After almost an hour of pomp and circumstance (as befits the Green Mountain Boys’ home turf, actually no), Gov. Phil Scott was sworn into office on Thursday and delivered his fourth inaugural address.
We’ll get to all that, but first let’s deal with the highlight of the day: François Clemmons, actor, singer, writer, teacher, the friendly cop in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and Vermont treasure, singing the national anthem with joy, spirit, and power. Good stuff.
(Skip to the 28th minute and enjoy.)
As for the inaugural… on the Phil Scott “Meh” Scale, it was… slightly better than “meh.” He laid out a series of issues that went beyond the usual stuff about workforce and demographics. Oh, those things were in there too, but so were climate change, housing, the opioid epidemic, mental health, and “accountability” in law enforcement. (Trigger warning: His vision of that issue comes straight out of the law ‘n order playbook.)
There was a blessed lack of snide remarks about those who disagree with him, but his customary implication that “working together” means abandoning your ideas in favor of his.
The unifying message of the speech was that we must do more to help rural Vermont catch up with the bigger communities in quality of life and economic opportunity. As I listened to him, I started to realize something: This is a false dichotomy.Continue reading