Back from an amazing Vermont Amendment Weekend. Scores organizing to discuss the next steps to pushing corruption out of this government. Last year, Vermont passed a resolution demanding Congress propose an amendment reversing the hated Citizens United. This year, the question was what were the next steps — and on the table were three ideas: addressing corporate rights at the state level, pushing for Citizen Funded Elections (such as the voucher program I discussed, but generally any small-dollar funding system) at the state level, and a call on Congress for an Article V Convention (to propose amendments to the constitution).
The weekend confirmed for me a point friends like Mark Meckler and Eric O’Keefe have been making — the problem of scale with government. Vermont is small. Its representatives really are. Four or five state senators and reps participated in the weekend. They connected directly with the people. They reminded me of the democracy I once described Brazil to reveal. (The key leader was an extraordinary Senator, Ginny Lyons, whose manner and skill made the term “politician” a term of praise.) It was impossible for me to imagine a similar conversation in California or New York. But here it felt genuine and, well, democratic. Count one for the value of local control, and smaller governments. It made me at least think sensible government was possible.
And then there’s this wonderful sign. The organizers, Bill Butler and Susan Harritt, had literally scores of signs peppering the whole region of Jericho. This was my favorite. It builds on a story about a fight a Vermonter is having with Chick-Fil-a. The Vermonter believes in the goodness of Kale. (Bias alert: so do I). He started selling t-shirts: Eat More Kale. Chick-Fil-A didn’t like him “competing” with their trademarked “Eat Mor Chicken” campaign. So they sued him to stop. There’s a trailer for an in-works documentary here. But the above sign remixes the story in the obvious way — Corporations are neither people, nor Kale. Or so those crazy Vermonters believe.
This movement — or better, these movements — are critical and important. They give me hope.