‘Humility’ — really?

BRATTLEBORO-I am a resident of District 7, and I have been a strong supporter of Emilie Kornheiser during her terms in the Vermont Legislature. I am also an admirer and customer of Lilac Ridge Farm. Amanda Ellis-Thurber, whose family owns and operates Lilac Ridge, is running against Emilie in the Democratic primary for the District 7 legislative seat.

I believe in lively debate and straightforward conversation where ideas are challenged, and people have to think hard about what they believe and be able to articulate the same. So it was with interest that I saw the article by Joyce Marcel about this upcoming race. I've been wondering why Amanda chose to challenge Emilie and hoped the article would give me an answer. So I read it, from start to finish.

Well, sadly, it seemed to me it all came down to Thurber's supporters believing that Emilie's proposed bill to "tax the rich" would discourage business, and that it's business that supplies the money to charities that help the poor, and that somehow this addresses issues like the homelessness crisis.

Well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022 Vermont ranked fourth in business growth of any state in America. That didn't seem to make a dent in the housing crisis as far as I could see.

Craig Miskovich, board president of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, seemed to imply - without giving specifics in his wide-ranging, generic comments - that Emilie's policies would discourage the growth of downtown Brattleboro.

Hmm. I do wonder how many of the 2% of Vermont residents with adjusted gross incomes of over $500,000 run businesses in our town?

But the cream on the tart, for me, was the quote that more than one person said they thought Kornheiser lacked "humility."


Is that the quality we are looking for in our politicians? Or is it just in our women politicians?

Do we think Emilie worked her way up from being a freshman legislator to the powerful chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee by being humble? Is this the message we want to give to our daughters and our granddaughters? Oh, sure you can do whatever you want, but just remember to act humble so people aren't - what? Threatened by an articulate, strong woman who says what she wants and what she believes, and then works for it?

This is why we have primaries: to make these choices between the status quo, the voices who say the same things that have been said for years and years while the social and economic problems of average Vermonters don't change, and a voice that says, No, let's try something different, let's address some root issues here, let's talk about real change.

Humility? What's next, modesty?

I don't want a humble politician representing me. I want a compelling and powerful person who will advocate proudly for their constituents. And if that person happens to be a woman - well, that's fine with me.

Christopher Emily Coutant


This letter to the editor was submitted to The Commons.

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