Katherine and Donald Maynard: An open letter to Gov. Phil Scott 

This commentary is by Katherine and Donald Maynard of South Burlington, who are semi-retired and retired, respectively; both worked as college instructors and as mental health clinicians.

Dear Governor Scott: It’s time.

After the May 14 domestic terrorist attack in Buffalo…

After The New York Times exposes how Elise Stefanik (and other Republicans) legitimize the same racist “Replacement Theory” that motivated this killer (and others before him — Charleston, Charlottesville, El Paso, Pittsburgh) ...

After your party leaders have allowed a fringe element of white supremacists and conspiracy theorists to hijack the party, attack our Capitol, attempt a coup, and continually deny the legitimacy of the 2020 election .... destroying civility, obstructing governance, and dismantling our democracy... 

We ask you sir, why do you still affiliate with this party? 

Face the reality of what an R designation now means in today’s political context. It’s no longer the party it was to our Republican parents and grandparents. 

Do you stay, hoping your influence can confront GOP dysfunctions, as Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney have bravely attempted? Look at what congressional leadership did to these two, how they have marginalized and demonized them, and repudiated their honest attempts to hold the party to account.

 We honestly don’t understand why you stay within the GOP orbit a single minute more. You are better than that.

Gov. Scott, we respect your efforts to build a healthy state for Vermonters. You handled Covid responsibly and saved lives. You govern thoughtfully and listen to diverse viewpoints. 

But now, for your fourth run for governor, it’s time you strike that R from your political identity.  You don’t have to become a Democrat or a Progressive. But in Vermont you can successfully win as an independent, as many others before you have done. As a popular incumbent, the risk to your political future by leaving the GOP is minimal.  

However, as long as you retain that R, we will not even consider voting for you. Because sir, there are lines one should not cross. In 1940s Germany, many justified nominal membership in the Nazi Party as just political expediency. But history sees them as active collaborators with the evil done in that party’s name.

Gov. Scott, it’s time. Honor your oath of office and renounce the R. 

Vermont deserves better. And so do you.

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