Vermontersí needs more important than ideal of free market system

December 06, 2012

Bennington Banner

In a Banner column on Nov. 27 ("A way forward for the Vermont GOP"), Rep. Heidi E. Scheuermann of Stowe proposes that the Republican Party needs to reinvent itself. She said, "We need thoughtful, intelligent debate on the proposals put forward by others, yet instead of intelligent opposition, we sound lifeless and uninspiring -- and sometimes idiotic, angry, and petty." She went on to say "It is time that we join together to reinvigorate, reinstitute, and revive the Republican Party in Vermont."

Rep. Scheuermann advocates in generalities (cares about Vermonters and their families; believes in liberty; protects our children’s welfare) of the kind that every single person of good conscience advocates, regardless of party.

This is like being "against crime." The principles only have meaning when you start to apply them to specific circumstances and issues.
When she says that one of the Republican Party’s "traditional values" is "caring for those in need," can she point to specifics?
From what I understand, Ms. Scheuermann voted repeatedly against legislation that would create a universal health care system. Is this really an expression of caring about Vermonters and their families?

These high-sounding generalities are in keeping with the abstract values espoused by Campaign for Vermont, of which she is a founding partner (along with Bruce Lisman). In the case of Campaign for Vermont, these principles appear to translate into the very typical Republican positions of, specifically, no universal health care, and generally, let the wonders of the free market solve all our problems.

Unfortunately, the ideal of the free market system has been valued by the Republican Party much more then the needs of Vermonters. Instead, healthcare needs to be a human right.

CHARLIE MURPHY
Bennington