John Klar: Operation Whack-a-mole — Stage One complete

By John Klar

The election has passed. I now disclose my long-term plan to restore a conservative voice to Vermont’s political landscape, to offset progressive domination. There has been no secret to this plan — it is hardly devious. Indeed, it offers reconciliation and community in place of division and hate.

The Vermont Democrats might wish to protest the characterization of them as hateful and divisive, but that is precisely what they have been. They have discovered political success in maligning their neighbors, our state and our culture — but that “success” is profoundly short-sighted, and so will be short-lived as well.

For some years now conservatives have tolerated Vermont’s progressive elite defining us as misogynistic, racist destroyers of the environment. In actuality, conservatives are not any of these things, and this dehumanization of fellow citizens by the Democrats will come back to haunt them — either they are wrong to misjudge and attack people and will repent; or, those on the right will sink to that level, and some already have. Either way it is worse than a dead-end — it is a vicious downward spiral.

John Klar

I set out over a year ago seeking to reverse this partisan deterioration. Instead of seeking social issues to label and divide citizens, I sought issues that would unite people in common cause — pensions, schools, taxes, economic growth, opioids. These are also issues that conservatives can champion without compromising their core beliefs.

Another example is “supporting the police.” Some have attacked our police and called to eliminate or “defund” their services, politicizing police support as an either/or issue. But many Democrats support the police; and many police are Democrats. If Republicans attempted to “own” the public safety issue, we’d simply devolve into the same divisiveness as the left, and leave most Vermonters in the middle — alienated by both parties. We know that Democrats want their daughters protected from rapists and drunk drivers, and their homes secure from arsonists and burglars, as much as we. Let’s seek common ground with our neighbors, purposefully.

The other important task for conservatives has been to unify our message. Over 1,300 bills were introduced in the Vermont House this year. Instead of a candidates running on a myriad of individual platforms, I proposed that the Vermont GOP focus on issues that 1) were of highest priority to voters, and 2) were conservative strengths. We need not try to become something we are not in order to win votes, because if we do that we are no longer conservatives. But also, our state needs what we offer, and not just for one side — for all.

Meanwhile, the progressives in 2020 did exactly what we expected them to do — pushed an ideological social agenda despite the very real economic threats that have unfolded under COVID-19. This is what I call “Whack-a-mole” — calling these detached dreamers out on their utter failure to lead Vermonters in what will soon unfold as the greatest economic disaster to ever befall this nation. Indeed, we will see — as we whack this mole for the next two years — that Vermont is particularly vulnerable to this economic tsunami due to gross mismanagement, and that our Legislature stubbornly refused to take any steps whatsoever to shield the citizenry. (Indeed, the progressives seized on COVID-19 as grounds to expand government spending and taxes even more.)

Vermonters, let’s whack some moles! How badly underfunded is the Vermont State Employees pension fund, now that Beth Pearce has been reelected to continue her demonstrated mismanagement of those investments. When I began this campaign, I knew it would be extremely challenging to fund those pensions. In view of COVID-19, I now question whether it will be possible to do so, and as I have written (and contrary to the false comfort embraced by state employees) the government is not legally obligated to pay those promises if things go belly up.

So let’s play Whack-a-mole: When the pensions fail, and those state workers and union representatives (who refused to meet or talk with me over the last year) panic, who will they blame for their lost futures? Donald Trump? Vermont’s Republican Party? They own what they broke, and they doubled down in 2020, refusing to even consider an increase in funding for pensions. The shortfall in pension funding is astronomical for the state with the smallest economy in America, and Vermonters haven’t been told what that deficiency is post-COVID. What an embarrassing failure, that is only growing much worse. How many billions of dollars are the state pension funds deficient? Whack that mole!

