A so-called journalist named Peter D’Auria displayed nastiness toward school board member Liz Cady in a commentary seeking to discredit her for speaking out against discrimination against unvaccinated Vermonters. Several Vermont public officials joined in D’Auria’s outrageous attack, proving Mrs. Cady right. This baseless, one-sided attack by D’Auria and shameless public officials is not journalism — it is hate speech.
Consider the dual premise of D’Auria’s drivel: that Liz Cady compared vaccination discrimination with the Holocaust, and that this was wrong because (according to the ADL!) only mass murder qualifies as discriminatory. He writes:
The New England Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League called on Cady to read “The Diary of a Young Girl,” commonly known as the “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
“Anne Frank & 6 million Jews were murdered solely because they were Jewish,” the New England ADL wrote on Twitter. “There is no equivalence to today’s public health policies imposed on those who choose to remain un-vaxxed.”
This vapid statement is patently untrue. Applying the ADL’s implication, Jews were free to “choose” not to be Jewish, and Hitler’s confinement to ghettos was a “public health policy.” Yet as D’Auria concedes, Mrs. Cady’s essay specifically stated:
“I am not comparing what is happening now to the horrific genocide that took place in WWII, but I do believe we need to acknowledge the comparison of how that hate started then and how it is happening now: separating people into a desired group versus an undesired one.”
The entirety of this hack-job effort is to attack Cady for something she specifically disavowed — perhaps D’Auria and the ADL (which has redefined ‘interim” racism to embrace the anti-semitic Critical Racist Theory) should read Anne Frank themselves — they might note that prior to the murder of millions, the Jews were persecuted, including being deprived of free speech in the local media by which they were simultaneously demonized. Consider that Liz Cady merely stated what Vermonters all see — unscientific, hateful fear-mongering and attacks against the unvaccinated, including by teachers against students.
Elaine Clift seeks to segregate hospital beds based on vaccination status, invoking absurd errors that Vermonters are being denied medical care because of unvaccinated people. Rick Hubbard claims Vermonters should be deprived the opportunity to shop for groceries unless vaccinated; Dick McCormack agrees, and repeatedly calls to violate the Constitution even as the widespread infection of vaccinated Vermonters and increasing numbers of adverse vaccine reactions reveals his grotesque error. These are all calls for illegal discrimination and denial of a list of existing fundamental rights and basic privileges.
Liz Cady writes that “People, understandably, become very combative and defensive when modern day situations are likened to what happened in World War II. People are often too quick to make the comparison, and the murder of millions is unfathomable. How did something so evil happen when there were good people around? Fear. Hate.”
Along comes the tough-guy D’Auria and his crew of haters, to attack Liz Cady solely for stating the obvious. Republicans are routinely compared with Nazis — we can see how something so evil happened, by reading D’Auria. His article had no purpose aside from wrongfully attacking Liz Cady.
D’Auria had ready accomplices in his baseless attack. He writes:
State Rep. Lori Houghton, D-Essex, wrote on Facebook that she and the rest of the Essex legislative delegation “are appalled by the latest statement from EWSD School Board Member, Liz Cady and unequivocally reject her twisting of historical facts to fit her narrative.”
Other big guns joined the wolfpack, with the school superintendent and school board chair attacking Cady for her request not to discriminate against unvaccinated people:
Essex-Westford Superintendent Beth Cobb wrote on Twitter that she and school board Chair Erin Knox “would like to state unequivocally that nothing in Cady’s article represents the policies or beliefs of our school district.”
“One of our roles and responsibilities as board members is to avoid even an appearance of conflict of interest,” Knox said in an emailed statement. “(Cady’s) unsanctioned rhetoric is harmful, and implies a disregard for this responsibility to our students, staff, teachers, families, and community members.”
This contrasts dramatically Democrats on school boards, who act with overt conflicts of interest and lie to parents. Perhaps that is more harmful than Liz Cady sharing a well-considered opinion that the Nazis find objectionable. D’Auria resembles a propagandist in this very effort — proving Liz Cady’s concerns well founded.
Beside Peter D’Auria’s screed against Liz Cady’s reasonable appeal for civility sits Elaine Clift, who claims in her usual toxic falsehood that Republicans are Nazis who must be militarily opposed. She writes:
The lessons of history include a close look at all dictatorships. In this moment, it is urgent that we consider Hitler’s rise to power. As Stanley and others make clear, Hitler and his minions were adept at using propaganda and lies to create a narrative that led to his election, and his subsequent hideous policies. German fascism didn’t arise overnight. Germany’s National Socialist Party began small, but extremely right-wing and anti-democratic, according to historians. Masked in nationalist rhetoric, its agenda resonated with people who felt worried and humiliated. They welcomed scapegoats. … Donald Trump co-opted a German slogan in “America First” as support for anti-immigration sentiments. … Now, finally, the media is listening to booming alarm bells and the military is preparing for an all-out coup that could happen in 2024, if not before.
That’s pretty silly. The National Socialist Party was “extremely right-wing,” says Elaine. But can Elaine Clift name a single white supremacist in Vermont? But that Liz Cady, what she said is so extreme, per the new fascists who rallied to attack her on facebook and elsewhere. Ironically, the point of Liz’s commentary was that saying no to hate means treating everyone as a person.
D’Aurio isn’t concerned — in most cases of oppression, the thugs are the majority, controlling newspapers with propaganda, infiltrating legislatures to eliminate legal protections for the targeted minority, and crafting dehumanizing labels and lies to inflict on innocent victims in a cacophony of hate. Free speech is especially restricted — among the marginalized minority, while the thugs speak openly. All of these conditions are visible in today’s Vermont, and it isn’t “right-wing” extremists who are the threat.
History teaches that fasicsm comes more often from the left than the right. As D’Auria et al. publicly excoriate Liz Cady for stating clear truths, an unfolding left-wing fascism is visible in the very attack. As one recovering leftist explains:
There is a solid conceptual argument backed by a body of evidence that Naziism, fascism and even white supremacy aren’t “right wing” at all, that they are creatures of the left and have been from the beginning. … “Many modern liberals and leftists act as if they know exactly what fascism is. What’s more, they see it everywhere – except when they look in the mirror. Indeed, the left wields the term like a cudgel to beat opponents from the public square like seditious pamphleteers.” … Understanding what fascism is and where it really sits also helps to crystallize what Antifa and BLM are all about, namely organizations of intimidation and violence that have borrowed (or perhaps reinvented) much from 1920s fascism, even down to some of the strange mannerisms like “black bloc” clothing and bizarre accoutrements. … A clear understanding of fascism and its proper placement at the far left yields a modified political spectrum with all forms of totalitarian statist materialism at one end and transcendent constitutionalism at the other, with your typical Western democracy floating still somewhere in the middle third.
Liz Cady is absolutely correct: Discrimination and bullying are rampant in Vermont. Vermonters who see people like Peter D’Auria for what they are should explain to him that we don’t appreciate fascism in the Green Mountains — never have. Vermonters don’t like thugs who abuse their paid positions and basic journalistic integrity to falsely gaslight and attack a mother and veteran’s wife who works as a volunteer to stand up against exactly this.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.