What do Governor Jim Douglas, Lt. Governor Brian Dubie, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Patrick Leahy, and Congressman Peter Welch all have in common? They pledge their allegiance to the largest, wealthiest, most powerful, most racist, most militaristic, and most violent empire of all-time. They are the twenty-first century equivalent of the Tories who remained loyal to the British Empire during the American Revolution.
Take neoconservative Governor Jim Douglas, for example. He was the first American governor to have a private meeting with President Barack Obama. Of course, he arrived at the White House with his hat in hand. Douglas has spent eight years telling anyone who would listen how bad the climate is for business in Vermont. At some point such talk becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Anytime there is a conflict between the interests of the people of Vermont and Corporate America, Douglas always comes down on the side of IBM, Monsanto, or Vermont Yankee. Douglas did nothing to prevent the deployment of 1,500 Vermont National Guard troops to Afghanistan recently.
And then there is part-time Lt. Governor Brian Dubie whose day job is that of an American Airlines Captain. Dubie flies every week for American and also maintains his commission in the Air Force Reserve. To whom does Brian Dubie owe his loyalty – Vermont, American Airlines, or the American Empire? I believe the answer is clear. Brian Dubie has done nothing for Vermont in eight years.
Unfortunately, the five neoliberal Democratic candidates for Governor are no different from their neoconservative Republican counterparts. They too march in lockstep with the Empire. At a recent debate Vermont independence candidate Dennis Steele asked the five of them what they would do, if elected governor, to bring home the Vermont National Guard troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Their unanimous answer was “nothing.” Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz then started babbling about what a wonderful country the United States was. It was not the first time she had displayed her streak of superpatriotism.
The Vermont Legislature is more of the same. Not one member of the House or Senate has ever had the guts to stand up to the American Empire and raise the possibility of an independent Vermont. It’s as though they really don’t get it. The Empire is going down. It has lost its moral authority, it is unsustainable, ungovernable, and, therefore, unfixable. Peaceable secession is the only way out.
Last, but by no means least, is the Vermont Congressional Delegation which remains committed to a government which condones illegal wars with Afghanistan and Iraq, unconditional support for the Israeli military machine, a foreign policy based on full spectrum dominance and imperial overstretch, multitrillion dollar budget deficits, endless Wall Street bailouts, corporate greed and fraud. These are the same people to whom Vermont liberals refer to as “so wonderful.”
Vermont needs a new breed of politician who is committed to Vermont first, not Wall Street, Corporate America, or the Israeli Lobby. It’s high time we replaced our Congressional Delegation, our Council of State, and the entire Vermont Legislature with citizens who pledge their allegiance to Vermont first.
Thomas H. Naylor
April 1, 2010