By Dan DeWalt
While Vermont may be stirring the waves with its march towards universal health care, and marching to its own drummer by expanding collective bargaining rights in the state, its most pressing and immediate issue is one that should rally tea party folks from across the nation to come to its aid.
I'm not talking about the Dick “never met a prostitute's toe I didn't want to suck” Morris' Tea Party, which is simply an attempt to co-opt the movement for the Republican establishment, or the “official” Tea Party, which is more interested in suing to protect its name brand and selling ads disguised as policy statements than it is in actually doing something constructive. No, I'm talking about Americans who are simply mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore. Americans who have had their fill of federal government overreaching and stepping on states' rights. Americans who are tired of seeing powerful corporations raiding the U.S. Treasury for taxpayer dollars in order to cover for their failed business plans. I'm talking about people who are well represented by their local and even state representatives, but discover that that representation is only something to be trampled by corporate lawyers and the federal judiciary.
In short, I'm talking about Americans who recognize that Entergy Nuclear of Louisiana's bid to usurp Vermont state authority in order to shove twenty more years of the leaky Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor down our throats against our will is not only a moral outrage, but is also a key threat to aspects of the Republic as outlined in the Constitution.
The tenth amendment reads as follows: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.”
Entergy Nuclear wants the federal courts to take away Vermont's right to regulate affairs within its borders. For the sake of promoting profits, Entergy wants the federal government to trample Vermont's right to determine the policies that its citizens demand and deserve. It wants the feds to say that we have no voice in determining our own future. If there ever was an issue that brings together a host of important questions that should galvanize citizen action, this is it. Vermonters are calling on citizens from across the country to join us next March, when we will close down the reactor if the feds and Entergy Corporation are still colluding to keep it open. Vermont Yankee was licensed to run for 40 years. That license runs out on March 21, 2012. Entergy, in spite of lying about the existence of underground pipes that leaked large amounts of tritium, along with cesium and other dangerous elements, wants to run the plant for another 20 years. Vermont said no. We said it in town meetings, not town meetings where people simply get a chance to let off steam, but actual legal town meetings where the official business of our towns is decided for the year (one of the last vestiges of true democracy still extant in our nation). We said no in the legislature where, by over a four to one margin, the state Senate voted no to continuing VY operations past 2012. And we said no last November in a clearly defined gubernatorial election when we voted in the governor who campaigned emphatically to make VY close on time.
What part of NO do these people not understand? The part that interferes with their profits. The part of NO that they have not yet experienced is the NO that they will discover on March 21 next spring, when thousands of us will be clogging the streets and fields surrounding their leaky reactor, making operation impossible and forcing them to shut down simply to be able to maintain public order. This is an opportunity for all Americans to say that we have had enough. We have had enough of corporate welfare, enough of federal government over-reach, and enough of having our democracy crushed by powerful monied interests. Vermonters are now calling on the nation to join us in this definitive fight that will stop the erosion of our rights. Help us rebalance the lopsided power that has been concentrated in the hands of the establishment elite. Help us defend the Constitution. Vermont is a state where community and citizenship are still valued and practiced. Join us and become part of a movement that brings our nation back to its democratic roots. Ask yourselves one question: who could you expect to represent your aspirations and interests more, citizens using the democratic process to control their lives, or profit greedy corporations and their political lapdogs trying to promote an industry that the free market has abandoned.
The choice is yours. The future belongs to all of us.