By John Klar
Vermont’s vaunted standing as a leader in the COVID battle has been understandably tarnished by a recent upsurge in cases despite widespread indoctrination … er, vaccination. State Democrats have been howling for a new round of statewide mask mandates to correct —somehow — for failed vaccines. But pseudo-conservative governor Phil Scott has decided to kick the can…into the Legislature, which this week will decide if municipalities shall be empowered individually to impose, and enforce, mask mandates.
This latest turn of events again reveals the utter failure of Vermont’s progressive government throughout COVID, despite contrary winsome imaginings by Vermont’s increasingly deluded uber-elites. Rather than questioning the efficacy of useless vaccines or why cases skyrocketed despite mask use, Vermont’s leftists, who regard government as a divine protector, demand instead that Phil Scott doubles down and make everyone else join them in the useless ritual of masking. “Progressives” have abandoned entirely the concept of constitutional restraint.
To Governor Scott’s credit, he has stood firm on refusing to pass a statewide mandate, correctly remarking that it will not work to coerce those who have tired of coercion. Since the lockdown loosened up, many Vermonters have again grown re-accustomed to seeing unfearful human faces. More, the false narrative that COVID-19 is a deadly menace to healthy people—especially children—has lost its fallacious steam. But instead of simply holding the constitutional line against the deranged, Governor Scott has caved, offering the ludicrous proposal to delegate this decision to individual towns, of which there are 246.
As political appeasement, Governor Phil Scott has pulled a classic Pontius Pilate: “When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.’” (Matthew 27: 24 NKJV).
But Phil Scott cannot employ that ancient escapism any better than the conflicted Pilate: this decision is inviting barbaric chaos in Vermont and maybe a (masked) crucifixion or two. Instead of standing down, Phil Scott must stand up — against thug Dems who howl for “the mitigation strategies we know work.” (Which they quite obviously do not.) The Dems want to double down with failed efforts, and Governor Scott should “Just say no!”
Where is common sense? To protect gun rights, Vermont statutes prohibit municipalities from enacting a patchwork of gun laws. In contrast, the push to hand the masking off to towns will create further divisions, conflict, and confusion. Is that the plan or does no one in the Scott administration perceive how much chaos will follow his abdicating leadership? Pilate knew, but he was afraid of executing the Son of God. What’s Phil’s excuse?
Perhaps while the Vermont Legislature sorts this out, Scott should also transfer to Vermont’s towns the power over nuclear power plants, opioid sales, the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), sales of synthetic meat, road paving, and other issues affecting Vermont’s citizens. Heck, maybe Scott should even allow towns to decide whether or not Vermont schoolchildren will still be taught that their ancestors were all white supremacists and that, as White kids, they are innately evil. Aside from agreeing with Dems that Vermont is a White supremacist state and hiring out-of-state agitators to berate White Vermontersfor alleged ancient sins, Phil Scott has done little to wade into the CRT debate — perhaps, as with masks, he should kick that can down to the locals. But then, the progressives haven’t demanded that of him … yet.
The simple truth is that municipal mask mandates are impossible to enforce, create a bizarre patchwork that will undermine any possibility of medical or legal effectiveness, and will seed growing rancor. Shall each town determine whether mask mandates are constitutional? Shall each town hire a special “mask ops” police detachment, while the economy implodes, and the Vermont legislators tune their silly COVID fiddles?
Aping Joe Biden comes naturally to Phil Scott and so this mental deterioration may simply be a parroting extension. But maybe the reverse will occur — maybe Biden will follow Phil’s lead.
Instead of fighting China over Taiwan, Biden can just have each state decide whether it wants to fight against Chinese world domination. Instead of mandating regressive boondoggles to promote Chinese-made solar panels using federal dollars, individual states could decide whether to squander both the economy and the environment in that fashion. States could also ban hate speech. There’s no need for Joe to eliminate the First Amendment for the whole nation when it could just be eclipsed in blue states while other states remain free. And individual states could determine whether to fling their sovereign borders open to undocumented pedophiles and gang members, or whether to send state troops to Afghanistan—we might actually be able to protect some citizens.
Governor Scott’s puerile proposal threatens the very concept of government hierarchy and public order. That this latest gaff has been thrown on the progressive pyre of ideological vapidity and the entire body of Green Mountain “leadership” follows blindly into the chaotic breach, reveals that Vermont is truly ungoverned. The flames of the campfires of barbarian brigands are indistinguishable from this farcical failure to lead.
Vermont’s naked emperors strut like headless chickens squawking that the sky is falling — while they tear down the sky.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and former pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. This commentary originally appeared at American Thinker.