Paul Dame: Democrats blame people, Republicans blame policies

This commentary is by Paul Dame, chair of the Vermont GOP.

One of the differences between the Democrat and Republican parties is not only our different solutions to the challenges that face us in today’s economy, but more importantly a fundamental difference in how the two parties identify the causes of those problems. Democrats blame bad people, Republicans blame bad policies.

Paul Dame, chairman of the Vermont GOP

If you listen to most of the Democrat talking points you would hear that we can blame Vladimir Putin, or maybe greedy gas station owners for high gas prices, white cops are to blame for racism, anti-vaxxers are to blame for COVID deaths, parents are to blame for contentious school board meetings, greedy landlords are to blame for high rents, the rich are to blame for poverty and old people are to blame for driving up house prices because they keep living so long and occupying them.  With so many groups to blame it’s no wonder so many people seem so angry these days!

Democrats usually see a particular group of people as the problem, so their solution is either to eliminate that person or group of people — or compel them by force to behave differently. That’s why Democrats are becoming the party of punishment. They see every challenge we face as pitting one group against another, and so often their solution is to eliminate, or hinder one of the two groups. They talk about punishing greedy oil companies with an unexpected windfall tax, or punishing cops by removing qualified immunity, punishing parents by calling the FBI on them, or increasing property taxes until fixed-income seniors have to move out of state.

Meanwhile Republicans view the world very differently. We believe that everyone is trying to do the best they can working within the limitations they have. Instead of blaming bad people we look for bad policies that push people in a certain way and try to address the cause of the problem, not just attack the symptoms. We see the clamp down on oil and gas drilling along with the termination of the Keystone Pipeline as a significant factor in high gas prices. Rampant government deficit spending is causing inflation. We see the rental and housing problems as being a policy that drastically restricts supply while demand increases. There isn’t some group of mysterious boogeymen with waxed mustaches plotting our demise. It’s a simple fix that we have the ability to address ourselves, if we only have enough people working together with us to change the policy. We’ve got good people who are just stuck under bad policy.

This means that Republicans can actually offer solutions that reduce the harm and animosity that we are all getting overloaded with in today’s political environment. When Democrats blame groups of people, the only solution is to basically get rid of those people, or somehow disenfranchise them. If a group of people is the cause of the problem, they can’t solve it unless they go after “those people” in one way or another. Meanwhile Republicans offer solutions that can be implemented without pushing anyone out of the conversation. In addition, our policies can sometimes be implemented when we are in the minority, but have enough influence with like-minded independents to make a policy change.

The Republican approach to fixing problems is producing amazing results across the country.  Places like Florida, Texas, Tennessee and others are all experiencing strong economic growth and attracting talent from across the country. Meanwhile places like California, New York and Illinois are struggling sometimes just to keep their streets clean and safe. And the 2020 census confirmed what many suspected; people are moving to states where legislatures set good policy, instead of hunting for a new group of bad people.

Vermont is and always has been home to me, and I truly believe there is no other place like it on earth. We do not have a problem with our people here — but we do have a problem with some of our policies and the direction they have been going. For over 20 years Democratic majorities in Montpelier haven’t been able to fix the problems of housing or jobs because they are either unwilling or unable to see that it’s the policies we are pursuing (or fail to pursue) that are the problem.

The Vermont Republican Party is running dozens of candidates for local House and Senate seats to help address this imbalance in power and work to help put every Vermonter in a better place.

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8 thoughts on “Paul Dame: Democrats blame people, Republicans blame policies

  1. Really good feedback as well…..thank you all
    and yes compromise is a must to get thru these trying times; or so I think

  2. ok my new title……
    Current Administration blames People
    We try to Address the Cause of the Problem to find workable solutions!!

  3. I havent even read the article yet……and I have a “Title” issue. Blame is a poor word to use against this current administration…..I’m not any party and resent having to “choose” a ballot to vote primary (I say save a tree or 3 and put all on 1 ballot with the little r, or d, or i…….or any other dang letter you want!!
    back to title……yes indeed there is alot of blame happening from the administration as of now……..that has to change.
    state the cause of the issue (s), the effect of the issue (s) and a potential solution with great care to perfectly blunt. We the people are NOT stupid, we, or most of us can see right thru all the Rederic, lies, omissions……..say it like it is and say it loud over and over……..now I’ll read…….

