Broad-brush remark only further divides our politics

BRATTLEBORO — Jim Dandeneau, executive director of the Vermont Democratic Party, has said, “We know the Vermont Republican Party is filthy with insurrectionist sympathizers.”

What possible general good was Dandeneau thinking would come from this broad-brush remark? Is the thought of Vermonters becoming ever more divided, ever more uncivil to one another (as use of the word “filthy” certainly helps to further), a strategy Dandeneau is pursuing? It certainly seems so.

While as a rule I vote for (and sometimes contribute to) Democrats or independents or Progressives because I generally share their values, I do not consider myself a member of the Democratic Party. It is examples like this that reinforce this choice.

Mr. Dandeneau would have done well to sit in on the political debate held in Brattleboro on Oct. 3. Four candidates for state Senate - two Democrats, an independent, and a Republican - were on the stage and, despite having some clear differences, were completely respectful and civil to one another. The two Democrats, Nader Hashim and Wendy Harrison, did not hurl the word “filthy” at Republican Rick Morton.

The fourth candidate, Tim Wessel, made the point that he is leery of aligning himself with either of the established parties, and I think Dandeneau's remarks are one example of why.

I can just say that I am deciding my final choices and that I may not vote for one of the two Democratic candidates for Vermont Senate in this case in order to vote for the person who chooses to stay away from party.

I am not so naive as to think there are not a good number of insurrectionist sympathizers among (and beyond) Vermont Republicans, but Dandeneau's (and by extension his party's) approach is not at all helpful to our state.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates