John Klar: Vermont’s Gov. Phil Scott a Republican or revolutionary?

By John Klar

Vermont governor Phil Scott announced on June 5 that social distancing requirements would not be enforced against Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters at coming events because they are exercising “their constitutional rights.” The governor’s stunning epiphany means he has finally come to comprehend that in Vermont, the United States Constitution actually does apply. This is great news for Vermonters — in almost all past decisions, the governor has demonstrated a total obliviousness, if not hostility, to citizens’ rights.

This is the governor who decided in 2018 to abandon constitutional protections of the right to self-defense when he signed a sweeping gun bill that banned high-capacity magazines and imposed universal background checks on gun sales. A current gun bill (H. 610) is even more blatantly unconstitutional, but the governor has been silent.

John Klar

This is the governor who used COVID-19 to close farmers’ markets and numerous businesses in a haphazard fashion, with unclear guidance and even less clear constitutional authority. He delegated responsibility to municipalities to require people to wear masks, while insisting that the president of the United States holds zero authority to tell Vermonters to reopen their communities.  Governor Scott has been consistently partisan when invoking and ignoring constitutional rights, consistently progressive.

Phil Scott objected publicly when Donald Trump said there were “very fine people” on both sides in the riots at Charlottesville, and the governor passionately called for the Minneapolis police officers who killed George Floyd to be charged with murder. But he did not condemn the two instances of speech-blocking protests against conservative speakers at Vermont’s prestigious Middlebury College. Now the governor has announced that left-wing radicals who are blatantly violating his COVID-19 restrictions are free to disrupt Vermont streets. (He has not spoken against climate protesters who have disrupted traffic and events, either.)

Phil Scott displays similar favoritism toward progressive ideology in other applications (or denials) of constitutional safeguards:

  • Immigration. The governor opposes federal immigration laws (Vermont municipalities presumably have constitutional jurisdiction there, as with masks).
  • Transgender surgeries for minors. Governor Scott has vocally supported the provision of surgeries to reconstruct sex organs for minors at public expense without parental notification.  What of parents’ rights?
  • Abortion and fetal personhood. Governor Scott signed the most permissive abortion law in the nation, stating that solely a woman and her physician decide when life begins.
  • TCI and GWSA. Governor Scott has not opposed the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) and the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). These laws grant unlimited powers to government over property rights and business viability.
  • Remote voting by legislature. The GWSA is being voted in remotely without normal public involvement, under the cloak of COVID-19. Phil Scott has not objected to remote voting on these and other massive bills — but surely there are constitutional questions about the appropriateness of what is now an essentially closed-door restructuring of Vermont’s entire economy and powers of government?
  • Mail-in voting. Is this constitutional? The Vermont Legislature is completely sidestepping the Executive Branch of government, and there is not a peep of protest from its governor, who says “he wouldn’t stand in the way if lawmakers decided to take away his authority over the upcoming elections.”

Perhaps Sean Manovill, the Rutland gym-owner who struggled to maintain his business in the face of the governor’s orders, was simply protesting. Surely his constitutional right to oppose the governor’s elimination of his livelihood merits as much recognition as political protests over an out-of-state incident with police.

It appears that basic constitutional freedoms are being deliberately discarded by the left and that Vermont’s governor is a willing ally in this dismantling.  Vague demands for “universal rights” that require government domination and wealth transfers have replaced the constitutional heritage of our forebears. Scott has cast off even the pretense of conservatism, revealing himself to be an active agent of a progressive agenda.

Vermont’s governor has silently acquiesced as the Green Mountain State has become the playground of those bent on destroying American foundations of constitutional protections.  Meanwhile, BLM protesters descend on the Vermont State House on June 7 with the governor’s blessing, in a public demonstration on public land, where the U.S. Constitution applies — but where only black voices will be allowed to speak. The event’s organizers state that there is an “open mic for black voices.”

Yes, BLM has banned white people from speaking on the lawn of the Vermont State House.  Perhaps Governor Scott will publicly share his opinion on the constitutionality of this development, since white citizens are prohibited from protesting by a mob of people who have been exempted from compliance with social-distancing requirements … by the Governor.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and former pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. He is running for governor in 2020. This commentary originally appeared at American Thinker.

Image courtesy of Lou Varrichio/TNR

29 thoughts on “John Klar: Vermont’s Gov. Phil Scott a Republican or revolutionary?

  1. It’s time to reopen the Vermont State House so that we the people can once again be involved with the legislative process and see where our constitutional rights are being violated. This needs to happen before it’s too late.
    We’re going to have many bills to repeal in the next biennium.

  2. Re: “.. in Vermont, the United States Constitution actually does apply.”

    Only if you’re protesting ‘racism’. Not if you happen to be a business person trying to reopen your business.

    VT Digger, for example, just published commentary expounding the views of a privileged white man (David Goodman) and privileged white women (Nancy Krieger & Ruth Hubbard) on the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. Perhaps VT Digger (and TNR) should consider what some accomplished black men have to say about this.

