John de Bruin: The state of our little state

Editor’s note: This commentary is by John de Bruin, founder and director of 802VT Alliance. He is a resident of Mt. Tabor.

I moved to Vermont some 35 years ago. Since my sister and brother-in-law had moved here six years earlier, and with our parents having just purchased their planned retirement home in Vermont, it made perfect sense to move here and be closer to my family. In the mid 1980s, Vermont’s economy was in decent shape, the political situation appeared to be fairly stable and people seemed much more relaxed. Looking back at how things were, I have to wonder if there is any hope or any future here anymore.

So what has changed?

For one, Vermont residents have been “bought out” by special interests. Confronted by pennies from heaven, how could the average Vermonter even begin to imagine the devastation all this outside money would cause toward the current economic and political climate of our state? How could they even have begun to think this would lead to Vermont’s potential demise? But in happened because they basically gave up — citizens have allowed outsiders to take over all aspects of life while they blissfully sat back and ignored the slow erosion of the values this state was built on.

John de Bruin

John de Bruin

As an outsider myself, my theory as to why it happened lies directly with the almighty dollar and the influx of out-of-state tourists, second-home ownership, as well as local businesses having been purchased by outside interests. As the old saying goes, “Money is the root of all evil.” In the face of so many dollars being freely offered, quite a few Vermonters “sold out.” They never realized that not only were they selling their properties but also selling out their lives, their traditions, their values and their freedoms. Politicians have folded under pressure and sold their souls to the “dollar gods.”

“There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.” ― Calvin Coolidge

The new residents did not fully embrace the Vermont lifestyle, but rather chose to change it and emulate what they had left behind in their old states. With the influx of new residents also came demands for more services, more conveniences and a different “lifestyle” that they would consider an upgrade here, but something they were accustomed to having back home. A new and upgraded lifestyle is nice, because it offers more, but at what cost? What is the ultimate price we all must pay to make Vermont the new New Jersey?

I also have watched the erosion even further after these “transplants” began to take an interest in local and state politics. Could this have all been planned, or were they just bored and needed something to occupy their time? As it turns out, the majority of people running for public office — from local towns or school boards to major state seats — have been the wealthy elites, retirees or “trust fund babies” who have all the time in the world to play politician. Yet the average working Vermonter must earn his daily bread and work for a living to support a family. The average Vermonter does not have the luxury of time, nor money, to run for an elected office, which makes politics a one sided affair. Vermonters, through no fault of their own, have left the door wide open to a state takeover by elitists.

What is the ultimate price of a progressive left political agenda? Can we afford to sit back any longer? Haven’t we, the citizens of Vermont, been subjected to their control and abuse long enough? We have an ever-increasing tax burden that places Vermont in the top most taxed states in the nation. Does little Vermont — with its dwindling population, obvious lack of services and malfunctioning education system — really need a $6 billion annual operating budget that rivals growing New Hampshire? With our population of only 620,000 citizens, why do we need 12,500 state employees? What ever happened to fiscal responsibility and being held accountable to the people?

Another issue is the first ever anti-law-abiding citizen, anti-self-defense gun laws passed in 2018. These have no effect on criminal behavior and do nothing to address mental health or school safety issues. Even so, they want to further restrict our self-protection gun rights in 2020 with more lack-of-common-sense legislation.

“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.” ― Calvin Coolidge

Next, there is the anti-business legislation known as Act 250, which has morphed into a venomous, multi-headed Hydra, forcing business after business to close their doors or leave Vermont in record numbers. Their latest 84 page addition, which will likely restrict business and private enterprise, as well as private property rights, will certainly be the straw that broke the camel’s back for any potential economic growth for Vermont.

The latest progressive disaster has been the approval of the full-term abortion bill known as H.57, which goes way beyond the rights already established by Roe v. Wade. And now they want to codify our Vermont Constitution with Proposition 5 to add full term abortion, since they consider a fetus as a “non-citizen.”

An ongoing non-fact-based climate change agenda will force Vermont (the cleanest state in the Union) back into the dark ages with carbon taxes, mandated elimination of fossil fuels, and an attempt to ban internal combustion engines. They will push to force all Vermonters to purchase an electric car, when placing “green energy” solar panel farms everywhere has already had a detrimental effect on our landscape. Billboards have been outlawed in Vermont for decades, but 150-200 acre solar farms are OK? Mother Nature has no bank account, nor does she care about or have use for money. The only ones who will benefit from a carbon tax will be the agenda pushers who will use those funds for more idiotic and wasteful programs. The human race has no control over climate change.

