The following commentary is by Paul Dame, chair of the Vermont GOP.
The word “progressive” used to conjure up positive feelings about the turn of the 19th century and a strong and vibrant America growing and improving in all its internal affairs. But today Progressives in Vermont have completely destroyed all of the good associations that their party once had. Progressive used to mean a desire to move forward — and yet now under the leadership of the Progressive Party, many Vermonters feel that things are perhaps as bad as they have ever been when it comes to public safety.
The central complaint against Progressives on the Burlington City Council is that they have become completely unreasonable, which is making the city unsafe. It was reported months ago that due to their efforts to defund the Burlington Police Department, many of the honest downtown shopkeepers were banding together to pay for security detail to protect their employees who walked the streets at night with reduced police coverage. Despite paying taxes for this protection service, it is being denied by Progressive City Councilors.
And Democrats have been completely impotent to stop them. For too long the Democratic Party has become largely consumed by the army of Progressive activists who have filled their ranks, and overtaken their elected officials and party leadership roles. Democrats have made an unstable alliance with Progressives that has left them unable to oppose them when it matters most. It’s hard to tell what the difference is anymore.
Not only are the Progressives making Burlington unsafe for both residents and any other Vermonter who might otherwise want to visit the once inviting downtown, but Progressives have taken on a new kind of arrogance and stubbornness that comes with the kind of immature leadership that the majority of their city councilors have demonstrated.
The mayor conducted a search for a police chief and came back to the city council to report that he either needed to go with the current candidate, the acting interim chief, or they need to increase the salary to get more candidates to apply. Progressives did neither! With this action they demonstrated that their party is not ready to govern responsibly. It’s all utopian ideology and wishful thinking — but there’s no reasonable engagement, no compromise, no government. Are they Progressives, or anarchists?
If they don’t like this chief fine — but you need to find someone, and not enough people applied. The only reason to deny the mayor the ability to hire the right person for more money, or hire the best person for the money they have, would be if the Progressives don’t actually want anyone to be their police chief. It’s almost as if they are purposely trying to create an environment to discourage police officers from joining their force, and even preventing any kind of leadership of the force by a fellow officer.
This is what Progressives consider progress? Rising concerns about employee safety, a major retailer leaving downtown due to organized theft, and now a hamstrung police force from bottom to top? It sounds like the wild west in all the worst ways. Progressives are robbing Vermont of the idyllic safety the rest of the state has come to expect and taken for granted.
But Republicans in Burlington are working toward rebuilding the party downtown. Things didn’t get this bad in just one election, and it’s going to take several to turn things around. If you want to join the Burlington Republicans, or the Republican committee in YOUR town or village, click this link and we will connect you with your town and/or county leaders.
All it takes for unreasonable and unsafe evil to triumph is for good people do nothing. Are you ready to do something? Then come and get involved with your local town committee, and work with us to make Burlington reasonable and safe for the people who live there, and the people who visit.