In 2022, Vermont’s budget will be in total disarray, and many programs will need to be cut. We will remind voters that instead of balancing the budget in 2020 when it was known that Vermont was $459 million in the red, the Legislature unconstitutionally expanded government power under the GWSA; granted $5 million to undocumented foreigners; awarded COVID relief funds to minority-owned businesses while denying them to white sole proprietors (the definition of systemic racism); favored a political campaign by liberals (under the BLM banner) on public property and in our schools, while excluding any competing voices; called all Vermonters and our ancestors bigots and white supremacists. All while ignoring the economic calamity that unfolded (it didn’t match their well-laid ideological plans, and they sure weren’t going to let a currency collapse get in the way of rescuing urban blacks from their abject suffering in Vermont). Whack-a-mole.

Has a political party ever been more out of touch with reality than the Vermont Democrats in 2020? In hindsight, Vermonters will see that this was criminal negligence. Also in that hindsight, they will see that we with common sense warned loudly of the coming collapse. The record is clear, and cannot be re-written.

In 2022, we must recruit yet more qualified conservative candidates for office. Voters will see that disconnected bullies in Montpelier have burdened them with monstrous regulatory and tax burdens instead of safeguarding fiscal health. What will the progressives tell voters in 2022? That now they will fund the pensions? That now they will balance the budget? That this time they will listen to the suffering and try to reduce taxes? The left in 2022 will have zero credibility on any of these issues — which is much more credibility than they deserve. They will have earned “negative goodwill” for their betrayal of all Vermonters. Our job is to fix their mess and prove that we really want to help everyone — we don’t claim partisan ownership of balanced budgets: we just wish Democrats would strive to comprehend the concept.

In 2022, Vermont conservatives must offer a credible voice on how to improve the lives of all Vermonters economically; of how to address racism without starting a new racism; of bolstering pensions for all Vermonters (both taxpayers and beneficiaries, of whatever political stripe); improving school performance and costs for all Vermonters; in addressing the opioid crisis (at root also a fundamentally economic problem) for all Vermonters; of protecting the ecosystem for all.

I’m ready to put my mouth where my money is, Vermonters. I’m willing to predict an economic calamity based on decades of study and common sense. In times of trouble, we need leadership with foresight, not hindsight. Not the “Oh, no one could have seen that coming” baloney. How could our leadership not have seen what was coming, as they tripped over one another to gobble up federal “relief funds” to magnanimously dole out to us? Did they tighten our state’s bureaucratic belt at all while our businesses closed and people suffered? Nope. They have been stupefyingly clueless. Whack-a-mole!

The liberals heard us in 2020, but plugged their ears and screamed “BLM” and “climate change.” In 2022, they will hear us again, only this time perhaps they won’t be plugging up their ears so fiercely, as reality will have descended. Maybe they will learn that economic stability is important for urban black lives, and that the environment drops to the bottom of the priority list when there is no money to clean it up because the government is insolvent. The world has turned upside down, and conservatives offer legitimate insights on how to right it.

Stage One of Operation Whack-a-mole has gone exceptionally well — we have vocally raised the alarm about pensions, taxes, and unconstitutional expansions of power in Vermont. Assisting us greatly have been overzealous progressives, who refused to bend their predetermined plans — some even chortled how great COVID-19 was, to slow global warming! We will remind voters again and again, to the consternation of our elitist progressive rulers, of this stellar blindness of our “leadership” when we most needed them. This is Stage Two of Operation Whack-a-mole, and it starts now.

Our short-term future is not about abortion, cannabis or gun rights — it’s about living within our means. Vermont’s bureaucracy has not been living within the means of the taxpayers — it has become a fiscal tumor that doesn’t even acknowledge that it has to answer to We the People. That imbalance cannot be easily reversed, especially if hyperinflation hits and the consequences of this buffoonery become evident. This progressive government has failed Vermonters, but this problem will be remedied in 2022, with skilled conservatives at the helm.

Now get out there and whack some moles!

