Keelan: Bernie, let’s bring an end to polarization

by Don Keelan

In a recent public announcement, Governor Phil Scott pulled no punches, describing what occurred at the Alburgh Community Education Center during a middle school basketball game. As far as he was concerned, it was a disgrace that adults would rush onto the gym floor and engage in fisticuffs. Sportsmanship at its worst has no place in Vermont.

The Governor is eternally hopeful. Today in Vermont, polarization, lack of civility, and disagreement are as present as Maple trees.

And our Senior Senator, Bernie Sanders, can be credited for much of it.

Don Keelan

The Senator has made polarization his lifelong passion and is immensely proud to characterize the population as “them versus us.” If you are rich (I gather in financial assets), wealthy, and successful, you are on the Senator’s list as “them.” The Senator makes it quite clear by his rantings; he is out to get you.

Witness the U.S.Senate. Specifically, the hearing that was conducted by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. As the chair of the Committee, Senator Sanders has fulfilled a lifelong dream, which he plans to turn into a nightmare for folks he compels to come before his Committee.

According to Mary Clare Jalonick with the Associated Press and writing in the Bennington Banner’s February 9th Edition: “he (Sanders) says some corporations should be nervous.” The quote refers to Sanders’ invitation to appear before the Committee to leaders of Starbucks and Amazon, two international corporations. According to Sanders, they acted illegally when their employees attempted to unionize. Howard Schultz, the Head of Starbucks, declined the Committee’s invitation.
Sanders is saying that when the executives of a large and successful company appear before his committee, it will be a scary event.

That is how the U.S. Congress operates: threaten those with whom you might disagree, and in Starbuck’s and Amazon’s cases, Sanders goes beyond just disagreement. It is hostile. He has been clear these past four decades: he despises wealthy people. If this isn’t the foundation of polarization, what is?

If, as Sanders notes, these mega companies are practicing illegal labor activities, let all 50 states’ labor departments deal with such activities. If additional resources are needed, we have a Labor Department in Washington and the National Labor Relations Board.

That would not satisfy Senator Sanders. How else can he achieve his decades-old cause of pitting the wealthy against the not-so-wealthy in American society? It is time for Senator Sanders to return to his alma mater, the University of Chicago, to seek guidance.

Professor Russell Johnson of the University of Chicago’s Divinity School references the noted Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and his speech in 1952: “Hope for this Hour.” Buber argues, “one effect of polarization is the transformation of ordinary mistrust into ‘massive mistrust.’”
Sanders has a national stage in his quest to create societal polarization, the U.S. Capitol building.
Buber also notes that “polarization is not extreme disagreement but the erosion of the conditions—like trust—necessary for working through disagreement.”

Testifying in Washington before a Congressional committee should be treated as an honor, privilege, and civic responsibility. Just because one’s wealth is in the billions, one should not be the invited witness to maliciousness.

Buber concludes in his ‘Hope for this Time,’ “citizens need to push back against the forces of polarization. The flames of resentment and mistrust are fanned by politicians and journalists who stand to gain from a divided society, but these tactics only work as long as ordinary people allow them to. The hope for this hour depends upon the hopers themselves, upon ourselves.”

Governor Scott, you occupy the high ground when addressing the end of polarization and lack of civility in Vermont. It is time you reached out and brought our senior senator to that high place. It is a proven fact that you don’t improve the circumstances of the poor by pitting them against those who are not.

The author is a U.S. Marine (retired), CPA, and columnist living in Arlington, VT.

Categories: Commentary

16 replies »

  1. ThankYou, Don Keelan! Bernie Sanders and his Burlington-based Bolshevik coven of Sandernistas are lost in Saul Alinsky/U. Chicago Communism, a beatnik pad void of reality. Sanders applauds Fidel Castro as revolutionary role model, but thousands of innocent Cubanos were murdered by this thug’s henchmen all for the glory of the people’s Revolution, which is what the Marquis deSanders wants for our country. My primos (cousins) from Cuba in 1964 lost EVERYTHING, including homes, sugar plantations, and bank accounts to Fidel El Pendejo Castro’s communist take over. bernie Sanders is a dangerous man masquerading as a “Progressive Democrat.” He’s just a communist who calls himself a socialist. They got out of that man-made hell with nothing but their lives. Bernie owns three homes and is a millionaire and he hates rich people? What a revolutionary!

