Op - Ed, Opinion

Digging out of the corn maze that is Vermont politics

By Tad Montgomery
So, we have a petulant progressive farmer who is purportedly trying to plant himself firmly into the position of lieutenant governor in Vermont. One might say this is going a bit against the grain of politics as usual in our fair state, but anyone who has ever felt their oats in the same way that David Zuckerman does will know that the flowers of tomorrow are indeed buried in the seeds of yesterday.
Some in the establishment who relegate progressives to the bottom of the pecking order might see Mr. Zuckerman’s candidacy as being about as welcome as a skunk at a garden party, but those of us who have our ear to the ground know that progressives will no longer allow themselves to be hen-pecked. Please, fellow Vermonters, do not let the bees in your bonnet lead you to thinking that David Zuckerman would lead us down a primrose garden path. He won’t. Or maybe he will …
Now while it is clear that Zuckerman’s candidacy is breaking new ground, one cannot help but wonder if everything is really as cut and dried as your garden-variety talking cabbage head would portray it. Some think his opponent has a bit of an ax to grind and will soon start singin’ like a hot house flower, but every seasoned woodchuck knows the difference between their elbow and a hole in the ground. Zuckerman’s opponent is as hard as a Brock, but that does not mean he is going to buy the farm. Zuckerman certainly knows how to avoid getting squeezed between a Brock and a hard place.
Since he started his campaign Zuckerman has covered a lot of ground as he bales political hay while the sun is shining. This man is as cool as a cucumber and it is clear that he is digging in for the long haul. He certainly does not look like the Gilfeather turnip that just fell off of the turnip truck, no Siree Bobolink! It is also clear as mud that he is not filthy rich, though neither is he dirt poor. No one has ever accused him of gilding the lily or counting his chickens before they have hatched, which is why there is little chance that we will ever see grass growing underneath his feet. I think we can all rest assured that David Zuckerman will never make a mountain out of a molehill, unless that mountain has a strange resemblance to a camel’s hump and the molehill is on a farm with a full moon rising above it.
In terms of policy proposals, Mr. Zuckerman talks off the record about getting all of Vermont’s eggs out of one basket, but political analysts think what he really means is that we need to stop putting the cart before the horseradish. In his most memorable speech he reminded us all that every garden has its weeds, every rose its thorns, and that what appears as a feast to the eyes of one Vermonter might be bitter fruit to another. He will never label an opponent on his right as falling out of the ugly tree, or one on his left of being a flower child. He knows that for everything there is a season and that real change grows from the ground up, the grassroots so to speak.
It is true, though, and one must admit, that Zuckerman does have his shadier side. While many vouch for his feminist ideals, someone once overheard him tell a farmstand customer that his garlic is better than ten mothers. This is true as the day is long or this author will eat his hemp straw hat. It is also whispered in some quarters that he has been going to pot lately, but protracted research and investigation for this exposé, including honeybee drone surveillance, have led us to conclude that this withering statement is merely metaphorical. What they really mean, in an ironic sort of way, is that his farm business and political aspirations are growing like weeds.
Finally, we would like to remind Mr. Zuckerman, as well as Ms. Minter, Mr. Scott, Mr. Brock, and all good women and men who hoe the row of public office, of the words of that great non-statesman, non-farmer Socrates, who said that those who sow virtue and water humility will reap fame raisins and a morning glory. Let these words not be interpreted merely as grist for the shills!
Tad Montgomery is an ecological engineer from Brattleboro, Vt.

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