Society & Culture

Vermont Trump rallyers took Covid precautions, weren’t in riot

By Ron Lawrence

These observations are exclusively my own.  Other participant’s observations and perspectives may vary.  I’ve prepared this description of the trip because I have several media requests for interviews.  I simply wanted to gather my thoughts and get them out in one form to make available to all at once.

Who Organized this and Why?

Elouise (“Ellie”) Martin really deserves credit for getting the ball rolling.  Ellie is the Underhill Republican Party town chair. She has the contacts, arranged for the bus, and began signing interested people up for the trip.  

I am the Essex Republicans town chair.  I had already posted my interest in this trip on Facebook, but was NOT looking to organize this myself.  When I heard that Ellie had “taken the bull by the horns”, I jumped in to help.  Mostly, mine was an administrative role, just trying to keep our records and the money straight.  For convenience, I put a link to purchase tickets or to make a donation on the Essex Republicans web site; but it should be made clear that this was NOT an exclusively Essex Republicans initiative.

Janet Metz takes temperatures before departure

What actually happened?

In short, we organized a bus to travel from Vermont to Washington D.C. in response to President Trump’s call to march on January 6th.  The clear intent in most of our minds was to show support for President Donald Trump on the day that the Senate was to review and certify the electoral votes.

The bus started in Burlington at the Hannaford parking lot, made stops in Vergennes and Rutland to pick up passengers on our way to D.C.  In the end, we had 51 passengers that made the trip.  The bus arrived in D.C. before 6 a.m. on the 6th.  We attended the rally during the day.  And we gathered at Union Station to board the bus at around 3:30.  The bus departed shortly after 4 p.m. and eventually arrived back in Burlington a little after 3 a.m.

Who went?

I have to say that there have been some very negative comments targeting this trip.  So, I will not be sharing the participant’s names.  However, participants are from all over the state of Vermont.  There was one family from Plattsburgh, NY, and a couple of people who had to fly to Vermont from out West to be with us!  Keeping the passenger list up to date was a challenge.  There were many last-minute changes, and we did have to turn some people away.  The bus filled up quickly!  There was a LOT of enthusiasm for this trip.  In the end, we had 51 passengers in a bus with 55 seats.

Observations on the bus

There were many people who did not know each other.  So, there were introductions, and conversations that helped people to identify with each other.  The congeniality of the group was apparent from the beginning.  One person brought a ukulele.  There was singing at times, prayers, and conversation that often touched on professions of faith.  The bus was clean, the drivers were excellent.  It was still a tight squeeze.  There were 55 seats on the bus, and the final count of passengers was 51.  

COVID measures

Did we wear masks?

Everyone brought masks.  They were not required, but anyone who felt the need to wear a mask was encouraged to do so.  It became clear from the beginning that most participants were NOT comfortable wearing a mask for the whole trip.  Whenever the bus made a stop, however, masks were donned before entering the facility.

In general, I would say that masks were worn out of respect for others.  Very few felt the need for self-protection.  A few people dropped out at the last minute because they were not feeling well.  So, the group was more-or-less self filtering.  No one was on the bus that showed symptoms of illness. The participants’ temperatures were taken as we prepared to depart.  No signs of fever.

The day of the rally

When we arrived at Union Station in D.C. we tried to stress the importance of sticking together.  We tied on colored ribbons to help identify our group members.  We also encouraged the formation of small groups of no more than 5 people.  The members of these subgroups were encouraged to: capture each other’s names, even photographs, exchange phone numbers, and to stick together!  This last point proved to be nearly impossible almost from the beginning!  Nonetheless, this was our intention at the start.  In any case, the bus was to leave at 4 p.m. so people needed to be back at Union Stations ready to board by 3:30 p.m.

The main group was broken up as soon as some of the passengers needed to stop at a restroom or to purchase some food for breakfast.  So, the group was already fractured as we began to make our way to the Mall.  Details of the events were scant.  

At this point it is important to note that the city was pretty much shut down.  Some buildings were boarded up.  There was a heavy police presence and members of the National Guard were there.  

