A couple days ago I ran from Burlington (almost) to Huntington (almost). I’d hoped to make it all the way to the Fielder place, but such as it was.
Along the way I reencountered some wonderful things about Vermont, not the least of which was this: Of the perhaps five hundred oncoming cars that passed me that day, 95% of them dropped their speed by at least 20 mph. Many didn’t just straddle the yellow line, they swung way left of center. And everyone waved.
We call that a civil society. I have a lot of metal around me and am driving fast. You’re just in your shorts and t-shirt and are plodding along on the side of the road. Don’t worry. I’m going to watch your back. And we’re going to connect as human beings. And even though we’ll never see each other again in our lives, the world will be richer for that moment.
Which brings me to another great thing about Vermont. Call it Bernie Sanders.
On Saturday we swung by 131 Church Street. We got some bumper stickers and a t-shirt. And we wrote our small check, making a small pre-election tithe to the democratic process.
Nearly every pundit qualifies with “he has no chance of winning” as if to say honesty sports a zero chance in hell.
But that’s what a lot of people still don’t get about Vermont. This place is about the unlikely and the fiercely independent prevailing over all. Just wait. Bernie’s going to show some legs and I have little doubt a lot of folks will be left eating dust.
Why do I support him?
1. Someone needs to dope slap the Clinton campaign. Hilary will never ever listen to me. Not in a million years. I’m just a citizen. But there’s a very slight chance she might need to respond to Bernie.
2. In this country leaders are not supposed to be anointed. We elect them. Let’s put Hilary through an election.
3. I don’t know if he would make a good President. But I have no doubt he will make an outstanding candidate. He’ll broaden the debate. He’ll say the uncommon. He will speak. And to the best of his ability he will speak the truth.
4. I long for a candidate who will not descend into the gutter of negative campaigning.
5. I want someone who will stand for something and very clearly tell us what that thing is.
6. In this state, even Fred Tuttle counts for something. And like it or not, he wins.
In Vermont, come Town Meeting Day, a lot of things fly. And sometimes even the unlikely prevails, no matter how humble or homely or off beat the speaker. As long as the idea is voiced with respect. And it honors thy neighbor. And it’s truthful. And it makes sense.
This election season we all may be surprised at how many hunger for this.