John Klar: The Spirit of 2026

I recall clearly the year 1976, when under President Gerald Ford, America celebrated its bicentennial with great patriotic fervor. Events highlighted our Constitution and Revolutionary War struggles, and the “Spirit of 1776” was renewed. The nation was recovering from the OPEC oil embargo, which contributed to the frightening specter of stagflation. We also were rebounding from the divisive issues surrounding the Vietnam War. The hopeful recognition of our country’s history served to unite and encourage Americans of all political stripes.

John Klar

The nation is confronting stagflation pressures once again — spiking interest rates combined with a declining economy. The political turmoil that divides us today is perhaps even more intense than the divisiveness of Vietnam, though many say that was even more bitter.

2026 will mark 250 years since our nation’s founding, and we face not one but two more elections between now and then. In the five decades since the bicentennial, much has indeed changed — technology has advanced astonishingly, the nation’s economic primacy has weakened, and the whimsical television of “The Waltons” and “Little House on the Prairie” has given way to violent video games and pornographic pop music.

Yet I pray that our nation will again unite across political and social lines to celebrate the unique place America has occupied in human history. Elevating individual rights above the group is what has set this nation apart. Despite tribalism and conflict, that recognition of the primacy of the individual as the center of our jurisprudence and creed must remain the core of what America stands for, unlike nations like China and Russia that have demonstrated what happens when group-think takes hold: tens of millions of people were starved or slaughtered in those nations, far more than in Hitler’s Holocaust.

As I travel the hills of the Green Mountains, I see many American flags that celebrate these foundational principles of liberty and the rule of law. While there are extremists on both sides who would attack the pillars of American exceptionalism, the majority of Americans and Vermonters still seek that common ground and mutual respect that has ensured for 246 years that “United We Stand.”

At the recent Tunbridge World’s Fair, I was heartened by the numerous patriotic T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies that proudly displayed the colors of our American creed — flags, but also red, white and blue slogans of Americana at its best. More, I saw great hope in how many young people sported these symbols as expressions of enjoyment of the fair and the many blessings of enjoying public gatherings like Tunbridge Fair, which themselves celebrate our agriculture and Vermont culture. (Tunbridge Fair celebrated its 150th year in 2022, and my family of Brookfield, Vermont Stoddards have been attending loyally for all that time).

We must all come together in that patriotic hope, in the creed that has united our communities, states and individuals since 1776. When we find common ground in today’s struggles against racism, economic decline, fiscal problems, food security and other societal challenges, we discover that what has bonded us together for all this time can still serve and nurture our communities in 2026 and beyond.

Let’s celebrate as Americans every year!

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “John Klar: The Spirit of 2026

  1. Mr. Esheslman,

    Thank you for the opportunity to address the truly distrubing new Trump Q-Anon connections.
    Q-Anon is an American political conspircacy movement started in 2017 based on the claims made by an anonymous individual or individuals known as “Q”. The core of QAnon theory is that a cabal of Satanic, cannibalistic sexual abusers of children operating a global child sex trafficking ring conspired against from President Trump during his term in office.

    This past Tuesday Trump re-posted an image of himself with a Q pin an added the line the “Storm is Coming” The storm refers to the Q belief that when Trump regains power his oppenents will be tried and potentially executed on live T.V.

    Yesterday a three judge panel ( including two judges appointed by Trump) ruled the DOJ can proceed with its use of classified records taken from Trump’s private home in its criminal investigation. No other President has taken and kept government documents, much less classified documents, for their private use without first receiving approval.

    Donald Trump represents one direction for the Republican party to go. There are better paths for the party and our nation to follow. Certainly focusing the 2022 election on Donald Trump is not the best that can be done.

  2. Mr. Klar,

    Appreciate the more postive tone you have taken in your election campaign compared with some of your earlier harsher and grievanced laced commentaries. It should serve you well in your quest to become Orange Coutny Senator.

    The Republican party is at a crossroads. It can either follow Donald Trump down the path he seems to be heading embracing Q-Anon conspiriacies and outlandish ideas such as his recent statement that he can declassify documents just by thinking it in his mind, or focus on individual responsibility, providing opportunity, rule of law and fiscal responsibility which have been the core beliefs of the Republican Party since its inception.

    • .There he (Freitag) goes again. What Q-Anon conspiracy is Freitag talking about? I’m just asking. Trump’s handling of presidential documents is similar to the process afforded former president Clinton when he stored audio tapes recorded during his presidency in his sock drawer.

      “Judge ruled in 2012 that a president’s discretion to declare records “personal” is far-reaching and mostly unchallengeable.”

      A U.S. District judge in Washington D.C. concluded that there was no provision in the Presidential Records Act to force the National Archives to seize records from a former president.

      Freitag’s conspiracy theories seem no different from those of the unhinged Q-Anon nuts he continually rants about.

      “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

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