That may sound like an anticipation of trouble, but our group loves the police and the National Guard.  This group of guards was gathered on our way to the event.  Our small group stopped, took this picture, thanked these men for their service and for being there.  These guys are salt of the earth and very friendly.  We asked about the situation and in particular the transportation services.  They offered that most things were shut down as of 6 a.m. that morning.  So, wherever we were going, we had to get there on foot.  There were similar exchanges with police along the way.

The City was shut down!

Apparently, the Guard was deployed by order of the mayor.  All transportation services and restaurants were shut down.  Roads were blocked off.  Public facilities (including port-o-lets) were locked up.  Such was our welcome from the city of our nation’s capital.  

Later on, phone services were completely jammed.  This was probably due to the sheer number of people and cell phones in the area, but it’s hard not to speculate on the intentions of the city government.

Also, except for the people gathering for the rally, it felt like the area around the Capital Building was deserted!  It was very quiet for 7 o’clock on a weekday morning.  The streets were mostly filled with flag waiving Trump supporters trying to find their way to the rally.

The Rally

When our small group (which included Ellie Martin and myself) arrived at the rally, my major concern was to try to link up with the rest of the group.  It was quite a walk for some of us!  So, we left Ellie and a few other members at the lawn of the African American Museum, where there were benches and a retaining wall as convenient places to sit.  Another male member of the group and I went in search of the rest of our group.  Cell phones were still working at the time.  

We made contact and tried to locate our people near the Washington Monument.  The crowd was still gathering at this point.  We did link up with another small group splintered off from the main group.  We proceeded search for the rest of our Vermont group but were completely unsuccessful in finding them!

We wandered back to find Ellie and company.  The crowd at the African American Museum had swelled by this point, and we were unsuccessful at linking up with Ellie.  And we could NOT contact Ellie by phone.  At this point the program was getting underway and the crowds were growing enormously.

So, our subgroup decided to continue our search in an area where we could perhaps get a better view of the program.  We could see the screen, and hear the sound, but the sound system had a terrible echo.  It was very difficult to hear what the speaker was saying.  The point is (and this was pretty much our expectation) there was not much that we were going to be able to see or hear this day; but, we were really there to show our support.

The crowd had swelled to the point where it was difficult to maneuver through it and stay together.  We made our way through the crowd. Other groups were doing the same.  Most of the people in the crowd were simply trying to position themselves to see and hear what they could.  Some people were climbing the trees in the park to get a better view.  This is the point of the day that will remain my overall greatest impression!  

While we were all maneuvering and bumping into one another, EVERYONE was incredibly understanding and friendly!  They all understood what was going on.  There were many exchanges as we worked our way around.  It was fun to ask where people were from.  Lots of advice and well wishes were exchanged.  We never did find our group, but were completely comfortable meeting and greeting everyone we saw.  

It’s also important to say that there were people from every walk of life, every race and color, and very different cultural influences.  You can’t judge a book by its cover, but I had a general impression that these were every-day people from all around our country that make up the fabric of who we are.  Some were in costume—mostly patriotic in nature.  Most donned some sort of Trump supportive clothing or were carrying flags.  It was an incredible sight.

We watched the program for a bit, but as I said, we really could not see or hear the speakers.  By this time, the cold, the walking, and having no room to move was beginning to take its toll.  We worked our way back toward the Washington Monument.  By this time, the open spaces were pretty much completely filled in!

We made our way back to the African American Museum and found Ellie and the rest of that contingent still there and waiting for us.  We simply couldn’t see them in our earlier pass.  Also, some of the rest of our group was there.

We rested, ate and shared what we had brought with us for food.  President Trump was due to speak at 1:00 p.m., but several of us were pretty well beat at this point.  I was worried about how much time it would take to get back to Union Station—particularly if the entire crowd was going in the same direction.

So, some of our group opted to stay; but my original small group from the morning made our way back to Union Station.  Along the way, we were listening to Trump’s speech via live streaming.  This was MUCH more effective than hanging out in the crowd.  Along the way, we heard Trump’s call to march up to the Capital Building—which was the way we were travelling.  Also, along the way, we heard announcement from the City Police to move to the sidewalks because there would be a motorcade coming through.  We saw the motorcade.  It was not President Trump—he was still speaking.  As we passed the Capital Building, we stopped at the request of one of our party to say a prayer over the building.