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

Image courtesy of Public domain

22 thoughts on “John Klar: Operation Whack-a-mole — Stage One complete

  1. Too harsh? Thin-skinned much lol. John Klar is irrepressibly buoyant – in fact the sunniest of all TNR contributers an example and an inspiration. This is one of his finest. Led and nearly single-handedly organized winning conservatives to help take back our state from Marxist control of the Democrat Party – this is no small feat – it is huge.

    Democrats “turned off” is no surprise as Mr Klar is an existential threat to their powermad control-freakish plans for our state. If they’re reachable at all their skin is not that thin. Litany of our state’s to-do items is just plain common sense. And sad to see he must make the list as our leaders are the ones hired to serve our state.

    Anyone who thinks this is “harsh” clearly on the side of the zero-sum game plotted by the Democrat Party. Who’s tearing our state and nation apart – Trump supporters lol? It’s in fact the Hezbolla-like terrorist hirelings of the Democrat Party – Antifa.

    Pls take a look in your own political backyard if ya wanna see harsh. Very few news reports from MSM of innocent ppl including children severely wounded, raped & killed. Wonderful LE gunned down by rioters masquerading as “Peaceful Protesters” who have been found to be largely non-residents as Democrats and assorted leftists look the other way showing their complicity.

  2. #supporttrumpdumpfoxnews

    Traitors and sell outs don’t deserve our time or money, spread the news

    • Hear you Neil 😀 Tho I believe this is top-down as RMs prints are all over this, feeling the backlash imho – have remarkably become quietly attuned and empathetic to Trump and ongoing fraud occuring.

      The wackjob who called it for AZ is a dyed-in-wool-Dem and should never have been near the crucial position of decision desk. Fox and Friends are more likely to report the truth. Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Liz MacDonald, Dagen MacDowell and others on Fox Business are on it. Tucker, Hannity and Laura are not buying the BS either – I wan’t to support the good guys and leave it on mute for the day shows. In the end still believe Trump prevails.

      • Here are a few examples of what was going on in Baier’s replies…
        Uh…no way! @newsmax @SchmittNYC ALL THE WAY!

        No thanks


        That’s a big negative

        nope – done with Fox!


        You have lost this loyal viewer! Trying to influence an outcome that is clearly not legitimate!

        How about no! Done with Fox!!

        I’d rather get another vasectomy without anesthesia sir

        Done with fox! You sold out on us! Good luck!

        Sorry Bret. Fox has jumped the shark. We won’t forget.

        Yikes the ratio on this. May want to pass that along to Murdoch’s.

        And now Baier has scurried away and deleted the tweet…

        “To me the deletion is just more proof that Fox News is in real trouble and feels besieged. The backlash is so fierce, so grassroots, so overwhelming, Baier is forced to wishcast it all away with the cowardly deletion of a tweet — as though that somehow means it didn’t happen.”

      • It’s working – shocked – shocked! lol:
        Fox News Ratings Crashed on Saturday
        By Kristinn Taylor
        Published November 9, 2020 at 11:58am 405 Comments
        “The Fox News Channel crashed in ratings on Saturday, coming in a distant third place to leader CNN and second place MSNBC. In the week before Tuesday’s election Fox News averaged more than double the viewership of CNN and MSNBC”
        The Fox News Channel crashed in ratings on Saturday, coming in a distant third place to leader CNN and second place MSNBC. In the week before Tuesday’s election Fox News averaged more than double the viewership of CNN and MSNBC

    • to recover if even possible believe they will have to offer an apology for AZ – fire and call out the DNC plant that made the call, sh-can John Roberts and Chris Wallace possibly relegating CW to the backwater of Fox Nation w his own little “column” and show over there. Better yet hopefully CNN will hire him to restore credibility to the network and lead them thru the rubble to what they once were – a better class of losers lol?

  3. This article is on point. I think the potential for pensions to go unpaid could get a lot more people paying attention. It seems there’s a, “they’ll figure it out” mentality around the pension deficit but VT government has knowingly let this happen and is certainly not above “going belly up”.