It’s time to stop and look at the entire picture of what has happened to Vermont, thanks to voter apathy and an unwillingness to get involved. Every two years Vermonters have a chance to make a difference, and every two years we have failed to rally behind what needs to be done at the voting booth. Are you tired of being used as a petri dish for the whole United States? I know I am. We the people have just about had enough of political BS — politicians work for us, we do not work for them. It is time to hold them accountable at the voting booth for violating their oath of office to protect the people.

“It is our theory that the people own the government, not that the government should own the people.” ― Calvin Coolidge

Image courtesy of John de Bruin

39 thoughts on “John de Bruin: The state of our little state

  1. I have been quite aware how people of various political parties or mindset react to people that oppose other points of views, which they have a right to do in this country.

    Most notable is how the Left, Socialists, Liberals (call it what you wish) verbally attack (some being violent) individuals outside of their thinking / life exposures.

    This aspect is included herein. They attack individuals that in their desires to make VT better are glad to see articles like this one, I for one. These two insulters are Ley and Napolitano read their comments, nothing positive. While they profess they are “conservative” their comments indicate otherwise and use derogatory verbiage; quoting “talk about “TROLLS” jeff I am thinking its you.. thats if jeff brown is your real name… BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS”.
    This is true lib talk.

    Go smoke your weed and be mad at the world. Anyone that writes long comments just to elaborate their hatred when a simple sentence would do, has a problem. Seems the use of the words “False Prophets” (many times) is a put down of others to mentally elevate themselves.

    VT needs change and these two won’t be a part of it. Flake them off like dandruff. Ain’t worth the time.

    • Time nice try to cover up for the trailer John debruin and 802 Vermont and their ultimate goal.

      The proof is obvious that John has called out to remove the Republican leadership in Montpelier Vermont that he has stated he was unhappy that Senator Brian call him or was reelected and was happy the dead south sea was removed as a Republican senator.

      Johnny has also stated that he is not a member of the Republican Party along with Keith Stern however it is beyond you to do the research necessary to find these comments and realize that this man is out to destroy the Republican party with the help of people like you.

      If this isn’t true why don’t you prove it… I have the proof that it is true yet you attack me and Angelo…. is it because you were too lazy to find the truth or just too ignorant so you follow along with those that would destroy our Republican Party..

      Obviously you are a sheep and happy to remain in that position while helping this traitor destroy the Republican Party in the state of Vermont..

      Just what it is your ultimate goal?

      It must be to help 802 Vermont destroy what is left of the Republican Party in the state of Vermont..

      If anyone has ignorant durable it is you and those that defend debruin while he is out to destroy us..

      Make your false statements all you want I know mine are true…

    • Just to be clear when you say Vermont needs change you are in favor of the destruction of the Republican Party along with 802 Vermont?

      Also you contradicted yourself with your along statement that went absolutely nowhere but to try to take down people who defend our Republic and our Republican Party.

      If you are in favor of change why are you attaching the Republican name to a party that you don’t believe in?

      I guess the word traitor is fitting for you guys….

  2. John debruin 802 Vermont

    One of the most famous sayings attributed to Abraham Lincoln is about deception: You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

    Seems Abraham Lincoln could visualize the deception coming down at the hands of people like you… it’s almost as if he knew you personally…

    One can only hope people are intelligent enough to do their research and see the damage you have attempted to do to the Republican party and continue on to do today..

    Voters please do your research don’t buy into this propaganda that will slowly a road more Vermont rights…

    The destruction of the Republican party will do absolutely no good to the voters in the state of Vermont.

    Let’s all prove we are not going to be fooled at all!!@


    • I’m not quite sure what your intent is but from what I understand from others, have witnessed myself and has been documented your ONLY agenda is to cause a rift in the Republican Party. Your false allegations and verbal diarrhea concerning an attempt to break up the party and slandering a sitting Vermont Senator are pure FANTASY on your part, it makes you appear very disturbed.
      You seem to have an obvious hate issue after having been kicked out, blocked and banned from just about every group or organization you have been in.
      My suggestion is for you unplug your computer and lock yourself in your house…do the world a huge favor and retire the “Garden Gnome”

      • Well mr. Brown I certainly appreciate your ignorant response.

        I a staunch reporter of the Republican Party I have not tried to change the name I have not tried to introduce another party to break the Republican Party a part nor do I support the rhinos that have voted for progressives end socialists in the past.

