Home Columns Letters LETTERS: 10.20.16

LETTERS: 10.20.16


A Call For Republicans To Take A Public Stand On Trump


As you know, this November voters in Vermont will have a variety of choices on the ballots they cast, from president down to more local races like state representative and justice of the peace. Unfortunately this year we have a candidate at the top of the Republican ballot so uncouth, unfit and generally repellent, that it’s shocking to know that there are still people who support him.

In the light of last week’s revelations, I’m calling on you, the Republican candidates of Washington County to publicly make it plain whether or not you support the sexist, racist, Islamophobic, hateful Donald Trump.

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Your potential constituents deserve to know where you stand, and we can only interpret silence as a tacit endorsement of Trump.

Thank you for your timely response!

Jeremy Hansen, Berlin


Carl Etnier for House


Carl Etnier is running for House as a progressive, seeking to represent Middlesex and East Montpelier. He has a broad educational background which underpins his knowledge of and passion for strengthening local economies and making communities more sustainable.

He has political experience, including a current position on the East Montpelier selectboard and media experience which has given him a good working knowledge of state government. He’s also worked in water testing and treatment, critical issues for Central Vermont right now.

His goals are to create jobs by continuing to bolster developments in local, sustainable food and energy production; to push back against the political influence of moneyed interests; and ensuring strong unions and fair wages are accessible to unravel deepening income inequality.

2016 is a critical juncture in our politics. In the national Democratic presidential primary, the corporate funded status quo seems to have defeated the real change that so many citizens need. Yet, in Vermont, Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton by more than 80 points. This demonstrated that Vermonters hold a commitment to genuine, progressive change. Yet, the Democratic supermajority in the legislature has not delivered on this change.

Vermont is further from single payer health care now than it was eight years ago. Incomes are more unequal. Our lakes and rivers are dirtier.

We have to stand up to the Democrats and elect Progressive advocates for real change. Carl Etnier is such a Progressive, and he has the experience, the expertise and the passion Vermont needs.

Thomas Gram, Montpelier


Marci Young For House


Marci Young is a Progressive candidate for the State House in the Lamoille-Washington district. She was raised on a small dairy farm in Wolcott. She now lives in Morrisville.

Having studied environmental science and resource management, she has a good sense of the ecological challenges facing Vermont. She’s worked for state government, run small businesses and helped run cooperatives and she’s highly engaged in volunteer work for her community. She cares deeply about the needs of working class Vermonters, and wants to help us transition to a more ecologically sustainable and socially just economy that works for all of us.

The Democratic Party has been campaigning on some of these issues, but they continually fail to deliver for our state, even when they have a super-majority. If we want to see real progress in Vermont, we need to start electing real Progressives to our statehouse.

As a progressive, she doesn’t take money from big corporations. That gives her a degree of freedom in challenging the power of big business that the democrats simply don’t have.

Marci Young has the tenacity to break through the stagnation in the State House and make the changes Vermont needs. I strongly encourage Lamoille-Washington voters to support her this November.

Thomas Gram, Montpelier


Mental Illness Stigma: Barrier to Decency


“Advocacy For” is the positive use of language to achieve positive goals. It is measured by the frequency of positive affirmations, the infrequency of negatives. As simple as that seems, recognizing the positives and the negatives in a society which confuses the two is often difficult.

The use of positives must be deliberate, constant, and consistent, for it takes many positives to overcome one single negative. Though it is a rule of “Advocacy For” to present the positive, sometimes negatives are so well established, focusing on them can bring them clearly to peoples’ consciousness.

In the simplest, most common of metaphors lie the most powerful negatives.

A First Primer of “Don’ts”

Avoid the intransitive verbs “are” or “is” and thereby avoid the offensive labeling of people as “schizophrenics” or “a schizophrenic.”  Instead, use person-first language and name the illness, such as “He/she has schizophrenia.”

Avoid the articles “the,” “a,” and thereby avoid “the” mentally ill, “a” depressive.   Use “person-first” language, such as “people with bipolar disorder” or an “individual with depression.”

Avoid using adjectives that label people. Instead, use substantives, naming their conditions.

Avoid “mental illness” whenever you can use the fully informative, specific diagnosis.

Avoid “mental illness” in the singular. Use the plural, “mental illnesses ” as there are many.

Avoid “mental” illness. Whenever possible, use illness instead. They are illnesses.

Avoid the innuendo “stigma,” it victimizes. Use instead “prejudice” or “discrimination,” specifics which can be concretely addressed or redressed.

Avoid recounting “myths,” as they are repeated in folk cultures well known, instead inform and educate to truths.

Harold Maio, retired mental health editor, Fort Myers, Florida

This letter to the editor is in regards to the article “Mental Illness Stigma: Barrier to Decency” that was posted on montpelierbridg.com on Oct. 7.


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