local regulations impede new construction and renovation. 

Highest increase of drug overdoses in US – CDC statistics show the rate of unintentional drug overdoses rose 65% in 2020, highest in the nation. While officials blamed pandemic isolation, others also pointed to a drop in drug crime prosecutions.

China affecting life in Vermont – Many of these drug overdoses were from fentanyl, a powerful synthetic comprised of component chemicals manufactured (mostly) in the People’s Republic of China and then transported to the United States. The People’s Republic of China’s interest and influence also extends to legal trade. Consul General Huang Ping met with Gov. Scott and other high-level officials in a 2019 trade meeting. Huang extolled Vermont’s natural resources and invited Vermont to join the Belt and Road initiative. 

In a February 2020 speech to the National Governors’ Association, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared a list – reportedly from a Chinese ‘think-tank’ – identifying the relative friendliness of every US governor. Gov. Phil Scott is listed among the “friendly” governors. When asked about the list, a Scott administration official said “it could be no more than CCP propaganda to sow discord.”

Also, a resolution acknowledging Vermont and Taiwan’s trade ties is languishing in the Vermont Senate.

Vermonters fight back – Although liberals and progressives control virtually all government policy, none of these problems are being ignored by a growing network of activists. Grassroots advocacy groups – many newly founded – are holding informational meetings, circulating petitions, and providing direction – all the elements of community organizing that could result in changing the culture and exchanging the current batch of elected representatives. The following is a short list of several such groups:

Against Prop 5 and unlimited abortion: Vermont Right To Life. Contact: Maggie Kerrin at

For just and fair instruction about racism in schools: Foundation Against Intolerance And Racism (FAIR) of Orleans County, Ben Morley director. He can be reached on Facebook Messenger. He’s organizing other state chapters. He’s teaching parents how to use the Freedom of Information Act to demand to see ‘equity and diversity’ curricula when schools won’t share it. And he’s organizing petitions to put the CRT-based policies to a community vote, rather than letting the school board decide. Also,

Vermonters for Vermont Intiative, Dr. Greg Thayer, This Rutland-based advocacy group has organized anti-CRT informational ‘town halls’ across the state and has participated in many State House lawn rallys and sign and flag waves. Thayer and Co. are ‘doers.’

For vaccine freedom: Health Choice Vermont affirms the right that “each medical treatment should be freely yours and you should be able to access transparent information about the ingredients, side effects, and choices.” Long before anyone had ever heard of Covid-19, Health Choice Vermont was fighting for freedom from vaccination mandates with proposed legislation, meetings, op-eds, and social media outreach. Contact

The above list is not intended to be comprehensive or dismissive of other worthy organizations or individuals. Information should be sent to

Categories: Society & Culture

5 replies »

  1. We are conservative Vermont Dairy Farmers. We do not agree with any of this crap. We disagree with mandatory vaccines.
    Is there any intelligent life here?

  2. I disagree with you about abortion. Otherwise, so many of these problems are increasing as the “opposition”, Antifa, “woke” people, Marxists, etc., calls it “hate speech” to even ask questions. Even honest attempts at real reform, such as VT People’s Party are being taken over by those who seek extreme measures and will lie, cheat, etc., to secure their own power.

    • It’s important to understand that all of the “insanity” starts with policies like those that are pro abortion. The society’s view of the human person and whether or not they value all human life is the basis of policy-making. Consider how much the culture has devolved since Roe v. Wade – this is not a coincidence. If you think the voiceless are disposable, then all else becomes permissible.

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