        Maybe you should try to gather just a little bit of information before you make a fool of yourself.

        Obviously you are another uneducated sheep following the lying John debruin around along with his group 802 Vermont.

        Maybe it would be nice if you asked John the number of retractions he has been forced to make after claiming certain groups were part of his group which they chose not to be members of.

        I’ll be completely honest after calling John out in his own group for being a liar I was thrown out of the group and I must admit I have to thank him because the bull was just getting too deep to “BEAR”

        Now if you want to see some of the content of John Debruin’s comments Gail Gillam was presented with them at the last meeting of the Clarendon Republican committee and they were supposed to be entered into our minutes.

        I am sure if you ask John he would tell you that someone has shown him the information I passed around at our meeting.

        Either you are not in the loop or you’re not important enough to tell about it.

        If you’re attempting to call someone a liar you better know what your talking about.

        Exactly what I said about Brian Collamore were comments from John debruin.

        I did notice when I was pretending to be a gnome in the garden that you were on the manure pile with John maybe you want to climb down, wipe yourself off and look for the truth.

        Don’t be a sheep!! Don’t be a sell-out to the Republican party like mr. Debruin.

        Don’t become a false prophet let John have that title to himself.


      • Really mr. brown you should ask debruin why he is calling for the removal of Deb. Billado the chair of the gop in Vermont a volunteer and a hard worker…. (have that in writing).. these are not false allegations… if anything Richard is trying to save the party as well as many others…

        • If anyone is out there dividing the Republican Party it’s you two Trolls and the VTGOP knows it. Your verbal diarrhea continues to spread hate and discontent. You both are irrelevant as well as being totally ignorant. Trying to get a Democrat elected to Governor in 2018 is a sign of a conservative Republican? You two are pathetic.

          • Again you’re letting your stupidity shine through…. I suppose you were supporting Keith Stern who is another person who does not support the Republican Party..

            Actually you are in with a bunch of people who don’t support our president our leadership in Montpelier and they don’t support the Republican Party….

            Tell me again why you stick will the group that does not support the Republican Party.

            It’s time you make a statement it becomes more obvious you don’t have a clue.

          • talk about “TROLLS” jeff I am thinking its you.. thats if jeff brown is your real name… BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS

  3. John Debruin… it has become clearer and clearer through your actions and your statements that you have no clue what Vermont once was…

    I have been a resident here for over 60 years being born and raised here and believe me I know what Vermonters that have been here supported and worked hard for and watch Vermont torn apart by people just like you..

    You need to stop trying to deceive the good people in this state and tell them exactly what your agenda is and that is to form a new party because you have claimed that the Republican party is worthless..

    It’s time for you to come out with the name for your party because nothing you do should be attached to the Republican party you are a traitor to the Republican Party in the state of Vermont and the true vermonters that live here..

    You are no better than the snake oil salesman Bernie Sanders and maybe you should join his party because it better aligns with you and you are agenda to tear apart Vermont even more than we have been torn down.

    I have attended your meetings I have listened to your propaganda and I’ve been thrown off your page for stating the truth about you.

    There are many post available that expose you for what you really are it is time for you to bag out of the Republican party before you completely destroy us form your own party and claim your disaster!

    Again I would ask everyone to be sure which candidates they support and if you are Republican be sure they are part of the Republican party that the Agr Republicans we’re not any other party affiliated with the Republicans with a hyphenated name.

    If we are going to reclaim Vermont we will do it through true conservative Republicans or we will lose it completely.

    Beware of false prophets

  4. Beautifully stated John!

    I really appreciate all of the work you’re putting into the 802VT Alliance! I feel like we have hope!

  5. John Debruin of 802 Vermont..

    I couldn’t agree with you more about second homeowners moving to Vermont to destroy us and you clearly are part of that movement.

    If you want to support the Republican Party do that or just drop the name for something that you do support because you have demonstrated very clearly you are not a part of the Republican party and do not want to become apart of the Republican Party.

    When you put down the Republican Party and the members of that party that have served us well in spite of the Rhinos you have done no justice do true vermonters.

    When you feel sad that Senator Brian Collamore wasn’t voted out of office you have turned your back on one of the greatest members of the Senate that has been working tirelessly for us… yet a “republican” like you feels he should be removed from office

    When people in your group call for the destruction of the Republican Party and are willing to vote and push for rhinos to be elected in a state that is already overburdened with rhinos and progressives you are destroying our state.