  4. People are the problem because People make Policy.

    Blaming policy is the proverbial red herring. Blame the collective. Blame the government. Blame the policy.

    Policies change. People, not so much. In a free market (be it personal, political, or economic), some people are independent, they support choice, and accept responsibility for their policies. Others, be they Republicans or Democrats, hide behind the universal collective, criticize anything and everything but themselves, and demand uniformity.

    Milton Freidman said it best. “The great virtue of a free market system is ….. it only cares whether [people] can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”

    Unless and until these two precepts are fully understood by all, conflict is inevitable, because a universal, authoritarian collective cannot survive while any independent free markets exist.

  5. Finger-pointing or blame, it all goes in one direction and that’s the current ” Gaggle Of Fools ”
    we currently have running the government, running it into the ground !!

    Until the state gets some real legislators that understand how to run a business and balance
    the books, yes the state is a business, and if it was a business in the public domain it would
    have filed for bankruptcy years ago, agenda-driven legislation is all we have……. Pathetic !!

    Tax and Spend, and they wonder why people are leaving the state……..fools in charge.

  6. I was the Chittenden County Platform Delegate that helped write the Platform that Vt State GOP members voted to follow on April 30th, 2022.
    Mr. Dame’s claim that ” we do not have a problem with our people here ” is because Mr. Dame, Tom Koch the Rules Committee Chair and two thirds of the members at the Platform meeting on April 30th approved a Platform that they do not adhere to, or expect anyone else to adhere to.

    Full disclosure ; Mr. Dame defeated me in the election for State GOP Chair. I am also working with more than a few great Vermont candidates running for elected office.
    Full disclosure Part 2 ; I resigned from The State GOP Platform Committee and from the Essex Republican Committee.

    I introduced an Amendment on two occasions that would have provided the GOP Membership the opportunity to remove all support and endorsement from any elected office holder or candidate for violating the language of the VTGOP Platform.
    Both times my Amendment was defeated by a two to one margin.

    Mr. Dame, Mr. Koch and the members that voted against my Amendment and still to this day are protecting the seven people that have betrayed their responsibilities to Real VT Republicans.
    The language in the Platform is clear, this is from the Conclusion of the VTGOP Platform ;
    ” While individual Republicans may hold diverse opinions in some areas, such differences should not deflect from advancing the principles that unite us as a party. ”

    Governor Scott is as much a Republican as Sanders. You need a calculator to total the number of times he has spit in the face of Real VT Republicans. His 70% support from democrats and his 100% rating from planned parenthood are just two of them.
    The real damage being done to the Republican Party of VT are the actions of Benning, who voted for Prop 5 twice and says he will in November. The five State Representatives who voted for Prop 5 to advance it to the Ballot in November ; Beck, Sheuermann, Walker, Martin and Leffler.
    Section 4, line 5 of the Platform states in part ; We value the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.
    Couldn’t be any clearer, but Mr. Dame, Mr. Koch and the members that voted twice to protect these seven people prove they don’t stand for anything.
    The democrats do attack each other if one tries to speak out or goes against the agenda.
    Mr. Dame and Mr. Koch prove anyone can claim to be a Republican, and they will support them.
    Platform be damned.

    • I personally believe in the sanctity of life from conception until natural death, as do you from the sounds of it. Unfortunately, so many other people have a different opinion. Until we can educate enough people about the value of human life, I’m afraid we have no choice but to find compromise even though it’s heart wrenching and against what I know to be true.

      If we stand a chance at getting the message out that killing innocent life is wrong the same as murder is wrong, then division won’t do us any good. What would a figure like Jesus do to try to convince them?

      I respect your decision to hold to your principles. The bigger fight against this new quasi-religion of socialist government worshipers is just beginning, so I’m glad you’re hanging in there. We’ve got work to do.

  7. Paul, I was with you until you wrote “We do not have a problem with our people here — “. I beg to differ. We have a lot of mean, misguided load mouths (many in the legislature) who say incredibly stupid, insulting and hurtful things about certain categories of VT citizens. This has been going on for at least 25 years (the advent of Act 60).

    And the legislature itself has perfected the art of punishing groups that they don’t like (such as the sick and aged) in favor of groups they prefer (such as out-of-state families with young children that they recently enacted a VT child tax bribe to encourage to come to Vermont). Guess whose money is paying for those bribes ?

    Paul, you should write about the damage that they have done over the last 25 years. There is a lot of material if you are perceptive enough to recognize it.

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