When our small group finally made it back to Union Station, we were exhausted.  The task before us for the next few hours was to make contact with the rest of our crew to make sure we were all together in time for the bus.  This was in a climate where network signals were clogged and phones were dying for lack of battery power.  But, thankfully, most of our participants made it back to Union Station on time.  We did have one straggler, but someone who had a good idea where to look for them.  So, there was a minor holdup, but all were aboard the bus—safe and sound—and the bus departed shortly after 4 p.m. as planned.

The Capital Building

Our small party considered going to the Capital Building after we heard Trump’s call in his speech.  We were passing right by it on our way to Union Station.  But, frankly, we were too exhausted to make the trip.

Back at Union Station, as our members began to regroup, some had gone to the Capital Building.  Some were close enough to witness the death of the unfortunate soul who suffered a heart attack. 

Were our people part of the storming of the Capitol Building?

The short answer is “No”.  To my knowledge, none of our party took part in “storming” the barricades or entering the building.

Still, most of us were supportive of gathering at the Capitol Building at that critical time.  It seemed important for our representatives in Congress to see the crowd that had gathered from all over the country to support our President.  

However, storming the building or creating a threatening situation was NOT at all characteristic of the gathering, or the people who participated in it.  

Frustration levels are very high.  I hope that our representatives can see that.  But we are also a law-abiding people.  All of the conversation I heard on the way down and back was intent on avoiding violence or conflict.

The general consensus from those who were close enough to observe, and from the research folks did on the trip back, is that the actual break in was perpetrated by members of Antifa who were donning pro-Trump attire to try to mix in.

On the way home

All of our passengers were exhausted; and while the bus accommodations were agreeable, it was still an uncomfortable ride home.  Sleep was difficult.  The bus had wifi and a great many passengers were surfing, researching what had happened, and listening to speeches and commentary.  The mood was subdued, but most expressed that it had been an incredibly positive experience.  Most of the conversation indicated that the incident at the Capitol Building was seen as unfortunate.  Most were worried that it would be used to characterize the event—even though nothing could be further from the truth.  

Otherwise, our trip home was without incident.  

Are we quarantining?

There is no simple answer for this.  For me, personally, the answer is “yes”.  For the sake of my wife who works in our schools, we are taking measures to stay separated and I will seek to be tested as soon as I can arrange it.  

But others have different situations, and it would be a mistake to say that we should all behave in the same way.  First of all, there is no indication that anyone is sick.  And, I’m sure that participants will be taking appropriate steps to care for their loved ones back at home.  I see this as being a pretty responsible group of people.  One solution does not fit all situations.

Overall impressions

I’m not a great one for attending rallies like this, but very strange things are happening in our country and in our government right now.  I know that our media has portrayed these negatively and in general have placed undue blame on our President.  We have a diverging set of philosophies about who we are as a people and what our country stands for.  It seems to me that the political maneuvering that we have seen is inevitable when you have this kind of disparity in philosophy.  I have to express that I am not confident that even our local media will make an honest attempt to present both sides of this struggle.  That’s why I have chosen to write my observations down to share them.  It feels to me like our local media that has already chosen to ignore the message we shared with them at the outset.  

The people I met throughout this experience love this country, and love our president because he loves this country.  The emphasis is on the preservation of the constitution at a time when it seems that the constitution is being stomped on by many of our elected officials.  As I stated above, you could not ask to be part of a more respectful and caring group of people—who may at times talk tough about what needs to be done, but who also willingly thank the police for their service and are happy to see them there.

The response?

It’s not terribly surprising to find that there has been a surge of very negative responses to our making the trip.  Lots of negative Facebook comments and negative emails.  I can’t help but be somewhat cynical given the assertions of caring and compassion from our opposition.

Even within the Republican Party, there have been negative expressions.  I have to say that Jeff Bartley’s statement about a platform principle of “respecting one another” falls on deaf ears.  His very statement is completely dismissive of the concerns of those who went on this trip.

