Mermel: Governor Scott, we appreciate you

This commentary is by Myers Mermel, president of the Ethan Allen Institute. He resides in Manchester.

On Friday, April 21, we saw a softening of relations between Gov. Phil Scott and Republican legislators. To honor the vigorous debate held by Republicans on S.5, the Affordable Heat Act, Governor Scott invited a number of Republican lawmakers to meet with him in his ceremonial office in the State House.

What a welcome event that was. Thank you, Governor Scott.

Myers Mermel

Myers Mermel is president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Governor Scott was a massive winner with 71% of the general vote this past November but remarkably Republicans treat him horribly. He should be setting the agenda but sadly most Republicans refuse to follow him. They call him weak or label him a RINO, but somehow they don’t understand that Governor Scott is the best thing anyone on the right has going for them.

He is a masterful executive. He finds the middle ground and works to make policies acceptable to everyone. He works at uniting us, not dividing us. His veto has been instrumental in holding a Clean Heat Standard at bay and has protected thousands of low and middle income Vermonters from expensive taxes and surcharges which they cannot afford.

His recent gesture of reconciliation creates a bridge for many in the state house who want to follow him. But loyalty runs both ways. If we continue to want his help and want him to be loyal to those on the right, we need to be loyal to him. Or at least respectful and grateful. That time starts now.

His fiscal responsibility and social liberalism are a right fit for Vermont. Social liberals support civil rights and equality for all, principles we can all agree upon. Governor Scott often is the voice of forgotten Vermonters and has become the conscience of the state.

Anyone who thinks that social conservatism is a winning philosophy in Vermont ought to go meet his or her neighbors. Just go meet people in your town and you will find the majority of them are socially liberal.

Vermonters are socially liberal and have been historically.  Revolution was popular here. It was so popular we fought two revolutions at once. It was a liberal idea. Abolition was popular here and willingness to fight for it by our men was unequalled. Another liberal idea. Temperance was popular here well before Prohibition. Liberal idea. Eugenics was popular. Again, another liberal idea. The Progressive Era and its regulatory, process, and governmental reforms were embraced here. All liberal.

Not all the liberal ideas were effective or honorable in hindsight, but most were. And the deficiencies of a few policies did not stop them from being popular at the time. Many of these policies grew into moral crusades. We see it afresh today as a new liberal policy, climate change, has become a type of moral crusade to some.

Yes, Republicans controlled the state for most of the 19th and the 20th century. But they were fiscal conservatives who at the same time presided over many socially liberal policies. Calls for us to return to the values of our ancestors miss the mark on what our ancestors actually accomplished.

Supporting a socially liberal Governor Scott doesn’t mean you have to abandon your principles. It means you realize that if you place social concerns above fiscal, we will see more legislation which imposes increasingly greater financial burdens and thereby punishes low and moderate income Vermonters. And we will continue to see the elitist takeover by the wealthy, operating as progressives, as exemplified by the changeover in Ascutney, where low and moderate-income Vermonters have been marginalized.  Wealthy homeowners, many people of the valleys, have transformed the perennially cash-strapped village into a New England version of Williamsburg. This despite the fact that real people, not re-enactors, live there and can’t afford their only general store which now features Wagyu beef as a staple. Unchecked progressive power will only lead to more of this across our state.

Transfer of power from folk migrations is not uncommon in America. It’s happening here. It’s ironic that those Vermonters who complain of foreign invasion are often those whose ancestors utilized New Hampshire grants to seize land. Another example of folk migration was the displacement of New Yorkers in the early 19th century when Connecticut Yankees pushed the Dutch out of the way. To the New Yorkers it was an unwelcome event. New York in 1820 was becoming “a colony from New England” said President Timothy Dwight of Yale with some glee.

Today, Vermont under modern progressive leadership is becoming a colony of New Jersey and New York, eager to pursue their excessive spending and taxation. Without an executive exercising fiscal responsibility, like Governor Scott, this inevitable folk migration will destroy the paradise our ancestors have built, and the one others have come to find.

A number of large spending programs have been proposed this legislative session and a number of them will become law. It wouldn’t be this way if we had more Representatives and Senators to sustain the Governor’s veto. But Vermonters haven’t voted for Republicans, for a myriad of reasons. Can you imagine where we would be if the Governor was not there to veto S. 5 and to shape other bills?

In a recent poll taken by the UNH Survey Center and published last month, Governor Scott remains popular, but his approval ratings have dropped. The poll found that 58% of Vermont residents approved of his job performance, 39% disapproved, and 3% weren’t sure. Governor Scott’s net approval rating (the difference between those who approve and those who disapprove) is +19. This is down from November’s net approval of +39.

Surprisingly it is his own party who approves of him least. 75% of Independents, 62% of Democrats, and only 46% of Republicans approve his job performance. Yet in November, Republicans had given him an approval rating of 66%. Republican approval of Governor Scott has slid almost a third in just four months. Republicans are his most tepid supporters, but the Governor is seeking to change that. Republicans need to heed his overtures of reconciliation.

Last week, Governor Scott attended the State Dinner for South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at the White House. He took his mother as his guest. It speaks volumes about how magnanimous his wife is in giving up her spot, but it also speaks to the kind of person the Governor is. How nice of him to take his mother. How well he represents our state. It is time for those on the right to get it together and follow his lead. Governor Scott, we appreciate you.

Images courtesy of Vermont National Guard and Myers Mermel

11 thoughts on “Mermel: Governor Scott, we appreciate you

  1. How is this guy running the only “conservative” institute in Vermont? His arrogance and contempt for conservatives is off the charts. Myers Mermel is literally commanding us to be “loyal” to Phil because lots of Democrats vote for him every 2 years.

