New Leadership at EAI

by Bruce Shields

The Left continues their three decade long rumble in Vermont. One consistent voice of sanity has been the Ethan Allen Institute. How will my taking over as President change things? As little as is consistent with the change of times. John McClaughry remains Vice President, charged with continuing his inimitable research and commentary on Vermont’s political landscape. We will keep those activities by which we are known and improve their content and delivery. Being naturally careful, I have no plan to reinvent the institute. But we also can’t continue exactly as we were. For instance, last fall we stopped mailing paper copies of the Newsletter by USPS because of the cost and are now emailing PDF files. That alienated some long term members, and we need to learn how to accommodate them at a reasonable cost. Our transition into the digital age is very incomplete.

Among the activities we actively sponsor or support are Rob Roper’s daily radio shows with the blog titled True North Reports, Meredith Angwin’s Energy Education Project with its own blog, the Vermont Tiger blog, and in cooperation with the Left leaning Public Assets Institute, the Vermont Transparency Project and website. We also share resources with Vermonters for Better Education and their website, and Darcy Johnston’s Health Care Initiative. We will again sponsor public presentations in the Sheraton series to help air major position papers on Health Care, Energy, and Education during the next year. Outside Vermont, we share information and resources with some 100 like-minded organizations in the US and Canada.

Our ultimate goal is to influence public opinion and to shape public policy toward the free market principles espoused by the American Founding Fathers, and enunciated in modern philosophical form by thinkers like Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. Sometimes Vermont can be a discouraging audience but a sense of humor keeps one on track. Recently a politician portrayed himself as a person shouting at a brick wall. That is too defeatist to be our self image. We will start by reforming our web-site, creating informative links among all our related projects, help like minded persons find each other, and pass useful information among a network of people prepared to make real change possible. We need to expand our network by linking into social media. Already a number of people have provided very good ideas about what steps we need to take. Please let me hear from you, bruce@ethanallen.org