A citizen movement committed to restoring Vermont to an independent republic, free to pursue life, liberty and happiness unimpeded by the demands of an imperial, corrupt and disintegrating United States.
Ten years ago, Bernie Sanders convinced all eagle-eyed Vermonters watching events within the U.S. imperial Beltway in Washington, D.C. that Vermont independence was an inevitability. The catalyst? An August 2005 feature interview with gonzo journalist Matt “Vampire Squid” Taibbi in Rolling Stone magazine, in which Taibbi shadowed Bernie for a week around the labyrinthine halls that comprise what passes for this dead republic’s highest legislative body.
Taibbi titled his piece “Inside the Horror Show That Is Congress,” and it is vital important reading for any Vermonter (or any American) supporting Bernie’s 2016 campaign for the presidency, as Bernie provides a gruesomely detailed account of just how terrifying a corporate-friendly clusterfuck our federal government has become (and this was before Citizen United, NSA spying revelations, drone deployment, and the myriad soured promises surrounding BarackStar Obama’s “Hope and Change” presidency.) The Rolling Stone article even came with a disclaimer – “WARNING: Should not be viewed by small children or anyone with a shred of idealism.”
Bernie’s 2005 Congressional horror show tour – an argument for Vermont secession if ever there was one – loomed like a giant question mark over the sunny shores of Lake Champlain yesterday, where thousands of Vermonters attended Bernie’s presidential campaign kickoff party. Why would Senator Sanders wish to run for president of a federal government so deeply f$&ked up that it is beyond redemption? Unfixable? Unreformable? Backed by Bernie’s own experience, we at 2VR now realize that the United States is simply too big, too corporate, too centralized, and too corrupt to ever be fixed – ever – by a single platform, party, program, or person. Even if his name is Bernie.
The Sanders campaign held his kick-off bash at Burlington’s “People’s Park,” a symbolic site where, as mayor, Bernie beat off Burlington-based developers many decades ago, preserving valuable shorefront real estate for all Burlingtonians to enjoy. Bernie’s sunset cruise house band, “Mango Jam,” provided the dance tunes, a cavalcade of Vermont luminaries (Ben, Jerry, and Bill McKibben among them) provided rousing opening remarks, and a newly-shorn hoarse-voiced Bernie delivered what is by now his cliched stump speech, railing against corporate greed, Citizen United, and imperial business-as-usual politics, while laying out an ambitious vision for the United States if and when he becomes president: $15 minimum wage, affordable college education and health care, and jobs jobs jobs. The good will, smiles and applause felt strangely familiar – a flashback to the 2008 presidential campaign, when Barack Obama deigned to stop in to Vermont for a few hours at UVM for a photo and fund raising opp. This time, though, Vermonters were cheering on one of our own.