    He writes like a failing 8th grader. “1820 was becoming “a colony from New England” said President Timothy Dwight of Yale with some glee.” What??

    “Surprisingly it is his own party who approves of him least.” It’s got to be surprising to Johnny-come-lately who showed up here from NYC in 2021, ran for US Senate in 2022, then became head of Ethan Allen 6 months later.

    “Republicans controlled the state for most of the 19th and the 20th century. But they were fiscal conservatives who at the same time presided over many socially liberal policies.” Poor Johnny never did his homework. Proctor wing Republicans wouldn’t be impressed. Luckily for this New Yorker, Mr. and Mrs. McClaughry are. Brown-nosing Phil will totally get his donors to save their institute. Totally.

  2. Amid Governor Scott’s plunging approval rating, surrogate Myers Mermel, President of Ethan Allen Institute, uses the official website to gaslight “tepid Republicans” that “supporting Governor Scott doesn’t mean you have to abandon your principles” and to command them with great hubris to “be loyal to Scott or at least respectful and grateful,” arrogantly pronouncing “that time starts now.”

    John Heywood said in 1546, “There are none so blind as those who will not to see.” Yale Divinity School MDiv. Myers Mermel “wills not to see” Governor Scott’s violation of our Constitutional rights, sedition, treason and crimes against humanity.

    This piece does not elevate Scott nor will it reverse his plunging approval rating. On the contrary, it degrades shameless, unprincipled Myers Mermel and Ethan Allen Institute for posting it on their website.

  3. Can you imagine the alternatives?…Gov. Zuckerman, Gov. Krowinski, Gov. Baruth, Gov. Lyons…

  4. If I knew how Myers really believed I never would have been a strong supporter of his. Phil Scott has been a disaster for the republican party and has been a major factor in having a democrat super majority. Phil while posing as a fiscal conservative has created a more bloated government by adding a number of high paid positions. He was the driving force in the misguided, unnecessary gun legislation. He was instrumental in paying people to move here who won’t be taking jobs here. And despite his lie that under his administration we have not added a new tax, taxing internet sales definitely was. Phil and Myers, when internet sales aren’t taxed and then they are, by definition that is a new tax no matter how you spin it.
    As for being a social liberal, yes, some changes needed to be made but a lot was carried too far such an entire bureaucracy for diversity and equity.
    Thanks to Phil’s “leadership” we see the last republican elected to statewide office.

  5. Considering the writer spent four decades money-changing in the highstakes world of real estate and investment houses in Manhattan, this reads exactly as one would expect from a belt-way insider. Phil Scott carries many water pails for wealthy investors and donors here and abroad. Ethan Allen is rolling in his grave.

  6. You can completely see why Vermont is in the failing disaster that is in..

    With “Republicans” like this, you may as well say you have none -at the top.

    Meanwhile, in Oklahoma- the land of real Republicans- they just put a man in prison for life for grooming an at risk teenage girl and then trying to marry her… so one predator is off the street.
    This is how problems are solved by people with brains, backbones, and the political desire to actually save lives and promote peace, safety and tranquility within the state so that people can thrive in safety.
    Vermont has the complete opposite going on and it’s destroying the state.
    Vermont and their sad-sack “Republications” allow the conditions to be created that creates, encourages and protects all this evil.. by people just like this!

    Crooks, perverts and Communists LOVE “Republicans” that just go right along with them..

  7. And what part do you appreciate most..

    The fact that he madeVermont a sanctuary state?

    The fact that he had black lives matter painted bigger in front of our state capitol?

    The fact that he calls vermonters racists?

    The fact that he and the rinos got together and started a petition to remove Trump from office early.

    Or the fact that he voted for Joe Biden and supports the Biden agenda including the child trafficking and the mutilation of children..

    No thanks I hope at some point he’s held responsible for his crimes against humanity

      • At any other time in history, the little people (us) would have already had the pitch forks out, the tar heating on the fire and chickens being plucked for the injustices of the overlords bestowed upon the people. Remember the story of Robin Hood? The people are not happy, here and all over the country. The nation has been hijacked for greed and power. We have all seen this play out before. The people will not be broken by an arrogant group of flat landers here to punish us to save the world and line their pockets at the expense of the least able to afford their taxes.

        While all law abiding people want peace and harmony, we are being backed against the wall. Unconstitutional laws call for civil disobedience. Can they arrest us all for not complying? Who will enforce laws that go against the 4th amendment, the 2nd amendment and our Vermont constitution? Where does the legislature get it’s power to nullify constitutional rights? They all took an oath to defend it, remember? Since when did the state have the right to take your children from your care unless they were being abused? Vermont has a powerless governor who abandoned his supporters, did nothing to help republicans gain more seats in the legislature of his party and signed the 1st unconstitutional gun laws ever in the safest state in the union. He is not a leader of the people. I used to be a supporter until the governor left the party and the principals of our very own constitution, customs and the freedom to live our lives as we wish as free people. I don’t recall anything in our constitution that allows a group of unelected boards and committees of having the power to alter the lives of the people of Vermont without first being elected by the people. As citizens, we have an obligation to vote these arrogant legislators out of office and to elect representatives of the people for the benefit of Vermont.

        When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. These words of the preamble to the declaration of independence were sent to the king of England in 1776, these same words describe that it is the duty of the people to change the course of their lives when their leaders lose their respect for the governed. While not as important as the issues leading to the Revolutionary War, these words are as important today in this tiny state that has been taken over by out of state, ego driven, arrogant people to control and rule over the people of Vermont to enact an agenda paid for by the special interests that paid for them and a complicate media no longer an unbiased free press to inform the people of the truth.

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