On December 7, 2016

Something to write home about

By Sen. Dick McCormick
Deer season is wrapping up and Thanksgiving with family is a fond memory. The campaign seems like a distant memory, but the election was a mere three weeks ago. On this lazy post-Thanksgiving weekend, I am taking time to reflect.
I’m filled with gratitude towards so many people who worked to help me in my reelection bid: my wife and campaign manager Cindy Metcalf, my electoral teammates Alison Clarkson and Alice Nitka, campaign workers like Sarah Callander and Alex Kelly, Windsor County Democratic Chair Bill Kuch, the Windsor County Democratic Committee and the many dozens of volunteers who gave their time, money and front yards. Thanks to the Upper Valley Young Liberals who work hard and give old folks reason for hope in the future, and to the Progressive Party for unity in our common progressive goals.
I thank my Independent and Republican opponents for a mutually respectful campaign, so different from the ugliness at the national level. Above all I thank the people of Windsor County for again making me the gift of their trust, challenging me to be worthy.
I was proud to support Sue Minter for governor and I’m sorry she wasn’t elected. That said, I’m looking forward to working with governor-elect Scott, a colleague of long standing and a friend. Since the days when I was his first committee chair, I’ve appreciated how he works to develop bipartisan legislation in a Democratic Senate while remaining true to his Republican principles. Similarly, I appreciate the mutual good will within the Senate.
I’m appalled by the outcome of the national election. Racism, religious bigotry, misogyny, and contempt for the Constitution are not mere differences of opinion, about which we can politely agree to disagree. They are fundamental issues with a serious moral dimension. Obviously, the legislature of a small rural state cannot redirect national policy by itself. But no doubt, unless President Trump completely betrays the people who elected him, Vermonters will frequently find themselves at odds with national policy.
Tom Wolfe has said, “The dark night of fascism is always descending on America, but it always lands in Europe.” The hideous impulses unleashed on November 8 have always been present in our country, but so has the decency and will of the people to combat those impulses. I will contribute whatever energy and talents I have. I have always tried to be a voice of reason (I am told I have a good command of the language) but I need your ideas and encouragement. With a national government so hostile to our shared values, we need one another more than ever. Vermont will strive to be an island of responsibility, reason, and decency.
Sen. Dick McCormick represents Windsor County in the Vermont Legislature.

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