Editor’s note: This commentary is by Deb Billado, chairwoman of the Vermont GOP.
It is difficult each week to come up with a meaningful VTGOP message for you. I desire to show leadership that promotes real difference in how we do Republican politics in Vermont, so I strive to say things that will show that Republicanism is more than just winning a political office. There is no question that I want the Vermont landscape to become “Rosy Red in 2020,” but more than that, I want to see us return to a time of true caring about those around us, many who are not as fortunate as we are or are forgotten by a world that is so busy with gaining power, influence, control or success and money.
Long before the “stay at home” orders that resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic, there were many lonely and neglected people out there. There can be no question now that there are so many more who are feeling scared and hopeless as they face this time alone or without resources to handle it.
Through no choice of our own, we have much more time on our hands to think, plan and do different things we lacked the time to do before. We could watch more TV, do a puzzle, read a book, bake a pie or take an extra nap, or we might try doing something meaningful for someone else.
We could reset our priorities and remember that loved one, that friend we have not reached out to for a long time or the widow or widower up the street who may not even have relatives close by, who could use a little of that caring. Maybe a phone call, the offer to drop off some of your great homemade soup or an offer to pick up some groceries for them or just simply to express a feeling of caring and a willingness to be there if they need someone.
When considering what to publish today, I noticed a news feed online about the death this week of Bill Withers, a wonderful black artist and songwriter of the 1970s, and it mentioned many of his songs that have “stood the test of time,” including “Lean On Me.” I went to the lyrics of that song and the words spoke to exactly what I have been feeling about the need people have as well as the need I, myself, will also have sometime in the future:
Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on
Republicans do really care and we want to make everyone’s life better, not by fostering big government to do the job, but by freeing people, under a limited government that protects them as it encourages them to be fruitful and create wealth and happiness for all along the way. Reflecting on this made it clear to me that this time of crisis might just be the catalyst for action that will bring true Republicanism back to Vermont and America. When we care for the right reasons, people will notice and when they vote will see we have an “R” next to our name and will choose that.
These unprecedented times we are living in provide us with opportunity to reset our priorities. When we act to make someone else’s existence better and we show them we care, we will be blessed with the right to govern again as we once did. Not only that, when the time comes again, and it will, when we can embrace and hug once more, we may be pleasantly surprised at all who might want to hug our necks for what we chose to do for them now in their moments of greatest need.
God Bless you, stay at home, stay safe and show you care.