Saturday, February 26, 2005

Vermont Leading The Way In Opposition To The Iraq War

It brought a smile to my face when I found out that Vermont is going to have 52 town hall meetings to determine if the state will be the first to go on record in opposition to the Iraq war. The first of these town hall meetings in scheduled to take place this Tuesday. Germany has a similar town hall structure that President Bush was expected to participate. Bush decided to decline participation when he found out that he could not screen neither questions nor questioneers. It is no small wonder that Howard Dean was governor of this progressive blue state. I remember comparing Bush's tenure as Texas governor to Dean's as Vermont governor. Vermont wins in practically all areas; education, budget, low crime etc. In 52 of the states 251 towns, residents will vote on a resolution that calls upon President Bush to withdraw troops from Iraq and urges the state's elected leaders to reconsider the use of Vermont's National Guard in the war. The Boston Globe's Susan Schweitzer said "Vermont has a rich history of using town meetings as a venue to make its people's views known to the nation. In 1974, five towns voted to urge congressional leaders to seek the impeachment of President Nixon. Recent years have seen efforts to stamp out nuclear weapons, abortion restrictions, and the USA Patriot Act." Even my old alma mater Middlebury College is getting into the act. "Middlebury, a town of about 8,000 residents and home to Middlebury College, is among those that will be voting on the war resolution. Select men there initially resisted placing the resolution on the town meeting ballot, saying the war in Iraq was too far afield from local affairs." This local opposition that could grow nationally might serve as the catalyst that ignites the nation, especially if pro-war congressional candidates (regardless of party affiliation come to the realization that their pro-war stance could jeopardize their re-election.) I hope that we see this type of mobilization in all blue states and marginal red states, as a start. As Confucious once said "The thousand mile journey begins with just a single step."

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