This letter is by Keith Stern, of North Springfield. He is a businessman and former gubernatorial candidate.
I haven’t been a successful candidate, but I did try and learn from my experiences. I’ve tried to share my obtained knowledge, but unfortunately it has fallen on deaf ears, to the detriment of the GOP.
I warned people about Phil Scott, but people said it was important to have a Republican in office. We did have an R in the governor’s office but he never showed people what conservatism is all about, because he doesn’t actually believe in it himself. He claimed to be a proponent of small government while actually expanding it with several useless new offices and new $100,000 plus employees. Now when people look at a true Republican, they see someone who is an extremist.
I warned people against voting for Gerald Malloy in the primary because his abortion stance alone it made him a very weak candidate. A very active conservative candidate and I discussed his performance in the first debate with Peter Welch, and both of us had turned it off, seeing such a poor performance by him. I had hoped to see Gerald run for governor, but after his very poor showing I think that chance has passed.
I tried telling people that the only hope to defeat Becca Balint in the U.S. House race was to support Madden. I said if he were elected he would be much easier to defeat than Balint. People didn’t listen.
Many have now given up, and I am just barely hanging on. I have observed that running on a message of lower taxes and cost of living won’t get it done since the majority just don’t care about that.
So what is left? The left has done a fantastic job of convincing Vermonters that the GOP is the party of the wealthy and doesn’t care about others, even though the opposite is the case. That image has to be changed in people’s minds. That is key now to reversing the trend.
One thing I proposed is to change the image of the VT GOP. One way to do this is to get involved in the public by doing the things that people can see. Picking up trash along roads and in parks, volunteering to help the elderly or impaired people with errands, small home repairs, and the like.
Getting on the ballot at election time and saying we are the party that cares is not going to get it done.