MacDonald: Vermont’s culture – or what’s Left of it

by Steve MacDonald, for Granite Grok

Vermont once had, at least in my Normal Rockwell-esque memory, a sense of independence and a toe-hold on sanity. That place Calvin Coolidge called home. It is an image long since painted over by the political Left, replaced with a fawning portrait of Mao.

There were signs aplenty along the decline, from growing budgets to more restrictions on natural rights to infringement on energy freedom, education freedom, and health freedom. The embrace of the borderless society, allowing illegals to vote (Burlington), defunding police, and the rising crime that followed, and a descent into a malaise that strikes a people when confronted with a Democrat-Socialist culture that swears every vote matters but only ever listens to itself.

Porn in schools. Genderless bathrooms. A Narcan vending machine in Johnson, Vermont.

Steve MacDonald

They are very excited.

JOHNSON, Vt. —Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day, and Vermont’s first naloxone vending machine is up and running in the village of Johnson.

The vending machine serves as the state’s latest step in ending overdose deaths.

“Every person in this community has the chance to live another day,” said Dawn Tatro, a co-founder of Jenna’s Promise.

Johnson, VT, has a population of approximately 3,491. It is quaint and picturesque, and it needs a Narcan vending machine.

The vending machine is outside of the Johnson Health Center and provides anonymous, 24/7 access to the life-saving drug naloxone, also known as Narcan.

“It’s [in] a central location; it’s going to be free to community members — no questions asked,” said Dr. Gail Rose with the UVM Center on Rural Addiction.

It’s the latest step for the community in fighting a problem that hits close to home for many.

“My daughter wasn’t [overdose death] 330, she was Jenna Tatro, 26 years old. And maybe, if we had something like this here, we could have prevented that,” said Tatro.

According to Wikipedia, it is home to Northern Vermont University, so that might mean something, but from 30,000 feet, should it? How does a small town in Northern Vermont find itself in such dire straights as to need a Narcan vending machine so randos can access overdose meds?

Narcan can save lives, so I’m not saying they shouldn’t have it, but isn’t the issue how or why you even need it? What circumstances led to this being necessary, and is anyone interested in reversing them? Why is this normal and acceptable?

Or is this how we deal with the decline of America in places like Johnson, Vermont? Watch it from a drug-induced haze, and if, by chance, we get carried away, perhaps someone will dose us with Narcan and drag us back to reality. Maybe plan ahead and get a free dose before you go off the reservation.

That’s how we live now?

Johnson is Vermont’s first. I tried to get a sense of how many of these there are in the US, and the best guess from May was about 200. I expect that there are more of them now. You could probably put 200 in Los Angeles or New York City and barely make a dent.

Isn’t that some sort of sign?

Hey, open borders goobers. Why not let cartels put Fentanyl machines near the Narcan machines? Or, ask them to hand them out when they deliver the drugs. Living addicts will make them richer than dead ones, and there isn’t much effort to stop the drugs.

Next door in New Hampshire, a increasingly shorter step to your right, a MA man was sentenced to five years for conspiring to move 20 pounds of Fentanyl.

People who walked into the US Capitol to take a selfie on Jan 6 face more time than that guy.


Steve is a long-time New Hampshire resident, blogger, and a member of the Board of directors of The 603 Alliance. He is the Managing Editor and co-owner of, a former board member of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, and a past contributor to the Franklin Center for Public Policy.

6 replies »

  1. Vermont’s Attorneys General have participated in suing the manufacturers of a legitimate pain medications because their products got illegally misused by pathetic junkies. Now the taxpayers of Vermont are back on the hook paying out more big money to Big Pharma for the antidote, and making it available in “vending” machines. I thought the definition of “vending” was “to offer for sale”, but these machines just give it away, so calling them “vending machines” is just part of the narrative…much like the needle giveaway programs are still referred to as “needle exchanges” even though no such demand is ever made that junkies “exchange” their bloody, potentially pathogenic needles for clean ones. The end result of this “public health” charade is that more dirty needles end up in the bushes and ditches, where they are contacted by pets and children. Junkies knowingly engage in the disease risks of their chosen lifestyle, but pets and children are innocent victims when they get stuck with a bloody needle.
    The fentanyl overdose problem is one of border security and lack of law enforcement and those are issues that have been completely ignored by the Biden administration, so that blood is on their hands. This is a problem that can be SOLVED IN ONE ELECTION.
    And let’s stop pretending that having widespread availability of Narcan is going to save lives. It saves them temporarily, but as long as the junkies keep engaging in their dangerous habits, they will eventually succeed in their slow suicide.

  2. Vermont’s culture has been destroyed by liberal nonsense brought here from
    ” flatlanders ” who hated their current surroundings, and came here to turn our
    state into the same S-hole they left……………………..and we let it happen !!

    Want the Vermont we grew up in, then change the atmosphere under the Golden
    Doom ?? yes Doom, we now have these same transplants running the show
    and spending your tax dollars.

    Wake up people, the state is in debt, with unfunded liabilities. taxes through the
    roof and more coming your way……………..

  3. Well, what do you all expect. This culture steers away from the hard work of addressing why, in today’s world someone wakes up and says ” I’m going to start using Heroin” It’ so much easier just to cover the symptoms.

  4. I was born on the late 70s
    I remember vt as a child, teen, and adult.
    I’ve watch the state become a “progressive” wasteland. Our rino Governor signing away our gun rights and blaming it on one incident that was caught before anything happened. The best part is none of these laws would have at all effected the perpetrator.
    The cause of every single terrible change and violation are due to democrats and progressives who use false oppression and class warfare against the citizens.
    This is not Vermont and may never be again.

    • In the Seventies Vermont was considered to be becoming a theme park for the rich, after putting the brakes on development with Act 250 and more expensive septic rules, driving up the cost of housing. Now Vermont is also becoming a theme park for the woke…I’m not putting too much blame on the Governor, as he is up against a progressive armageddon in the legislature now. He was elected with the affordability issue but hasn’t been able to prevent the continuation of Vermont into an expensive leftist utopia of rich taxpayers and a majority of folks dependent on gov’t for housing, food, health care etc. The voting majority has taken us down that path.

  5. The hardened hearts won’t concede power as they are up to their necks in corruption. Once the Mad Max scenarios start playing out here and all across New England, the despots will flee (some won’t get far) and the implosion will be complete. The question is how many will die and who will be left and willing to save the scraps of the Republic?