But all of this is to be expected.  This is a conflict, and people are passionate about their beliefs.  I take these responses as good news.  It must be that we are being effective, wouldn’t you say?

Was the election stolen?

Most of us on this trip believe that the election has been stolen; but that statement needs to be qualified.  This group of people believes in the rule of law.  However, we also feel that there is a good chance that those rules were broken in our election process.  Those broken rules are many in number and need to be articulated.  Unfortunately, we don’t feel we can depend on the press to do that objectively.

I think it would be unfair to say that we are not going to be satisfied unless President Trump is reinstated.  We simply want a “fair hearing”, where the evidence is allowed to come out and be examined in detail.

20 replies »

  1. Thank you Mr. Lawrence. Very credible report. And thank you to Ellie Martin and the group honorably bearing witness for principles important to all of us.

    • ! 👑💩🤮

      As a Veteran organizer, planner Marshall, and participant of many DC demonstrations and rallies during the Anti Viet Nam movement and the civil rights movement, and having made that bus trip so so many times, I can appreciate your narrative and experience. Our bus rides back also saw us commenting on others starting trouble with the police and guard. We also blamed disguised outside instigators and took exception to crowd size estimates and press coverage. It’s amazing to me r that these old troupes are still alive and well, and that accuracy is seen through the eyes and filters of the beholders. I vigorously disagree with you politically both as a former Town Chair and a County Chair. Indeed our world’s are far apart. However, you had every right to travel to the rally, express your feelings, but also in the time of a public health crises, had the responsibility, which you individually took seriously, as an organizer to inform your people of the risks involved and the procedures put in place by the Governor and his health officials, and to make sure that actual participants would compile or be denied participation. I sure hope that all of you are safe, and that you are not the nucleolus of a Super Spreader event in VT.

      Jerry Skapof, Manchester

  2. You participated in a riot that led to the killing a former Air Force officer and a Capitol Police officer. Shame on you for supporting a president who sexually assaults women and shames people. He used you for his own aims, for himself, so he can retain the spotlight and stay wealthy. He used you. And you continue to allow him to do so. I had friends and family under lockdown orders; people who work for your government, who serve you, so that you can rest on a bench at a museum on federal property. Pretty ironic that you rested at the African American museum, when you pursue policies of racism that would further discriminate against people of color. Shame on you.

  3. Thank you for your Interesting first hand account. Wanna hear MY thoughts??
    “Fair hearing” was demonstrated by an exhaustive number of court cases rejected for lack of any evidence that the election process was rigged. Conservative judges,included, no less.
    The >50% occupancy of the bus and the statement that people weren’t “comfortable “ wearing masks on the bus placed you and all you come into contact with at risk. It is estimated that 50% of Covid cases are asymptomatic. Why is it that you can’t understand that ANY hospitalization places already burdened and sacrificing healthcare provides at risk? I am absolutely flummoxed by the selfishness the group of praying protesters displayed.
    “The point in the day that made the greatest impression was (sic)when people climbed trees to get a better view”. REALLY? It wasn’t walking past a destructive mob at the Capital? Or presumably watching it on your smart phones as you surmised that ANTIFA disguised as Trump supporters ( how we DO re-create history to absolve ourselves!) were wreaking havoc, destruction, and terror to our congressional members and by extension every American?
    Your pleasant spirited outing accompanied by ukelele, singing, prayer, and convivial conversation to an event that will go down in infamy conjures the aphorism “ the road to Hell is paved with good intentions “. Your thoughts betray your complicity – and now “reframing- what was not a peaceful protest but an attempted coup by dangerous bedfellows in the Trump Republican Army.

    Sarah Page

  4. If it was antifa that broke and entered and vandalized the Capitol building why did President Trump say on his video that same day, “We have to have peace. So go home, we love you, you’re very special, you’ve seen what happens, you’ve seen the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel, but go home and go home in peace.” Was he saying this to antifa or was he misinformed about who did this? And why didn’t he blame antifa when he denounced the rioters in a video on the next day? I would honestly be interested in your response.

