FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Left’s Future: an Interview With Vermont Sen. Chris Pearson

The American Left is divided, and nothing displayed this more than the 2016 Democratic Primary. The old fashioned corporate-friendly nature of the Democratic establishment is not too popular with young liberals as of late.

The Vermont Progressive Party (or VPP) began in 1999, partly due to the successful mayoral campaign of Bernie Sanders. I recently spoke with State Senator Christopher Pearson to learn more about his work in Vermont and his opinion regarding the shifting political atmosphere.

Ezra Kronfeld – In the past you’ve spoken about how you’re discussions with Bernie Sanders have influenced your work. What idea of his stands out for you as a legislator?

Christopher Pearson – I would say his focus on economic issues and economic justice, as their are many liberal and even Progressive minds out there in government be he is, I think, unique in his commitment to those issues, and understanding how they translate to the public.

EK – Do you find what he’s said and done to be at all daring in this political atmosphere?

CP – Well I definitely think he’s courageous. If you examine his campaign last year, you’ll find that he was totally willing to name names, whether hedge fund managers or pharma executives, or even heads of media. He’s always been pretty bold in that way.

EK – For over thirty years, the Vermont Progressives have worked to bring change to your state without establishment ties or corporate donations. How do you think that kind of grassroots politics has changed with the rise of social media?

CP – I’d say those principles still apply, the difference being that a lot of us have gained experience. The Lieutenant Governor is a Progressive, the state auditor, a few of us in the senate. We do get a broader reach with social networking, in a cheap manner. I don’t know if that answers your question.

EK – Uh, yep. As a legislator, do you think there are any issues that have been drastically avoided or underreported as of late for the benefit of some affluent figurehead?

CP – I think, generally, the media establishment doesn’t look at inequality very much, or climate change enough. These are central issues to, I would argue, our survival and sustainable future that, if they made headlines, would help us to further understand these issues.

EK – What do you think has significantly caused this disillusionment of the Left, particularly liberal millennials, with the Democratic party?

CP – Well I’d say that that they really haven’t had the enthusiastic support of millennials for a long time, and it’s been highlighted by Sanders’ presidential campaign. Not much of a dramatic change.

EK – Do you think there should be more said and done about big pharma?

CP – For sure, it really should be a major focus of Leftists in America. In fact, I have a bill in my pocket right now to demand that Vermonters will pay no more than the VA for public pharmaceutical purchases like Medicaid. It really a rather stark example, to me, of the poor policy decisions in Congress, and Democrats really need to understand that standing up to this industry is not only the right thing to do, and would actually be fiscally conservative, but would also be a huge win with voters. And I remember when I was 25 or 26 years old working for Bernie, I helped organize a trip to Canada for about ten Vermont citizens so they could receive prescriptions from Canadian doctors. Legislators really need to understand the significance of this issue much more than they do, especially the Democrats.

Christopher Pearson serves in the Vermont State Senate representing Chittenden County. He has recently challenged Governor Phil Scott’s vetoing of a legal marijuana bill.

Ezra Kronfeld is an American writer who authors the satirical blog “Why Stuff Sucks” (whystuffsucks.net).

 

More articles by:

January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Glenn Sacks
Teachers Strike Dispatch #8: New Independent Study Confirms LAUSD Has the Money to Meet UTLA’s Demands
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposable Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail