Lee Zeldin to Vermonters: ‘Red waves are not created by telling everybody what we are against’

Michael Bielawski/TNR

LEE ZELDIN: A former state and federal representative who recently ran for governor of New York State, Lee Zeldin is largely credited with igniting a ‘red wave’ in New York in 2022.

While he didn’t win the race for New York governor last fall, Lee Zelden is largely credited with helping multiple GOP federal and state candidates win in the Empire State, including four U.S. House members.

On Thursday, the Chittenden County Republicans welcomed Zeldin, a former U.S. Congressman, to South Burlington to share his insights on how to win in blue states.

Engage with the voters

“No matter what level of the government you are at, no matter what your position is, you should always be listening to what the voters, the constituents in your area have to say, for and against,” Zeldin told True North in an interview ahead of his speech. “You listen to their arguments, engage them, explain your position.”

He said when implementing public policy it’s important to ask yourself a question: ‘What is going to be the net impact in 5 or 10 years after its implementation?’

“Right now they have a ban in New York on the extraction of natural gas, they will not approve new pipeline applications that are collecting dust,” Zeldin said. “They are proposing a statewide ban on new gas hookups, and regardless of whether or not there’s a lot of noise coming directly at you as a legislator or as a governor, it is your duty to think long-term — 5, 10, 20, 30, years down the road.”

Where was the red wave?

Zeldin said he thought the much-anticipated “red wave” of a Republican takeover of Congress and numerous state offices never materialized because the party wasn’t offering enough solutions — instead it was too focused on the failings of the Democratic Party.

“Republicans did not deserve a red wave nationally,” Zeldin said to the audience. “I don’t blame Democrats for why Republicans did not have a red wave nationally. … Red waves are not created by telling everybody what we are against, it’s about us telling people what we stand for.”

He compared what didn’t happen in 2022 to when the red wave of 1984.

“It was what we stood for that had Americans wanting that; they knew what they were investing in, they knew what they were going to get,” Zeldin said.

Don’t pander

Zeldin said he discourages pandering to voters based on their backgrounds.

“It doesn’t work and it should work,” he said to the audience. “But when I was showing up at these Democratic areas that haven’t seen a Republican in a really long time, and they’ll say we need to make these streets where you live safe and here is exactly how we are going to get it done, we need to improve the quality of education inside of your kids’ schools.”

He said emphasizing policy messages rather than pandering to certain groups is key to political success.

More socialism in state government

New York is even bluer than Vermont, with just over 20 percent Republican versus about 30 percent om Vermont. Yet Zeldin helped start a movement that is tangibly having an impact on federal policy thanks to the four New York seats Republicans won in 2022.

“New York leads the entire nation in out-migration,” he said. “We have similar issues between New York and Vermont, with similar people in charge, similar policies. When I was in the state Senate just over a decade ago with 215 state legislators, if I walked up to any state legislator and I accused them of being a socialist, every single one of them would have taken that as a hyperbolic partisan insult.

“Now take a field trip over to Albany and there are a couple of dozen state legislators, if you accuse them of not being a socialist, they will correct you.”

Zeldin added:  “There are Democrats in New York who are not happy about the direction of their state. … They are not going to vote for us unless you show up.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

2 thoughts on “Lee Zeldin to Vermonters: ‘Red waves are not created by telling everybody what we are against’

  1. Well, you need a team, a message that solves the problems and needs of the people. One needs to know the playing field of this game.

    Many of said people are being handsomely rewarded by the tea in charge and are unlikely to change unless one can address to them why we need change. Saying their tam is bad, while it fills their pockets with money and power is going to be very ineffective.

    There are many lies told, their is much oppression via the cancel culture. This cancel culture may get compliance, but people still have a private chance to vote against their oppressors. How would a biology teacher nearing their retirement vote?

    The underlining problems of VERMONT are not being addressed. Spiritually and politically Vermont is in a very dark place. Those whom are “benefitting” from this arrangement are enjoying the short term, soul sucking, yet pleasure of immediate gratification of power, money and in some cases sexual fantasies dictated by our laws and constitution no less!

    You can eat jelly doughnuts for every meal, but will you be better for it? You can have sex with everyone in town, but will you know love? You can live off the state but will you be free? Will you know the feeling of a good days work?

    Such is the dark place we find ourselves. It’s an easy problem, we only need to flip the light switch, demonstrate our love aand speak the truth. Some will scream and protest when we do this, not to be alarmed, it’s a normal reaction of a reprobate mind.

    There is a small part of them, that knows the truth, have patience.

    • Vermont is very close to this situation….

      Markovsky is, of course, in part lamenting a phenomenon outlined in a passage often attributed to Scottish historian Alexander Tytler.

      “A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury,” the quotation goes. “From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

      quote from the below linked article…tis the ball field we are playing in….


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