  5. If antifa was involved then it makes sense that Dems had an excuse to push the electoral college count agenda along and not give any attention to or concerns raised by Senators Cruz and Hawley to lay aside or pausing the count for a committee to be formed of house, senate and Supreme Court members to review processes related to voter fraud in the 2020 presidential elections. It never had a chance. I doubt it ever got a vote. 74 million people who voted deserved at least that.

  6. Your President is someone I’ve known in business since the 1970’s. He was well known even then in New York banking circles as a liar and a crooked businessman . He never changed.
    Your support of him reflects a view that is out of sync with a democratic republic. You clearly are in support of authoritarianism.
    Don’t blame others. You’ve done this, but you lost.

  7. Mr. Lawrence. 51 supporters of a man who unequivocally promotes hatred and bigotry. Can you deny that or justify that in exchange for what you otherwise support? This is not morally justifiable.

  8. That was a maskless, overcrowded bus full on non-patrioic citizens. PERIOD. I hope you are ashamed of your actions and I sincerely hope you all left and returned without being exposed to Covid. With our country wide surge in COVID cases, this is NOT the time to be singing, conversing, or praying tightly packed in a bus that is not meeting the guidance of our leaders and scientist. Shame on you. Shame on you all.

  9. People are so quick to judge, quick to jump to conclusions, quick to condemn and so slow to listen. In their arrogant ignorance they lose their ability to reason and process truth. That’s more of a disgrace to this nation’s people than what happened on Capitol Hill on 1/6/21. This was a lawful, peaceful demonstration of hundreds of thousands American People like you and me, exercising their U.S. Constitutional Right to demand a 10 day forensic audit of election results which showed fraudulent activity amongst Election Officials in the 7 swing states. The Capitol breaching of very bad crisis actors or even Americans looking for a sick thrill does not negate congresses responsibility to be held accountable to respect the request for a 10 day forensic audit. But now, it is evident that Vermont’s media and politicians are pouncing on and trying to intimidate on 51 little Vermonts who rode on a little bus to Washington DC. to exercise their God Given U.S. Constitutional Rights. Wow! You even had WCAX filming the 51 little Vermonters getting on the bus on the evening of 1/5 and you had them filmed getting off the bus in the wee early morning hours on 1/7. And now, the author of this chronicle, a Vermont citizen must feel a tremendous weight and pressure of being interrogated by the public to have to even give this full play-by-play of what these 51 little Vermonters were doing in DC? It’s like he’s reporting to the brown shirts – another outrage! The governor and his cabinet are filled with fury each time they criticize the President. Yet they say “keep the unity”. They can’t live one week without criticizing a President that at least 30-35% of their subjects voted for and who also help to pay their salaries. With your constant criticism of your own people, you are the ones liable for fueling the division and dissension amongst Vermonters. Through media outlets you openly encourage Vemonters to rise up against their fellow Vermonter. And you fellow readers of this article hate so much when you are discriminated, bullied, slandered and ridiculed, yet you freely dish it to 51 little Vermonters on a little bus. You have behaved disgraceful and shame on you!
    My advice for those 51 little Vermonters who exercised their Constitutional Rights in DC and were welcomed back to their home state with interrogation and intimidation, you need to form a small coalition – and file suit against any media outlets that maligned your character to your fellow Vermonters by cataloging you as perpetrators. You need to download clips of WCAX News Cast, , Caldeonia Record news article from today’s paper 1/8/21 and any other newspapers and online media formats in Vermont who have falsely slandered your character making you a public spectacle. Also, take tabulations of any quotes from state lawmakers in these publications that have caused personal injury to you or brought on harmful harassment and discrimination from your counties representatives, neighbors or those you do business with. You will need to give all this information to your attorneys.

