Fasten your seat belts. This is gonna be a bumpy ride.
Meet Stephen Bellows, former Republican candidate for governor (he got 5,402 people to vote for him in the primary) and current Republican candidate for Senate in the Grand Isle district. He’s got no hope of beating perpetual incumbent Dick Mazza, but his views are so extreme that you’d think the Vermont Republican Party would formally disavow him. Guess not.
His gubernatorial campaign website (he doesn’t seem to have one for his Senate bid) contains the usual bland-ish talking points: Back to basics in education, cut government regulation, decrease the property tax burden (especially for seniors), tax breaks for military vets, anti-Global Warming Solutions Act, anti-abortion, pro-Second Amendment. Garden variety conservative Republican, right?
Wrong! Oh, so completely and delightfully wrong.
He really let his freak flag fly in an interview on “Sound Off!”, Linda Kirker’s community access TV show. Kirker is a former candidate for the House and a die-hard Trumper who believes that The Big Orange is the only thing standing between us and the globalist/Socialist plot to destroy America. In this company, Bellows may have let down his guard. He certainly didn’t hide the nature of his views.
Let’s start with climate change. He believes a carbon tax would open the door to “full government control of your life,” because you’d have no say in how or when you travel or what you eat. Besides, it’s unnecessary because…
The world is carbon-based. So things are green because we produce carbon. That’s what plants need to grow. We’re not really hurting anything by producing carbon. The world’s greener by it.
That’s right, excess carbon will grow those Antarctic forests big and tall.
Bellows is not big on the Covid pandemic. He calls the early-stage shutdowns “tyranny,” and then he Herschel Walkered it.
I haven’t been sick in the last three years because I eat well, zinc, potassium, all the essential nutrients, and I don’t eat fast food. And I hardly ever drink alcohol. If you have a healthy immune system, you’re gonna be okay.
But let it not be said that he has no compassion for those at elevated risk, no matter how much zinc they ingest. “If they felt the elderly were vulnerable or others were vulnerable, then they could have made their distances and did their compassions there,” he said. “But to obstruct 90% of the population and bring our economy down the way that they did, we’re still paying for it now.”
And it probably won’t surprise you to learn that our workforce shortages are caused by overly generous government assistance. “People were given this by the government to stay home, and they got comfortable with it.”
The Kirker interview isn’t my only source for Bellows material. His Facebook page is a cornucopia of conspiracy theories, medical quackery, and climate change denial. Plus a hint that 9/11 was a plot.
A substance called graphene oxide is at the center of much medical conspiratorialism. Bellows links to an article that claims graphene oxide is found in Covid vaccines and, among other places, chemtrails. Graphene oxide, it says here, “is activated by electromagnetic frequencies,” particularly 5G. And “The symptoms of graphene oxide poisoning and EMF radiation sickness are similar to those symptoms described as Covid.”
“Described as” is a nice touch. Bellows is also a fan of Dr. Carrie Madej, who claims that vaccines are “really about transforming not just humans but the earth, the world.” She connects this to an obscure international agreement called the Codex Alimentarius, which in reality suggests standards for food safety and such. In Madej’s tortured imagination, the Codex supersedes the sovereignty of nations, setting the stage for one world government that controls the food supply and will force everything to be genetically modified — plants, animals, human beings. Elsewhere, she asserts that Covid vaccines “are designed to make us into genetically modified organisms” and will “hook us all up to an artificial intelligence interface.”
A couple more examples. Bellows links to a warning that something strange is happening on the eighth of every month.
Really makes you think, doesn’t it? ???? – ????
It makes me think of the canard about famous people dying in threes.
Finally, an odd bit of 9/11 conspiratorialism. Bellows links to a video clip of George W. Bush in that elementary school classroom just before he learns of the terrorist acts. He sits quietly while the teacher recites a series of words and has the whole class repeat them back to her.
The words: Kite. Hit. Steel. Plane. Must.
See? It’s a coded reference to the 9/11 attacks before they even happened! Bellows’ caption: “Its time for the world to wake up.”
This is a guy sharing a ticket with Good Old Gov. Phil Scott. Bellows is more extreme than your standard far-right extremist, but he’s not orders of magnitude different.
The Vermont Republican Party disavowed Senate candidate Mark Coester after he drove a truck festooned with far-right, fascist and militia images in a parade. But they haven’t disavowed Stephen Bellows. I guess overt fascism is a bridge too far, but an out-and-out conspiracy theorist is acceptable on the VTGOP slate.