  4. Thank you Mr. Klar for this insightful piece.

    While your rhetoric is a little harsh and outside a forum such as this may turn off some of the people you hope to reach, your analysis of the economic fragility of our state is all too true. One thing you did leave out though is the role Senator Leahy has plaid in funneling vast sums of federal dollars to Vermont. This too can not last forever and there will be consequences when the spigot is turned off.

    It will be an extremely interesting legislative session when some of the economic reality you have pointed out will have to be dealt with. Will they be able to patch things together for one more year or will they have the courage to make needed changes?

    In any case, please keep writing. Yours and Mr. McClaughry’s commentary provide much needed food for thought and action.

  5. Really great article and vision.

    I would suggest really working to build up traffic at this website.
    When more people are here than at the Digger, you’ll know you are getting somewhere.
    And this place should switch over to Disqus.. for all its warts, it’s the best out there for people to openly talk back and forth.
    People have got to be able to meet, talk, read, communicate, organize.
    Keep eachother aware of what is going on around them. Build a Community.

    We don’t have a media anymore, so WE ARE THE MEDIA and this site should change out the commenting platform to better allow that to happen. There is no one looking out for us now except for us.. and you need a place to go and do this.
    THIS is how you win John Klar, by building a counter culture.. and it should start here.
    Your people are here.

    • Hi Laura – I cannot use my screenname on Disqus – don’t think they allow anonymous accounts.

      Possibly cannot sign up bc I use a private email provider outside of the US which blocks receivers of my email and tech companies like Disqus from accessing my personal data which like the DMV and other govt agencies likely sell and share w govt and spammers – data is the new oil rush – I get zero spam and use identifying names for different accounts so if I did get spam I’d know where it came from.

      Also do not use the accounts offered on their sign-up screen – Twitter or FB. Email account has been rejected by Kmart and a couple of other vendors so obviously up to no good.

  6. John, great article, and I’m glad you still have a vision for Vermont,
    Vermonters will not forget you in the next election…………………

    The GOP needs to start today in recruiting new vibrant candidates for
    the future of Vermont, with the progressive leadership or lack thereof
    that we have in Montpelier that’s killing the state.

  7. As usual with John, every thought, every word, every explanation is perfection; except for the always avoided, the ever-growing elephant in the room that liberals keep feeding: the energy plan.

      • We have an energy plan- they don’t like it, so what.
        They are free to live off grid and ride a horse to work.

    • I have written extensively about 1) the problems with supposedly “renewable energy” relating to viability, net pollution, etc.; 2) the fact that these only shift, rather than reduce, consumption; 3) the need for more effective appeals to personal responsibility to reduce actual consumption rather than merely consume in the false delusion that one has effected change; 4) the role of sustainable agriculture in pollution reduction, especially for Vermont.

      And other stuff… 🙂

      • John Klar: I am very curious about what the recycling plans for all these solar panels and windmills look like, and bear in mind we are talking about some 20 years out, or whenever a solar panel reaches the end of it’s lifespan.
        Consider that we can’t even get rid of certain things NOW, nevermind that far out into the future. There are abandoned windmills all over the world. If it was so easy to recycle these, then why would this be the case?
        What Right do we have to dump this mountain of a problem onto the next generation?
        I know people that have worked with solar panels and they are saying this is a brewing disaster.
        What is going to be in the soils at the bases of 25 year old solar panels arrays?
        They thought lead paint was safe too at one point.
        What will happen to certain bird species after 25 years of windmills chopping them up, how about the fact that these birds eat mosquitos and their larvae, and with more mosquito borne illness, we need these birds! So how about that loss because of these stupid windmills.

        It took you a loan to get them, and it will take a loan to get rid of them!
        And then, just like septic systems, they’ll make it so that people can’t sell a house with a solar array approaching the end of it’s life..
        If you can’t see all this, then you don’t know these people. Because I see it all..
        It’s the same plan as many they’ve had, change the product, rinse and repeat.

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