John Klar: A response to Mr. Margolis and ‘gadflies’

By John Klar

In a recent piece addressing Vermont’s Republican party, writer Jon Margolis displayed his usual contempt for conservatives by claiming that “the gadflies have taken over the party.” Mr. Margolis cites liberal professors for authority, while he infuses numerous falsehoods into his wishful narrative.

VTDigger prints this from Margolis: “Even in the unlikely event that the party organization supports John Klar or another Scott opponent in the primary, Scott should easily prevail. Vermont is not a party registration state in which only devoted Republicans can vote in a GOP primary. In the broader electorate, he would be favored.”

John Klar

First of all, the Vermont GOP will not support any Scott opponent in the primary — it is not an “unlikely event,” but an impossible one. Deb Billado has made plain that she and the Party cannot favor one candidate over another — especially against an incumbent. But having set up that strawman, Margolis then asserts (from his dreams) that Scott “should easily prevail” because Democrats can vote in the GOP primary.

That is an extremely slender reed for Phil Scott and Jon Margolis to hang their collective hopes upon. Using Mr. Margolis’ derogatory term, I am the chief gadfly in the Vermont GOP — or as I like to say, I am the elephant in the elephant room. One definition of gadfly is “an annoying person, especially one who provokes others into action by criticism.” I will take that moniker gladly — I have already provoked many into action by my criticism, and I will be annoying state legislators and bureaucrats for the next full year, very much like a biting fly. In response, Margolis et al. scramble to assert that Republicans won’t support me, that Republicans are irrelevant because Dems will swamp the GOP primary, that Scott has more supporters than there are Republicans, and other dreamy musings.

When I announced my candidacy for governor, I highlighted my team’s three top priorities — improving the economy, keeping rural schools open and responding more forcefully to the opioid crisis. I specifically recited figures for state worker salaries compared to Vermonters as a whole, showing the dramatic disparity between working Vermonters and their so-called employees in government. I also highlighted the glaring shortfalls in Vermont’s pension promises to those workers, and to our teachers.

But VTDgger and Jon Margolis promptly printed a hit piece against me which did not address those issues at all — instead, he attacked me over an article I wrote criticizing the provision of transgender surgeries to minor children. And in his wistful hopefulness, Margolis stated that “a substantial chunk of Republican primary voters in Vermont are likely to recoil from that kind of talk.”

I think Vermonters are instead recoiling from this kind of gadfly journalism. I am grateful that Mr. Margolis continues in his latest piece to reveal his efforts to shape public opinion in what purports to be reporting. But as 2020 unfolds, he will be shown to have been grossly mistaken in his absurd predictions. For one thing, Margolis opines that “The governor, it seems, doesn’t approve of the way his own party in his own state is doing its job, either. … For Scott, assuming he runs for a third term next year, the lack of enthusiastic support or perhaps even opposition from the state committee looms as an annoyance.” Ah, if only Vermont’s conservatives were willing accomplices in the Scott-Margolis union.

Phil Scott has indeed treated his own base as exactly that: an annoyance. Margolis praises Scott’s popularity among Democrats as his great strength — even in his own primary! Next, Margolis fantasizes that the Dems will invade that primary to protect their own special RINO. But we who have been marginalized as annoying still possess annoying votes, and we can sting as hard as any Democrat gadfly — we can sting Phil Scott and we can sting the bloated state virus that is consuming our livelihoods and culture with arrogant disregard for working Vermonters.

Margolis quotes a handy fellow liberal to echo his elitist disconnect: “[Scott] doesn’t need them to get reelected,” said Eric Davis, the longtime observer of Vermont politics who is professor emeritus of political science at Middlebury College. “The governor has his own personal base which is probably larger than the Republican Party’s.”

Dear reader, do you see how these folks are doing my job for me? As if Phil Scott openly declaring his contempt for Vermonters as racist, or ignoring his promises to his base about guns or abortions, weren’t enough, here we have two of his biggest cheerleaders from the left declaring how unbeatable he is because he is a Democrat, that he doesn’t need the base he has scorned. As head gadfly in the Vermont GOP, I am delighted that these gentlemen are aiding my campaign so ardently— but I must declare that I have not paid them a single cent for this assistance.

Here is how it works: In order for Phil Scott to run in the 2020 general election, he counts on the nomination of that party he holds in contempt — or else he can run as a Democrat (Margolis would be pleased!). Since Phil has burned his GOP bridge to the ground, a viable challenger (especially an intelligent and experienced writer and attorney who will relentlessly talk about the economy, pensions, government bloat and the need for fiscal conservatism to stave off economic collapse) poses a serious hurdle that he and his entourage did not reckon existed.

Mr. Margolis and professor Davis apparently cannot imagine a world in which a non-RINO GOP candidate could be considered for office. But their vain imaginings must bend to the 2020 reality. The damage done to the Vermont GOP by Phil Scott’s blatant and repeated betrayals is being reversed. New blood is coming into the GOP, including libertarians and Vermonters who traditionally don’t vote but whose wallets scream for protection. I work tirelessly to attract and embolden strong new candidates — something Phil Scott has eschewed.

Yes, folks — gadflies have taken over the GOP. We are going to annoy the bloated beast of rapacious government expansion and drain it of blood the way it has been sucking the wealth and life from Vermont voters. We will reduce the size of government, reduce taxes, increase liberties, and restore fiscal integrity to state government. Those goals terrify those on the left, who have imagined they could pick out our eyes with impunity and peck at our bones with victorious relish. They, like Phil Scott, have ignored us like we are mere annoying deplorables.

