Opinion: Founding principles have disappeared from Vermont

The founding principles and defining cultural traditions of this great Republic and state of Vermont have, by design or default, been corrupted and distorted beyond recognition. We have devolved from a once-noble cultural and historic experiment defined by intellectual, cultural, philosophical and moral courage where the uniquely Vermont and American genius of combining political ideology and moral virtue in a bond “Common Sense” was dispatched through the printed word, sending the winds of Liberty across our colony to produce this great Republic.
Now the word neither inspires nor enlightens. Rather through a “tyranny of clichés” and a “quagmire of bloviation” the words trivialize, distort and counterfeit the spirit and principles they once embodied. Hence we have moved from Founding Principles to Confounding Principles. In the words of Jefferson, moved from “an aristocracy of virtue and talent” to a mediocracy governed by special interests, foreign interests and citizen disinterest.
Vermont was traditionally a leader in many human disciplines and endeavors from land conservation and sustainable agriculture to technological innovation and manufacture. Now our state has been reduced to a mere commodity available for foreign or out-of-state encroachment of even our most treasured natural and cultural resource, the Green Mountains, the very backbone and defining soul of this state. We have moved from a state of producers of many accessories of our daily lives, once manufactured a hundred miles away, to consumers of an endless stream of manufactured goods originally produced local and now often traveling 10,000 miles. From a sovereign, productive and independent state to a mere statistic in the global economy.
We call ourselves the “green” state, a pioneer in conservation, and yet we permit the devastation of the quintessential green element of this state and country, the Green Mountains. Further, we have one of the highest per capita rates of land conversion with several hundred thousand acres of rural and farmland lost forever to development in the last decades.
We are, however, a national leader and trailblazer in the systematic dismantling of social, cultural and moral traditions that have served as foundations critical to the preservation of our very civilization for over 250 years. America and Vermont, once aflame with righteousness, are now smoldering in cultural and moral decay.
Vermont must have a rebirth. A new beginning. The greatest hope for Vermont’s future lies in the restoration of its past.
As a candidate for governor, I shall share my 10 primary principles and concepts of revitalization and reform to form a platform upon which many of Vermont’s current crises and challenges can be elevated and illuminated.
To begin, we must move away from the linear self-paralyzing mind-numbing concepts of conservative or liberal and from right or left. I am sick and tired of teetering to the right or left. We must be “upright” and straightforward, guided by intellectual honesty, socio-cultural conscience, enduring principles, virtue and common sense.
Stay tuned for the fate of Vermont’s future, and vote for Swenson. Details of my platform to follow.
Rustan Swenson
Candidate for Governor on the Coffee Party

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