    Are there racists in Vermont? Yes. And now we know who they are.

    • Jay, Great example of censorship by omission. VT Digger is the classic example of left wing, progressive media. They are in existence to push the left’s ideology but they put up a banner that says “News in pursuit of the truth”. The truth lies somewhere in one of two sides of every story. If you omit one side of the story the truth is never found but a perception is formed. The media now makes perceptions of what they want told as news to support their ideological slant. People read headlines and skip the story so the headline is the click bait usually to a one sided story influenced by the writer who understands the mission of the publication. Vt Digger is not news, it’s opinion, the news is censored so as to not be seen by the readers of Digger. They should not be allowed to operate as a nonprofit because they clearly represent the left wing agenda. Vt Digger employs writers not reporters.

      • In VTD’s defense, belated as it was (I was the 1st to comment and the last to be ‘approved’), they did publish my comment with the youtube video referenced.

        If you haven’t watched it, you should. It’s more to put in context what people like Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, David Webb, Larry Elder and Martin Luther King have said about ‘political racism’ and rioting. They’re not all ‘left wingers’ in the sense many here might think.

        Add to this group the likes of Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele and Bob Woodsen… not to mention one of the most courageous young activists of our time, Candace Owens.

        Support these people. Refer to them when you see an imbalance in reporting and perspective. Try to follow their example. Be constructive, not demeaning. We’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

  3. A socialist tool that is meant to keep people poor and oppressed. Is there a word for that?

  4. Had a comment about common sense vs exercising one’s right to lawful assembly. TNR for whatevercreaso refused to publish it. Guess they believe in censorship.

  5. The Governor is an Idiot, he supports social distancing for ” Normal ” citizens
    shut down businesses of the state, but cowers with BLM what a spineless fool.

    What about the ” rights ” of normal Citizens, flip-flop needs to grow a pair !!

    Liberal Democrats ” Never let a crisis go to was ” This is all show, half the fools
    protesting could care less about George Floyd, it’s all biased BS blame every
    police officer for the act of a few bigoted fools…………………..Agenda, Agenda !!

  6. Why wasn’t John Klar bothered by Scott’s signing of the unconstitutional gun legislation and rewarded him with his vote? That’s right, he didn’t want to be governor then. Sincerity is a good trait in a candidate don’t you think?

      • Ken and Keith, He already addressed it here on True North.
        So is everyone perfect? Reagan and Trump were both democrats and changed. The governor was supposed to be a republican, apparently he changed and is now a RINO. Do you want to keep losing elections by splitting the primary vote so Scott wins again? Kevin Hoyt is a good man but do you think he can beat Phil Scott in the primary? Decisions have to be made to win or keep losing your rights. Just my opinion.

        • Hollow victories just for thesake of ‘WINNING’. Doesn’t make much sense to me.
          Look at Trump. He “won” but now plays along. I’ll believe different when major swamp drainage begins.

        • Dano are there true Republicans in office in Vermont? If there are they can be counted on one hand. We had one who had false charges brought against him and forced from office before he had his day in court.
          If John Klar was really the conservative he portrays himself to be then there would be no issue here. But I for one won’t vote for anyone who doesn’t appear to be as he claims.

      • Continually demanding Mr. Klar step in front of the Soros-bankrolled gun goonsense firing squad = recipe for failure much? Knowing full well this would be a circuitious route to disaster iow a backhanded attack on KLAR2020 and renders the demand to trolling as does demanding equal time to an individual who is not officially recognized as in the running?

        John Klar has continually stated the priority is for VT economy and restoring what the Democrats have destroyed – not sticking hand into a hornets nest? So sorry ppl are not getting this. Anyone who is seeking to ruin the campaign is aiding and abetting Chairman Phil.

        Keith – I voted for you. I gave to your campaign raffle tho my income:expense ratio is meager. And wrote you in for the general. How can I vote for you if you attack someone who is essentially on our side – tantamount to refusing to take yes for an answer.

        • Stardust, I appreciate your past support. I asked one thing of John Klar, something that myself and others wanted clarified: What do you see in Obama that made you vote for him twice? That goes directly to mindset and ideology of a candidate asking for our votes for the top office in Vermont. I saw his response saying because he thought Obama who stated 1 that he believed in wealth redistribution and 2 he wanted to skyrocket the price of energy to make renewables affordable was a better candidate than a man who was a fiscal conservative and highly successful building businesses. That sent up red flags for me as it should for any person paying attention.
          For my effort to really understand his mindset I was personally attacked him going on my FB page to do so.
          So if my actions help lead to Scott’s re-election against someone whose true ideology is unclear I don’t regret it.
          First he should never have stated his voting record. But since he did he should be honest and forthright about the reasons.

          • What is important is the here and now – not the past. Voted Obama along with enough swing voters of all stripes to stop McCain – he was more terrifying. Not a ‘War Hero’ but a war criminal who recklessly chose an empty-headed so-called Patriot for second-in-command of the highest office in the world? Please – give us a break as it led directly to Donald Trump winning and taking a wrecking ball to Hussein’s handiwork – who could ask for more.