    • With all due respect to you, I can’t agree with everything you said, but nearly 80% I can. First of all we have a lot more information than we had a few days ago and more information continues to flow. With all the video from so many angles, photos and testimonies, I will never assume it was a ‘Riot’, ‘Siege’ or ‘Breeching’ of the capitol because there is valid evidence in multiple videos that the Capitol police, whether instructed or not, were removing barricades and opening doors into the capitol letting the people in. A foolish looking Viking or someone carrying a podium for a picture to post on Instagram isn’t a riot and I’m sorry, someone scaling a short wall to break a glass on a window they can’t even fit in, while Trump Supporters are yelling at them to “Stop It” is not a riot. A cop killing a white woman to me is an issue. They tear gas the mobs but shoot a woman? Why didn’t they tase her? Something is up. There is much evidence now that Antifa was there wearing Trump gear. If you were an activist in college during the early 70’s you may have read Saul D. Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals. The primary goal is projection. We see it happening all the time in society. Let’s accuse our enemy of doing the VERY THING WE ARE DOING to assassinate their character thus destroying public trust and credibility. Put on the KKK garb and hold signs showing support for a lawmaker who opposes what the KKK stands for causing people to question him. I’m Jewish, married to a Jew and won’t tell you where I live. Few like to speak of it, but my grandparent from Harlem told me the early workings of the brown shirts and it begins with marginalizing a people group. Maybe local lawmakers are scared and pressured this man through the press to give drawn out details of his day. Maybe they hate the conservative voice and want to silence it. I don’t know what is going on in the minds of local lawmakers in your state, but what i do know is that it’s a proven fact that Big Tech Social Media Giants and now Amazon is acting like brown shirts where they are now suppressing and censoring the Conservative voice in this nation. That’s what they did to my family in Harlem. Harass them, single them out with a golden star, remove them from the market place of commerce and ideas. I hope the ACLU gets involved quickly! In closing, I do agree with you 100% in that with all that is escalating, this group of people need to retain for themselves a skilled attorney.

  10. This is about much more than who is President. This is about preserving our Constitutional Republic. May we sow His love, that the world might reap His peace…the prince of Peace…His kingdom is coming and His will WILL be done.

    • Ruth Teltru I absolutely agree with your post, the hatred emanating from the left is unbelievable! They are so willing to condemn anyone whose beliefs differ from their own, what happened to tolerant liberals who accepted that everyone has a right to their own opinions and beliefs. I was a democrat once but their ideology no longer applies to me, I will always stay independent now!

  11. I am married to a Jew and I live in Vermont, I strongly object to the use of “brown shirts” to describe people who question the actions of “little Vermonters”, traveling without masks in their “little bus” during a pandemic, peacefully praying and playing the ukelele, on the way to support their beloved president. “Crisis Actors”, “Anti-Fa”, the demands for “forensic audits” when there have already been so many lawsuits dismissed, the name-calling (“fury” and “arrogant ignorance” ) in this violent, rage-filled post by “Ruth Teltrus” is a perfect example of the intolerance, misunderstanding of history, victim mentality and aggression that has characterized the current administration. My family has fought and died in every major war this country has ever been a part of. I lost two brothers in Vietnam, my father was a base commander during World War II, my uncle by marriage was the first Jewish wing commander to lead bombing raids over Germany and died in that conflict; my grandfather was killed in the First World War and had an aircraft carrier commissioned in his honor. My husband’s family, by contrast, was decimated in the Holocaust, with one person managing to escape to a newly formed Israel and my husband’s father smuggled out of Poland and into Cuba in a barrel!!. I am so disgusted by the “Ruth Teltrus” who imagine that they are the defenders of democracy, the “real patriots”, the speakers of truth, the “authentic Americans”. And I’m also sick of trying to “understand” and “make allowances” for those who support this monstrous administration, something I’ve been trying to do for the past five years. “Ms Teltru”, you have no idea of what it was like when the “brown shirts” swarmed out of that beer hall and into the streets of Berlin, smashing windows and beating up Jews on Kristallnacht while the “little German citizens” sat in their comfy “littlle houses” and turned a deaf ear. Mob rule was the law in Berlin on that night in 1938. If you’d like to see a smaller version of it, just turn on You Tube and watch the massing of “little” people in our Nation’s Capitol, the unhinged hate filled rhetoric coming from your president and then watch the aftermath. This is not Germany in the 1930s and we will not be demonized and slaughtered again.

