For those who didn’t know I moved about 8 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO to Quechee (KWEECHEE), VT. It has taken a bit of time for me to get my political bearings, and I still am not fully read-on to Vermont Politics. That said, one thing that I do know is that the Sect. of State is a crucial position within any State Gov’t. The Sect. of State rules the elections. The Sect. of State is up for election in VT in 2010.
Another tidbit of information, that I gathered at the Windsor County Republican dinner a few weeks ago, was that a man named Chris Roy was going to run for Sect. of State.
Chris gave a short speech at the dinner to explain why he is running, most of which was inside baseball. I decided I wanted to chat with him for a minute and see if there was anything I could do to help him out in his campaign*. We shared info and have talked in email since then.
In our conversation I asked Chris to tell me about his political philosophy. Here is his response:
Some of my earliest memories of politics involve sitting under an apple tree after the mid-day meal when visiting my maternal grandparents’ dairy farm in rural northern Vermont. My grandfather and father would sit under the tree and talk about the political and public policy issues of the day. My grandfather emigrated from Denmark in the 1920s and was a self-made, self-taught man. He was very a much a proponent of self-reliance and conservative virtues, and abhorred the socialist direction that Europe had followed (maligning the emergence of Bernie Sanders as Vermont following the path to decline previously followed by socialist Europe). My father was the son of Quebec immigrants who built their own small business in central Vermont’s granite memorial industry. While more pragmatic in his politics, my father preached the gospel of hard work and entrepreneurship.
Notwithstanding their abilities, neither of my parents had the opportunity to attend college. My mother did go to nursing school. My father had planned to study engineering in college, but his father died while my dad was serving in the army in Europe, so my father returned to run the family business instead. My parents believed strongly in education, saved and scrimped and worked hard, and allowed each of their three children to attend the college of their choice.
At Harvard in the mid-1980s, I necessarily learned that advocating conservative principles would require me to think them through carefully, knowing that any utterance would result in a torrent of protest from the other side. I was active in politics through college, and attempted to maintain a sense of humor throughout. My senior honors thesis compared the foreign policy leadership styles of Eisenhower and Reagan (a topic drawing disdain from various faculty advisors). I had the opportunity to study under the likes of Samuel Huntington and Harvey Mansfield. During the summer of 1985 (the summer after my junior year), I was the sole D.C. intern for U.S. Sen. Robert Stafford. I was given much latitude to watch the Senate in action, and came to appreciate the opportunity to see Sen. Barry Goldwater in action.
After college, I attended Cornell Law School, moved back to Vermont, and busied myself with building a career and raising a family. In 1990, I helped start the first GOP community cable TV show in Vermont — the Burlington Republican Forum. I subsequently got involved with the State GOP Committee, and became Secretary and member of the Executive Committee in 1998 – 2000.
I was involved in the leadership of the Vermont campaign of Sen. John McCain in 2000, and again in 2008. I admired his military service, fiscal conservatism, environmentalism, and willingness to speak his mind. In the meantime, I served on a variety of boards and commissions. During 2006-2007, I wrote a biweekly column in the Williston weekly newspaper. In 2008, I was elected to the Williston Selectboard (after having run and lost in two very close elections in the late 1990s).
Out of this, I emerged with a political philosophy perhaps best described as old-time Yankee conservatism — fiscal conservatism, national security realism, and social traditionalism with a streak of libertarianism. I will leave it to others to identify which conservative philosophical themes this constellation of views represents.
I am officially throwing my support to Chris Roy in 2010.
If you are so inclined to help those of us in the Socialist Paradise of Vermont, you can do so here.
* Remember We Are the Calvary!!