            Mitt Romney is a certified insufferable a**hole – please – the man is a robber baron of yore. Both display the behavior of a sociopath. One needs to be likeable to win – neither was anywhere near and didn’t care. Refuse to vote for anyone who gives me nightmares. In actuality Romney won – election was stolen. Must say I shed no tears.

            Did not vote Bush either but was not a no-weapons-of-mass-destructionist. Following dumber-than-dog***t Dubya and discovery of Douglas deception – jumped ship. Voted Dem from 2008-2016 wandered wholeheartedly into leftleaning life. Having been a religious cult member who left – saw striking similarities – plus abject hypocricy, a closed-minded clueless Nixonian establishment of the ones tearing down that establishment who became and now represent all they claimed to hate. Scared the bejezus out of me and filled w/selfloathing for so savagely attacking the right – jumped ship.

            So those who wander of reservation can’t come repent but are consigned to political pergutory – *facepalm*

          • Keith, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump were both democrats at one point. Now those of us who supported both John McCain and Mittens Romney which I did, look what they turned into. Both supposedly solid conservatives and they both turned out to be a disappointment. John Klar worked as a defense attorney probably surrounded by liberals and at the time maybe he believed in another path. In my youth, I was a democrat raised in a democratic family. We can’t go back and change who we were. We can only learn and go forward or stay stuck in the same rut. Kevin Hoyt as much as I like what he says is not going to beat Phil Scott in the primary. You should know how difficult that is from running yourself. It’s time to stop fighting the inevitable or lose again. I’m voting for John unless he does something I don’t like before August. We know who and what our governor is and was. He has roamed the halls of Mount stupid with progressives so long he became one. His good friend from NY, a senator was a gun control pusher in the senate. Party affiliation is one thing but a person also needs to be able to lead and make decisions based on intellect and our constitution. Mr. Klar has explained who he is now. If he’s not, in two years he can be voted out. The person who wins this election is not going to win it on gun control alone. The winner has to be viewed in many different ways to attract the votes needed to win. Either look at the reality for what it is or keep losing. I would rather take a chance by winning not losing again.

          • THANK YOU for stating so clearly what I have been feeling. I continue to be enraged at the (obviously perfect) Vermonters who stew and sputter about how they simply cannot support someone whose past voting record they object to. Give me a break! Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Likewise, as Jesus said to the crowd wanting to stone the adulteress (paraphrasing) – “May those who are without sin throw the first stone”. Self-righteous, hard-headed people who should know better, will be the downfall of this state. (BTW – I, too, supported Keith Stern. A vote I now regret.)

          • If your actions lead to the reelection of Phil Scott this time, you haven’t done anything to help Vermont. If one of the lefties wins we can herald the complete destruction of Vermont just a little sooner. And by helping the governor we will not have known what change could have been possible in someone who actually stands for the constitution as written and stopped it’s demise by holding the line against the progressive cult.

          • Originally opposed DJT in the strongest of terms and believed him to be Hitler incarnate – Killary equally horrifying. Summer 2016 was a nightmare knowing one of the two would be potus. Avoided all who didn’t denounce Trump or Killary and in desperation toyed w/supporting Bernie comforting self believing he would be neutered by congress.

            Prayed very hard and finally the smog lifted and let go. Still despised both but suddenly Trump started acting half human. Started listening to him and got the religion.

            Supported him and this deplorable stayed up to watch him make history atg 2:37 am.

    • Geesh. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Maybe Original Sin is the answer…

  7. I’m ignoring all further emergency orders, since they’re now selectively enforced. Law Enforcement can’t do a thing about it.

  8. It seems that our Governor has been unduly influenced, or perhaps bribed, by the progressives to do their bidding. However the progressives managed to get him to dance to their fiddle tunes it stinks to high Heaven.

  9. Phil Scott’s spine isn’t made of typical bone… but of cartilage: “flexible connective tissue.” Phil Scott is more ‘chameleon-like’ than ‘man-like’. Phil Scott is willing to sell whatever soul he’s left with for approval-seeking anesthetization. Sleep well… Phil Scott.

  10. Federal Appeals Court Rules Pandemic No Reason to Force All Texans to Vote by Mail
    By Matthew Vadum
    June 7, 2020 Updated: June 7, 2020

    The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously slapped down a federal judge’s ruling forcing Texas to allow all its residents to vote by mail on the theory that doing so would prevent the transmission of the virus that causes the disease COVID-19.

  11. Benedict Scott is a lying spineless leftist, to call him a republican is a insult, even to RINO’s.

    His tyrannical orders to the people of Vermont are different than those of anarchist Marxist BLM,why are those particular animals different or special than the regular Vermont animals.

    As to his oath to either Constitution he has proven them to be just as toilet paper or face tissues,when he comes looking for a vote as to myself he can look elsewhere,as I look at him as so much toilet paper to be discarded as he does the Constitutional rights of Vermonters.

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