  2. Bernie is just a another SWAMP RAT 🐀 Cronies period!! This is why we need term
    Limit! Two term you are done period folks DONE!! SANDERS YOU ARE A WASTED PIECE OF SKIN PERIOD!! ☠☠🤡🤡

  3. Nothing new here to those of us that have been putting up with this demagogue since the fools in Burlington proclaimed him King. According to Boinie the only thing worse than a Republican, is a rich Republican. Of course if you remind this duplicitous piece of …. work that he is a millionaire, and has multiple homes that the average real Vermonter could only dream of being able to afford, he will tell you, “My wife wrote a book. If you want to be a millionaire, write a book !” I wonder what 20 year old Bernie Sanders would say about the 81 year old version ? You’ve come a long way baby ? Brooklyn, New York, we owe you one !

  4. Phil Scott unapologetically divided Vermonterd that refused to take the poisonous mRNA injections and those that were compelled to take it. Phil shamelessly divided Vermonters that voted for former President Donald Trump and those that voted for the senile and corrupt Joe Biden. On almost every social and economic issue Phil Scott is in lockstep with Bernie Sanders. Both proudly voted for Joe Biden. Keelan suffers from the same five minute memory that afflicts most Vermonters. It is this flaw that has led Vermont to financial and spiritual ruin.

    • Don’t forget Phil said Vermonters are racists – particularly the white ones. He also invited CCP representatives to the State House in February 2019. Any idea what that meeting was all about?

  5. Keelan nails it, politely. bernie sanders has always used division and hate as his schtick- why not? It’s served him well and made him very wealthy. the reverend al sharpton, rev. jesse jackson did the same thing with race-baiting to amass their wealth. algore, john kerry and even little greta are hard at the climate scam, reaping millions. Why should sanders miss out? His message of socialism and ‘sticking it to the millionaires and evil corporations’ hasn’t changed much nor has it accomplished much since he first weaseled into the Burlington Mayors Office in 1982. Unfortunately for Vermont’s citizens, his schtick has cost billions in taxation and costs to clean up the mess that his “democratic socialism” leaves in it’s wake.
    The man is nothing but a carnival barker, pointing out the “evil” in everyone and everything else, while lining his own pockets.

  6. Hello Bernie, just like me you are an angry white old man ! Just one difference. I DO NOT LIE FOR A LIVING.

  7. Destabilize tactics by the working class plant from Brooklyn who isn’t capable of anything else, but corruption. How devastatingly deep of a globalist landslide do we want to dump on our vulnerable children. I’m not ashamed of my relations’ blood sweat and tears, which built Vermont into this paradise they want to destroy.

  8. Perhaps Bernie and DeSantis should compare notes about how you treat those with whom you disagree. Evidently, in Florida, it’s OK for corporations to give big money to politicians but not to disagree politically. While I think Disney should have just kept their mouths shut, for them to be penalized as is happening is tyranny.

    • DeSantis has turned Florida into a free state. The political machine from Brooklyn has deliberately turned Vermont into a undemocratically lopsided political disgrace. Bring back the town meeting and fisticuffs .

      • Rule by violence is tyranny, no matter from which direction it proceeds.

      • To Scott, is it tyranny when you fight for your freedom? When attacked, is it tyranny when you fight back? Vermont is under attack from a well-financed group of progressives from here and out of state. The citizens of Vermont have every right to confront the frauds who now wish to put us under their control by taxation, coercion and punishment by the laws they seek to pass. They pass laws knowing they are unconstitutional, and they violate their oaths of office upon being elected, which is perjury. We are governed by a foreign body financed with money from out of state. The tyranny is currently one sided and must be confronted legally if possible.

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