By Guy Page
Hours after Vermont publisher Chelsea Green on June 11 announced its pending release of Small Farm Republic, John Klar’s book on why conservatives should embrace local agriculture, the predictable heap of abuse from Vermont progressive ‘media influencers’ began.
“Chelsea Green has officially jumped the shark by publishing this rancid and racist rabble-rouser,” a former State House reporter and advocacy group leader Dan Barlow tweeted.
Prominent progressive blogger John Walters Twitter-mocked Klar’s Amazon book sale ranking: “Get back to me when Klar’s at the top of any list.”
Note to John Walters: as of today, Small Farm Republic is #1 in Amazon sales for agricultural and food policy books. And it’s in the top 100 of ALL political commentary and opinion books – #74, to be exact.
Small Farm Republic, welcome to the big time.
Klar is a Breaker of Rules. The Brookfield lawyer and farmer painted an indelible target on his book when he sued the City of Montpelier in 2020 for painting Black Lives Matter on State Street in front of the Vermont State House.
Klar lost that battle – not uncommon when you pick fights with Vermont’s progressive Powers That Be – but losing never slows him down. While working a farm, running for office (governor in 2020, state senator in 2022), building grassroots organizations, and writing a steady stream of op-eds, he somehow found the time and creative energy to write a book.
Like its author, Small Farm Republic also breaks the rules. Barlow has a point: Publisher Chelsea Green is the darling of the organic farmer-progressive-David Zuckerman set. For some, Chelsea Green publishing a conservative like John Klar is treason akin to Breitbart endorsing Adam Schiff’s re-election.
Outspoken progressive ‘thought leaders’ like Barlow – former Rutland Herald State House reporter, former executive director of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility – tried to make Chelsea Green pay for its transgression. He tweeted:
Klar responded sharply: “Perhaps I will sue you for slander. Seems deliberately malicious….I am so sick of nasty haters like you, who know nothing about the issues and just slander people. You need to be held accountable for your fat mouth.”
Most of the comments from Barlow’s Twitter readers echoed his sentiments, although fellow Washington County GOP Senate candidate Paul Bean of Northfield called him out: “Please provide evidence for his racism. Let’s see it Daniel. I bet you can’t find one thing.”
Klar today provided VDC with a final comment on the Barlow kerfluffle: “Foul-mouthed people who try to control others by slandering them might as well use ‘pedophile’ or ‘rapist’ to attack those whose differing (and truthful!) ideas cause them to react like childish thugs. It is only a matter of time before one or more of them pay a hefty legal price, to send a message that this kind of hateful conduct is not only immoral, it is illegal. I for one will continue to freely express my opposition to the overt racism of exactly these same people, who make everything about race, reversing MLK’s creed of judging people on character rather than skin color. These people lack character, regardless of the color of their skin. They are pathetic (mostly white) racists, projecting their own hateful racism onto anyone who dares stand up to them.”
You can see why progressives just love the guy.
Small Farm Republic itself breaks the rules too – and not just for progressives. The cover urges conservatives to “reject climate alarmism” (most already do) but also to “embrace local agriculture” and “lead an environmental revival.” Not exactly goals you’ll hear at a Republican Party platform committee meeting.
The success of Klar’s book faces two enemies: progressives who hate the author, and conservative apathy about local agriculture and environmental revival – a subject he addresses in the forward of the book.
SFR wants Vermonters to reverse – or at least protect themselves from – globalist efforts to control our food supply. Klar expresses hope about “the increasing awareness of Americans of the vital importance of local food and family farms,” he wrote recently. “Especially as globalists seek to slaughter cows to control food supplies, and Bill Gates peddles fake lab meat to save humanity from carbon dioxide, more people are investigating where their family’s food comes from, and how it is processed and distributed.”
Small Farm Republic is available new on Amazon for $17.99 (Kindle) and $24.95 (paperback).