    I don’t want to read a travelogue titled, “my trip to Washington on the day of a planned coup”: we sang songs, we prayed, we rested by the African American Museum (talk about irony!), we wore our masks if we felt like it, we didn’t get good reception, we went back to Vermont and quarantined, if we felt like it, etc. etc. etc.” and then hear the writer confirm that, despite what happened in Washington, he remains convinced of the righteousness of his cause.

    If you think what happened this week was justified then you are complicit; If you are going to perform actions then take responsibility for them and stop whining about crisis actors and anti-fa agitators. Take a good look in the mirror of history. it’s a simple as that.

  12. Would you entertain the possibility that if “rules were broken” during the election process, that they may have actually favored Trump, as in 2016, and not President Elect Biden? We all know which party is more effective at cheating democracy.

    On January 6, windows were smashed in the Capitol, guards overwhelmed and doorways breached, Congressional offices occupied and trashed, black Capitol police pursued with physical threats, government property stolen, a police officer’s head bashed in with a fire extinguisher, people marauding in Viking horns with sharpened spears, breaching the very halls of Congress, scaling walls, dangling from balconies, and everything else that was part of an unprecedented defiling of the people’s most hallowed hall.

    Do you really think this was the work of people *in favor* of certifying the election to declare Trump’s defeat? Do you actually think it was an organized group of people conspiring to oppose Trump, and that could accurately be lumped under the phantom moniker “antifa”?

    The majority of us understand that while there certainly are plenty of patriotic Americans opposed to Trumpian fascism, “antifa” is simply a paranoid conspiracy theory promulgated by Fox News et al for the purpose of inciting the audience so as to increase ratings and profits for its carpetbagging owner. Please, do not fall for it!

  13. I just watched Arnold Schwarzenegger’s response to the recent events in the Capitol. It’s his recollection of growing up in post-Nazi germany and it’s about Kristallnacht……just sayin’. Today my sister, a trump supporter, turned the corner and we had the first open conversation we’ve been able to have in five years about the state of the economy, the need for political change, learning how to listen to each other in a better way. I’m really glad because, if the “revolution” those folks are hoping for ever arrives, my sister and I will be on different sides of the fence. Let’s not have another Civil War.

  14. Ron Lawrence ducked questions from the press to present this one-sided pity party for himself and his reckless comrades, then complained about press representations. That Lawrence wrote such a lengthy piece and not say a word about the Capitol police officer who was murdered by his fellow “patriots” tells me all that I need to know. Spreading the online conspiracy theory about Antifa is so typical. More than sixty Federal and state courts, a number of which were presided over by Trump appointed judges, found no fraud because no evidence of fraud was ever presented to the courts. The 10 day audit demanded by the insurrectionists, both in Congress and those murderous Trump thugs who unlawfully broke into the Capitol, is not something available in the congressional proceeding that was disrupted. The law is the law.

    Ruth Teltru’s comparison of people who don’t share her odious beliefs and support her Goebbels-like Big Lies, as “brownshirts,” is deeply offensive to those of us who lost family at the hands of Nazis.

    Trump lost, get over it.

  15. “Are we quarantining?

    There is no simple answer for this. For me, personally, the answer is “yes”.

    But others have different situations, and it would be a mistake to say that we should all behave in the same way. ”

    You know what, Ron? in this case it really is NOT a mistake to say “we should all behave in the same way”, as per the laws of our state, for the sake of our fellow citizens. You talk about compassion and caring and patriotism and kindness and yet you and your fellow travelers have endangered all of us here in Vermont. We don’t know who you are, what towns you may have returned to, whether you picked up the virus in that great unmasked “patriotic” gathering in Washington D.C. Apparently, several lawmakers in Washington have now contracted the virus because their colleagues refused to wear masks as they huddled in safe rooms during the attack on the Capitol. You talk about obeying the laws and what fine people you all are but show, by your actions, that you, like your president do NOT “love your country” and your fellow citizens. You love yourself and your views and your rights and your ideas. At a time when the vaccine is not yet available in Vermont, you packed into a bus and drove to a super spreader event and then returned to our beloved state. God knows what damage you will all do to the rest of us.

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