Bonvinesta Bessie

A frequently asked question about Vermont’s independence movement is, “Once Vermont secedes from the Union, how will it protect itself from military attack by either the United States or some other hostile nation?” Fox News talk show host Bill O’Reilly put it more bluntly when he interviewed Second Vermont Republic spokesman Thomas H. Naylor, “How will an unarmed, independent Vermont defend itself from jihadist terrorists?”

The answer is actually pretty simple. Vermont will be under the protection of the Second Vermont Bovine Militia, a volunteer army made up of the state’s 275,000 radically nonviolent, antiterrorist cows, over half of whom are smiling, loving, caring, mooing dairy cows. Trained by a highly disciplined, elite herd of Swiss Brown cows based at Shelburne Farms, Vermont’s Bovinestas are armed to their teeth with modern, high-tech weapons capable of stopping any enemy combatant dead in their tracks with a force-field of love. Enemy troops are rendered completely impotent by the intensity of the love force exuded by the Bovinestas.

The Militia is under the control of Comandante Bessie Stark, named after Molly Stark, wife of the famous General John Stark. Bovinesta Bessie, as she is known, is committed to Vermont’s radical imperative and freeing all Vermonters from the clutches of the American Empire.

The Bovinestas reflect Vermont’s clean, green, small, socially responsible, communitarian image. They are fully committed to the principles of the Second Vermont Republic which include political independence, human scale, sustainability, economic solidarity, power sharing, equal opportunity, tension reduction, and mutuality. The twenty-first century equivalent of Vermont’s mythical Green Mountain Boys, they are much smarter than they appear.

The training provided to the Bovinestas by the Swiss Brown cows should prove to be invaluable to the Second Vermont Republic in achieving its objective of becoming the Switzerland of North America. Founded in 1291, the Swiss Confederation is the most sustainable nation-state of all time. It is one of the wealthiest, most democratic, and least violent countries in the world.

Switzerland has not been involved in a foreign war since 1515, and has remained neutral since 1815. It has never been part of a larger empire. Swiss foreign policy, which Vermont hopes to emulate, is based on four premises: (1) Switzerland will never initiate a war; (2) It will never enter a war on the side of a warring party; (3) It will never side with one warring party against another; (4) It will defend itself against outside attack. It is this last premise where the Bovinestas come into play.

Why would anyone want to invade tiny Vermont? It has no military bases, few defense contractors, no big cities, and no strategic resources. What would they do with it? Would they burn off the crop of sugar maples or destroy all of the black-and-white Holsteins? Imagine trying to enslave freedom-loving Vermonters. One thing is for sure, Bovinesta Bessie would never stand for it.

Thomas H. Naylor
February 15, 2008