Back in 2010, when former Vermont Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz was anointed as the head of the Agency of Natural Resources by newly elected Governor Peter Shumlin following her own unsuccessful campaign to win the Democratic nomination for the gubernatorial race months before, it was more than obvious that the appointment was nothing more than one of many political appointments being doled out by the newest vicar of the state of Vermont -- a circumspectful and profitable "nod" to her years of dutiful homage to the Democratic Party within the state.
And as the governor and all his charges took their respective oaths of office and service as the newly elected and appointed representatives within the state, the clique somehow misconstrued the entire concept of such service to mean that they were now the ones in office to be served as opposed to the very ones actually providing the service to others -- an all-together common misconception not only within the confines of the Green Mountain State but nationally as well.
The most recent glaring example of such ideality brought to the public's attention is none other than Ms. Markowitz' house plants apparently being afforded emergent attention by some of the public employees of the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife during Tropical Storm Irene.
Whether you are a recipient of one of Governor Shumlin's numerous impersonal automated replies after expending your own time and effort in vain attempt to correspond with his office or you are per chance subjected to the abject lack of response by those in this same administration who currently occupy the offices of the supposedly venerable Office of the State Attorney General who repeatedly refuse to enforce many of the Vermont State statutes that protect civil liberties from being trodden, the state of Vermont is quite obviously on equal footing with the likes of New Orleans, Chicago and Nassau County (New York) in terms of political corruption. It's distinction as being one of the least populated states in the Union is likely its only salvation in not having its level of political patronage and misconduct exposed more frequently by the few media outlets left that remain committed to challenging the ever-increasing powers and prowess of political party machinery and insidious political corruption that have inundated and nearly destroyed a nation that was conceived in liberty.
And while the plight of Ms. Markowitz's Pansies or Posies may seem insignificant when measured against the wars we wage as of late both domestically and internationally, it remains significant in the sense that we all reside within a nation and within an era that unless and until genuine change is installed through tireless public demand and display -- that we all are potentially experiencing the throes of a nation on the brink of decline and ultimate dissolution just as the many that fell before her throughout time; once powerful empires that collapsed under the heavy burden that self-interest, power-mongering and corruption bring to bear.
Yet fortunately this nation is not led in large part by any selectmen, mayors, governors or even the presidents who stand before cheering or occasionally even jeering crowds. We are led instead by the memories of the patriots who lost their lives over the course of our thus far 237 year history in defense of a remarkable premise that promised a country that provided liberty and justice for all who chose to call it their home. We are led by the rank and file citizens who take action to remedy the oft everyday injustices within our system of government that threaten the very lifeblood of a country that was devised and is entirely dependent upon a people who cherish their right to freedom above all else. And we are led by an electorate who in their hands alone possess the power to carefully choose those individuals who will follow but only the will of the people and cast aside any notions of personal gain and thereby jeopardize the principles of democracy we hold so dear.
Kathy Gaffney writes from Pownal.