In the aftermath of last Thursday’s electoral vote at the State House, the talk being bandied about by some members of the Vermont Legislature that they should give up their power to elect the state’s national guard adjutant general over to the governor is dangerously myopic in lieu of the threatening situation taking place at the federal government level where the executive branch power is being seriously misused by a would-be fascist dictator who is part of a long line of executive power abuses starting in the second half of the twentieth century and getting worse through each presidency.
Already we have seen broad powers given to the executive branch through the 2001 Patriot Act, 2001 Authorization For Use Of Military Force Act, and 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that has created a state of total governmental surveillance unrivaled since the days of the Third Reich. What is needed to counteract all this is to place more, not less, major governmental office leadership positions at the federal, state, and municipal levels in the hands of the citizens by elective public ballot. The heads of governmental departments for agriculture, environmental standards, fish and wildlife, health, finance, public safety, transportation, etc. that make decisions and policy that have a major impact on the public should be directly under the peoples’ elective power. We must demand of our legislators at both the federal and state level that they do their utmost to curtail and reduce executive branch powers. The Vermont Legislature should start by putting the national guard adjutant general election into the hands of the Vermont citizens from now on.
Ralph Corbo, East Wallingford