Category Archives: Politics

It’s election season!

Many are using Front Porch Forum to discuss political issues and candidates.

“There is no other source for local information about candidates, issues, and budgets that is free. I’m glad there are no memes here, no trolling for the sake of argument, but I deeply value the access to local issues, challenges, opinions, and endorsements of local candidates for office. Civil discourse is valuable. Let’s keep the emphasis on Civil as we continue the discourse.”  • Wade in Brandon, Vt.

“If, as stated, FPF is about connecting, then it should be more than just a community bulletin board. Someone said that there are plenty of other forums for political discussion. True, but by the same token there are also plenty of other places to let people know that you have extra puzzles or vegetable starts to give away. As long as we keep things civil and respectful there’s nothing wrong with an exchange of differing viewpoints. And those who don’t wish to read something are perfectly free to skip over it.”  • Lisa in Brattleboro, Vt.

“A forum is, among other things, a site for discussion. If we can’t air our differences, how can we ever resolve them? For that matter, can we really understand issues, local or otherwise, if we don’t discuss them, if we view them only monocularly, through the single lens of our own parochial points of view? What safer place to air one’s views than FPF, where tempers are necessarily tempered by the relative quiet of written speech? And what better way to organize and solidify one’s thoughts, to familiarize oneself with one’s own views, than to write them down in coherent sentences? Write on!” • Keith in So. Hero, Vt.

I would say that the idea of Front Porch Forum is to replicate the idea of sitting on the front porch and discussing what is going on in the world–near and far. I don’t think that a forum is only for looking for lost pets or selling tires. The definition of a forum is a place where people can exchange ideas, like being a libertarian, discussing the issues of the day, announcing area activities, and looking for lost pets and selling tires. Whatever people used to do on their front porch. I find discussions on the forum to be interesting and thought provoking. Obviously I don’t always agree but my horizons are broadened, causing me to at least think about things that otherwise would not be brought to my attention. If you don’t like the political stuff, don’t read it, but appreciate the fact that you can read about Odin, 225-65-17’s for sale and that the farmer’s market has moved in doors and all sorts of other things. I encourage people to put their thoughts and ideas out there for others to think about. At least we’re having a discussion with our neighbors about things that matter.” • Thomas in Roxbury, Vt.

Free drink for a Trump supporter

I know this election has shaken up a lot of people on both sides of the debate. One thing I see happening more than anything else is an inability for people to communicate and have empathy towards those with different views. It is sad, though luckily for us in Vermont it isn’t nearly as bad as some other places in this country.

I have set a goal for myself to sit down with someone with a differing perspective than my own, share a drink (whatever it may be) and to just listen a bit. I am not out to make a debate. Nor to talk at someone else. But I do want to know about what a Trump supporter sees as the biggest issues in their world, what about Trump inspires them, and what about him may be concerning. I also want that same person to hear someone who is different than them actually giving a shit about their opinion, in an effort to bridge the divide that the media says we all have.

This is an act of reconciliation and hope. I want to see us rise above our political differences. We are all in this together.


• Jake, Morrisville Front Porch Forum

Bristol’s “Share the Road” discussion may lead to more considerate behavior

The topic of sharing the road between motorists and cyclists is heating up on the Bristol Front Porch Forum this week.  FPF member Marc’s posting made a great point…

I’m feeling a bit nervous now that I have opened the door to this conversation between bicyclists and car drivers sharing the road. But the door is now open so here goes.

After reading your post Ryan I found myself agreeing with almost all your points and identifying with your irritation… It also got me thinking that all your wonderful points and my points and Debbie’s points are maybe beside the point or at least not the main point.

A story: In my early 20s I shared a house with four unrelated people. We would get irritated with each other over not doing the dishes the right way or at all, leaving a mess around, being too noisy, etc. The less time we interacted with each other the more irritated we would get. When we did things together or just hung out and talked things would improve. Somehow people did a little bit of a better job and we became more tolerant and less annoyed. I think what happened is that we saw each other more as people and less as just annoyances and wanted to be nicer to each other.

So in my mind this conversation about bicyclists and car drivers sharing the road is not about whose points are right and whose points are wrong. It’s about having the conversation, making our points in a kind way, hearing our neighbors’ concerns and being heard by our neighbors. My hope is that in some magic way a kind and considerate conversation will lead to kinder and more considerate behavior on everyone’s part and a safer road for all of us.