But we are still very much alive and growing. And when we hatch fully, we will swarm over the parasitic ideology that thinks it can use the media and our government institutions to dominate every aspect of every citizen’s life. Mr. Margolis and his cohorts can only swat in futility — they have no plans to reduce government, or taxes, or regulations. They have employed those very levers to enslave Vermonters — it never occurred to them that we are human beings, not flies, and that we wish to reclaim the lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness that they have usurped.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and former pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. He is running for governor in 2020.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Bjørn Christian Torrissen

12 thoughts on “John Klar: A response to Mr. Margolis and ‘gadflies’

  1. If republicans really want to change the atmosphere in Vermont, then they need to run for State Representative or State Senator! State Representatives and State Senators are the ones who get assigned to committees. State Senators and State Representatives are the ones who design and create possible future laws. These are the people who vote as to whether a law passes or not. In other words, this is where the rubber meets the road! I get it that everyone wants to be chief immediately but State Senators and State Representatives are the people that republicans need right now!

    • The discipline required for maintaining our constitutional republic is not well understood by those currently representing us, not because they belong to a particular political party but because they are easily distracted from the purpose of governance and its responsibility to all Vermonters. When some seek advantage of distraction through legislation it is often undetected as it hides behind the mask of a good or noble cause.

      Without the leadership of a strong governor who recognizes the purpose and responsibility of governance, our representatives and senators are at best easily distracted from their true purpose no matter which party is in power. It is a balancing act of legislative and executive power that must deal with many agendas, so in reality one is not more important than the other, we need the best we can find to serve in both branches of our government to navigate this discipline of trust!

      • Are you in leadership? We really need people like you. Both of you have great points, they are not mutually exclusive.

        • No Neil, I am merely a village elder who remembers the promise of America from my youth, was busy with life through my working years, only to discover what I had perhaps taken for granted over those years has all but vanished.

          In my lifetime I have held management positions and owned and operated a successful business from startup all while living in the state I love, Vermont.

          I just want Vermonters to see and understand what is happening to our state before I leave it in worse shape than I found it many years ago. Change is inevitable but the success I have enjoyed over my lifetime is not without the discipline required to maintain our republic!

  2. The name Vermont Digger would seem to imply their main mission is to expose unfiltered truth for everyone to see, yet they seem to have a tendency to cover much of what they claim to want to expose as they stand on the dirt that never escapes the hole!

    Perhaps at some point they will expose themselves completely?

    I like many Vermonters are not interested in their opinion, only what they are trying to bury!

    Thank you John for uncovering the digger!

  3. Some will say this opinion is off the wall, but have a suggestion regarding the political scene in VT. Food for thought. Have to fight fire with fire.

    There has to be new thinking regarding a Rep-Conservative running for any office in Montpelier (Gov, Senate, Legislature). VT is over loaded with Libs-Socialists & so-called Progressives (L-S-P). The people that vote for them are dependent on Government for substance(s), don’t know reality and will vote only for those that give it to them. Some ideology! They are Pied Piper followers, shepople.

    You have to fool these people who’d vote for anyone labeled as herein mentioned (L-S-P). If a person is a R-C and has such values, during local debates and State debates for higher office, you have to play the game. At the debates state several factors/positions that the shepople agree with. Out debate the liberal opposites using their programmed same-old rhetoric and outperform them to get votes. Out fool the fooler’s.

    Then when in Montpelier vote your Conservative positions. The newcomers can take over and promote Conservative values and the L-S-P bunch won’t know what happened. The L-S-P bunch are known to lie, cheat, steal on any subject to gain power. Time to turn the table. Maybe Mitzy Johnson, Maida Townsend, Baruth, LaLonde and other such Flatlanders can be sent packing. Example: when elected vote to appeal all gun laws and regulations and all such bogus legislation. L-S-P won’t figure it out for quite a while, what happened (?).

    By hook or crook, you have to take the state back. Call this the Chase Theorem for the future of VT.

  4. Klar might be taking a “moderate” tack because of what happened to Ruth Dwyer, but he should not. If he’s a true conservative, he should speak up in boldness and oppose all the tyranny coming out of Montpelier. Real Vermonters have waited for this. And to hell with the state GOP. I still remember their part in destroying Mrs. Dwyer’s candidacy and life, and will never forgive them for it.

  5. VT Digger, and it’s lame articles if you try to respond and you are not aligned with there
    topic, well you’re probably not getting posted, .but then again who cares about VT Digger.

    As far as Margolis praises Scott’s ” popularity ” among Democrats, well that’s the rub with
    GOP voters in Vermont………Flip Flop Phil !!

    John, stay true for Vermont Conservative values. Phil, we forgive but we never forget those
    that turn on us, especially for liberal nonsense.

  6. Ah yes, the Gadflies. Yet another failed article and attempt by VTDigger to spread false progressive / left wing information to the few brain dead who actually follow and support that “lamestream media”.

  7. No one takes Margolis seriously. No even typical Digger readers. Case in point:

    Progressives reelect Pollina party chair, seek to grow numbers

    Jay Eshelman
    “Speaking of political ‘Gadflies’ – I can’t wait for the next Margolis commentary on Progressive leadership.”

    Ah, the deafening sound of the Digger crickets.

    • Interesting, the article you linked in digger wasn’t going well for the site so they shut down the so called reader footnotes. Under the heading it was noted that 12 readers responded. When you clicked on the article and scrolled to the comments there were three and the scoring up and down was no longer working. The article was quickly moved to another section also. I have noticed this before when conservatives out number the liberal gadflies in the comment section.

      I linked an article about what progressives had done to California, it never made it to print. As far as this article by John, I hope he pours it on them as hard as possible. People forget that President Trump was once a democrat and they loved his money. When he saw who they really were and joined the republican party the democrats hate him. They hate him because he knows who and what they are. New York state is about as corrupt as it gets short of California and other liberal run states. I for one will be following John and hope he does well. Vermont needs it’s own political Renaissance. It will be interesting!

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