    Please stop slapping yourself on the back John you aren’t helping any vermonters whatsoever you are doing a big disservice to the people in this state.

    I have no clue what a “AG”Republican is but I certainly am sure it does not mean Republican..

    A republican by any other name is a duck….A Lame Duck!

    I would encourage any Republican in the state of Vermont to research any people running in the state for office claiming to be Republicans.

    If any of them do not respect our true conservative values they are not Republican if they have voted in the past for the liberal agenda and liberal candidates they are not Republicans.

    I know the people wanting so badly in this state they’re willing to do what it takes but this is not part of doing what it takes….

    This is no time to sell ourselves out


    • I feel like when you’re describing “false prophets” it sounds like you’re talking about yourselves. Isnt that right richard and angelo

      • I have done resisting the temptation to post the comments from John debruin regarding the Republican Party…

        I guess when people are warning you about a group trying to destroy the Republican party they would be the false prophets in an unexposed mind.

        I guess you have not been exposed to the information that I have nor have you taken the time to do the research…

        Like I said Beware of false prophets

      • I don’t support illegal immigrant I don’t support restrictions on gun rights I don’t support abortion and I do not support the liberal agenda the Phil Scott has decided he will support while claiming to be a Republican.

        I also do not support those that claim to breed I also do not support those that claim to be Republicans to try to gain election to political office..

        I support true conservative Republicans which is exactly the opposite of John bear debruin at-802 Vermont…

        That should clearly explain my position


        • So, you’re saying you don’t support him and won’t support/vote him if he ran again?
          thanks for your previous answer.

        • In looking back, I noticed that John Rodgers (Dem) was running for Governor in 2018 as a write in candidate and you were supporting and pushing for him to win. Is that true?

  6. If elected legislators take an oath to defend and not injure the state or the peoples rights under our constitution and swear under the pains and penalties of perjury, who is responsible for charging them with the crime of perjuring their oath? Are these just words written on paper to be ignored? Has our population been so dumbed down that we no longer operate under the laws of our founding document?
    How many of these law makers have violated their oaths of office? It should be noted that the voters have an obligation to try these people by booting them out of office. There should be term limits and residency requirements to run for office in Vermont. College students who are dependents of their parents in other states should not be allowed to vote in our politics.Out of state money to politicians should be banned. Vermont law should reflect what Vermonters want done not a PAC in California or New York. Continual whining will not change anything if no one hears the message. The term “TAKE BACK VERMONT’ should be seen on every car bumper. They should be placed over Bernie and coexist or resist stickers. We need to legalize freedom in Vermont to live our lives as we see fit and not according to some elite liberal who wants to control you and yours. Get off your ass and get activated to save your state or do the cowardly move out!

  7. I have lived here all my life (so far) I am a native Vermonter and although I am not opposed to change, I believe in balance. Vermont as I see it is a ship ready to tip over on the Port side.
    Like the old analogy of the frog not jumping out of a pot as it starts to boil. We have allowed too much for far to long. Let’s right the ship!!!

  8. Alan R above reply says this gem: “I have heard of college students voting in two states.” VERY true. The fact is that Bernie Sanders won his first political office, mayor of Burlington, all thru voter fraud. How? I recall it well. Here is a quote of the results: “As an independent, Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington in 1981 by a margin of ten votes and reelected three times. “.What Bernie did is what all activists do….Saul Alinsky Rules. Bernie sent his Socialist activists up to UVM and in the Student Center ,pulled in , I recall, several hundred NEW student voters to vote in VT (for mayor)…of course for Bernie. Many of these were out of state kids, whose legal residence was not in VT…they paid out of state, NON RESIDENT tution, and parents had them on their tax forms as dependants – in their home state. But no one checked. ALL in Burlington were shocked, both the Dems and Repubs!!! A SOCIALIST??? Neither of them had ever “activized” the UVM votes, as both Dems & repubs knew they were not “real” voting residents of Burlington. But that is not how Saul Alinsky tactics work. And Bernie Sanders knows full well his fraud. he just will never admit it. Almost any means is justfied, if it meets the (his) “end”. I wonder if Bernie had NOT gotten away with his voter fraud, would he have ever won office and be a presidential candiate? or just go back to living in his shack in Middlesex as a failed carpenter. All true!

