Opinion
August 3, 2016

If this is ‘boring,’ then let’s have more

By Jon Margolis, VTDigger.org

Vermont’s campaign for governor is getting a bad rap.

“Boring, boring, boring” seems to be the general consensus of the political insiders and the professional chatterers alike.

In fairness to the insiders and the chatterers, there is evidence to support their assessment. The campaign doesn’t have much political sex appeal. Neither do the five principal candidates. They have not aroused the kind of passion that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders did on the national level.

Wherein, perhaps, lies the problem, as Democratic candidate Peter Galbraith discovered the other day. As he shook hands at the annual Church Fair in Irasburg, many voters didn’t know who he was. One, who described herself as a Democrat who usually voted in primaries, said she didn’t even know who was running for governor.

“I’ve been so preoccupied with the presidential thing,” she said.

Who hasn’t? By comparison, Vermont’s campaign and its candidates do seem rather dreary. Not one of the five contenders has suggested building a wall around the state or refusing entry to Rastafarians, Huguenots or Baha’is. Nor have they been accused of running scam businesses or using inappropriate means of communication.

A bland bunch running unexciting campaigns, at least according to the current measurements of what qualifies as exciting and its opposite.

But consider for a moment the possibility that the insiders and the chatterers (present company by no means excluded) have foolishly (decadently?) accepted those measurements.

Because here are two facts: First, this is a substantive campaign in which all five principal candidates are making serious public policy proposals, some of which could affect Vermonters for better or for worse (or both). Second, this is an impressive field of candidates. They are all experienced, informed and thoughtful. Not one of them is a fool or a scoundrel.

Or an extremist. As these things are usually measured, the two Republicans are more conservative than

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