    • Exactly Jeffrey. I have been saying this for years, ie. how Bernie managed to get elected as Mayor of Burlington. I will also add that Bernie’s first stop in Vermont was around Goddard College. I say around because most folks don’t think he ever actually studied there. I live, and grew up, too close to Goddard College! I could write a book about people I know that were associated with Goddard. It is quite well known that back in the sixties courses were taught at Goddard on “How to take over Vermont”!! Sadly, “the rest is history”.

      • Gail, for 30 years I lived a couple miles from the Goddard campus too (but left in 2018!). I know it well, and know some of the “leftover lefties” that went there…who all are still to this day progressive-enviro activists.. Too bad people don’t realize Goddard is basically a failed institution now, hanging on by a thread…just like all the ideas they taught there….they all fail eventually, when reality hits. Kumbaya :). and yes, Bernie Sanders is all fine with voter fraud, if it helps his cause.. Saul Alinsky Rules.

  9. Thanks John — an accurate overview of our current plight. Sadly, this is a form of gradual cultural genocide, which is why we see more and more attacks directly against Vermont’s culture (recent laws label Vermont a “white supremacist culture” and all white Vermonters as “white privileged.”) Yet, I have confidence that Vermonters’ tolerance for such intrusions has finally worn sufficiently thin that they will rally and oppose this takeover. We will either win in 2020 at the ballot box, or as Jay Eshelman explains, suffer economic collapse and face that reality.

  10. Beautiful article, my thoughts exactly. At 80 and having seen the state degenerate to the status it has, I hope the pendulum starts back from a rocky high.

    At the same time interesting TNR has an article that hopefully will assist the pendulum in it’s return. Included in the TNR is:
    VT-A dozen 2020 ‘agripublican’ candidates announce campaigns for Vermont seats

    Also interesting comments.

  11. Thank You TNR for allowing my commentary which, I believe, expresses the opinions of many frustrated Vermonters. Being an “outsider” has given me a clearer picture of what has happened to this “little state” and it saddens me because I moved here because of what Vermont once WAS. I have taken u p the Gauntlet in order to bring this state back. #802VTALLIANCE

  12. John,
    You wrote an excellent summary of my thinking regarding the downward slide of Vermont during the past 20 years.

    Just drive across the border to New Hampshire and the difference is the same as West and East Germany before the wall came down in 1990.

    West Germany has been spending $100 billion per year for 18 million people in East Germany to bring them up the level of West Germany

    The damage SOCIALISM did to East Germany from 1945 to 1990 was that great!

    Bernie, from Brooklyn, NY, want to repeat it in Vermont, and in the US, by spending $trillions!

    He even went to the USSR to learn how to do it.

    • “Vermont during the past 20 years.”

      More like 60years William, we started the slide with Hoff as Gov in the late 60’s
      and only got worse from there (worse term was probably MADDIE Kunins) …There is absolute no need for the
      size of Government we have to make life he double L for the taxpayers thru
      over regulation and absurd taxes… where’s our Calvin Coolidges of Today???

  13. Years back some one handed me a report that said a very liberal college professor wanted to do an experiment by taking a very conservative state and flood it with liberals. Guess what state was picked? I have heard of college students voting in two states.

  14. Oh my goodness…you’ve superbly written my very thoughts…I’ve been saying this for years and scratching my head as to why the same politicians keep getting reelected over and over..and these dunderheads keep pushing this leftwing progressive agenda on the hard working citizens of Vermont. How do we get the people to understand that change is needed to stop the insanity? I throw my hands in the air as to why Leahy, Sanders and Welch keep getting reelected..Leahy refused to open his emails re: EB5 debacle and Sanders has been running for President for years..he should have resigned his post to do this. How about the 250,000,000 million dollars spent on the health care computer system that doesn’t work .. do we still have 72 school superintendents.. so on and so on. Thank you for the great commentary.

  15. John,
    Citizens have allowed outsiders to take over all aspects of life while they blissfully sat back and
    ignored the ” slow erosion ” of the values this state was built on, Now that’s an understatement,
    but you’ve nailed it !!

    I hope all Vermonter’s read this article, we need to make a change from the top down in our
    structure in Montpelier …………Is it too late, I hope & pray it’s not.

    • Unfortunately, with 40 percent of Vermonters working in the health, education and government sectors, they and their families have a voting majority and will, in all likelihood, continue the policies that support their habit. This is why issues like School Choice and fiscal prudence will never take hold until bankruptcy ensues. What happens then is anyone’s guess.

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