10 Stereotypes Of Vermonters

10 Stereotypes Of Vermonters

Don't ask for fake maple syrup unless you want to get thrown out into the snow.
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Vermont is a unique state that has developed very specific stereotypes over the years. Some say we are basically Canada, others say: “Vermont? Where in New York is that?” Despite our small size, Vermont has a lot of heart and is full of stubborn, lovable, passionate people. The stereotypes often associated with our state vary in their accuracy, and here is a list of the most popular ones.

1. Worship Bernie Sanders.

We certainly love our senator who is running for president right now, but not everyone who lives here is a diehard liberal “feeling the bern.” Bernie followers tend to be louder and more public about their support, while Republican Vermonters keep more to themselves about political views. For those of us who love Bernie, we are so proud of the messages he is spreading and feel as though our voices are finally being heard. It's exciting and we are not afraid to show our support.

2. Real maple syrup or no maple syrup.

Maple syrup is a staple in the majority of Vermonters’ lives. Any stereotype about how much we love our syrup tends to be accurate. I’ve visited many sugar houses and refuse to even look at the fake, watery syrup on grocery shelves next to my beloved Grade B Vermont maple syrup. You can put it on anything: pancakes, oatmeal, peanut butter sandwiches, barbecue, snow, and more. The possibilities are endless.

3. Hippies.

If by hippies, you mean we are calm, open people who just want peace for the world, then yes we are hippies. If by hippies, you mean we smoke marijuana, wear peace sign glasses, and listen to vinyl records, then yes some of us are hippies. If the worst generalization you can make about us is we are the type of people who put flowers in guns or use recycled bottles to create indoor gardens, we will accept that and are probably already doing it.

4. Hate outsiders.

In general, I find that outsiders either experience the kind, welcoming Vermonter or the rough Vermonter who hates tourists. Both of these views are true depending on the situation. Vermonters don’t particularly like when flatlanders are driving 10 miles per hour down the road to stare at our mountains, but if we see you in a store trying to figure out a map we will certainly stop to help. Every state will have friendly and mean people, it just depends on who you run into on a given day.

5. Friends with cows.

It’s true that you can start at almost any house in Vermont, drive a couple miles, and come across a field of cows munching on some grass. Not everyone gets up close and personal with those cows, but a love of animals is present in most Vermonters’ hearts. Cows are just so goofy and sweet, so how can you not love them?

6. Indifferent to the cold.

This stereotype is both true and untrue. A lot of Vermonters take pleasure in proving their ruggedness by wearing minimal clothing and criticizing those who think it’s a bit chilly outside. Then there are the more sane Vermonters, who know when the time has come to put on a parka and scarf. We still probably won’t point out the cold though because then everyone would just be complaining constantly for five months and nothing would get done.

7. Wear lots of flannel.


This varies a lot based on each person’s fashion choices, but I find that most people I know at least own a flannel, if not wear it frequently. The Vermont Flannel Company has everything from blankets to thongs, so it is hard to resist buying some of that warm material for the harsh winter months.

8. Only drink craft beer.

Brewing craft beer would be Vermont’s hobby if the state were a person. There are many people who make a living out of it, and they take pride in their work. Heady Topper is particularly popular and can be hard to get your hands on. The brewing company responsible for it, the Alchemist, releases it in waves and as soon as it reaches stores Vermonters go crazy buying it all. If you want the Vermont beer experience without all the hassle, I would recommend grabbing some Long Trails or a Switchback and relax as everyone else scrambles to purchase the last six-pack of their favorite microbrew.

9. See moose every day in the backyard.

It’s true that wildlife pops up everywhere in Vermont. I see a lot of foxes, rabbits, deer, and raccoons around my house, but moose are actually fairly rare. I’ve lived in Vermont for 20 years and have yet to spot one, but on the other hand my friend watched a moose chase her dog down the street one time. It depends on how lucky you get and where in the state you live. Don’t worry, her dog made it home safely.

10. Eat only Ben & Jerry’s and cheese.

This is spot on and don’t you for a second think we eat anything other than Cherry Garcia and Cabot Cheddar Extra Sharp.

I think it is safe to say most Vermont stereotypes are accurate. We are very clear on our opinions of maple syrup and winter. I love my state and hope that tourists and visitors can truly appreciate all we have to offer. Don’t underestimate us because of our size. Someday we will take over the world, and when that day comes we will live on a peaceful, sustainable planet. Until then, we will be up here in the northeast hanging out with Canada and trying to convince New Hampshire to merge into one big Super Vermont.

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Diplomacy and Revolution

Creating A Federation With The Nation’s 19,505 Cities, Towns, and Villages, And Dissolving The 50 States Of The Union; Will Prevent The United States Of America From Balkanizing As Its Empire Declines.
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As it has become undeniable under the current administration of Donald Trump, the United States has entered its imperial decline as a global hegemonic force. The economic stability of the US dollar as a global currency is wavering and the military apparatus that spans the globe is starting to grind under its own contradictions as an occupying force. As these contradictions start to buckle under their own weight, the economic collapse and military retraction in the United States hegemony is an undeniable calculation. As this economic collapse occurs, the need to reorient economic priorities will be an imperative. As our global military network and apparatus starts to evolve and retract as an occupying force, it will require a new examination of what it means to provide the security of persons in the 21st-century. These questions will be placed in needed context, as external forces press the rapid advancement of these changes; as well as domestic forces trying to acclimate to this rapid transition. As we saw in the past with the Articles of Confederation in the late 18th century, the priorities of the states and their self interests and loyalty to wealth and power place the Federal Union of the United States under threat of internal instability and external pressures that will lead to an inevitable crisis unseen in the United States since the days of the Civil War. To avoid these destabilizing factors, the wise attempt to reconstruct the Federal structure of the United States must be applied.

To do this, we must recognize that our democracy is rooted in the diplomacy between various republics; forming the federation that established the Union of the United States of America under the pretext of the Constitution. Diplomacy must be re-oriented on the municipal level to deal with the shifts of modern communication and transportation advancement; so as to avoid Balkanization. We must keep in mind that Federalism, a federation, is a structure that offers the means of ensuring a formalized diplomatic structure between communities. The Iroquois Confederacy in which the United States Union was based off of focused on representation via tribes; this localized format must be present in any transitional new system. Coupled with a format of modern technological development, a federation of municipalities is perfectly plausible for the various communities throughout the entire United States thanks to current communication and transportation systems; with evolving transportation and communication systems increasing the feasibility and ease of such a networked systems.

We have (as of 2015 data) 19,505 cities, towns, and villages in the United States. As the American empire declines, the calculation that economic divisions will spark a disunity internally must be avoided at all cost via re-federalizing. It is perfectly plausible to create a federation out of the 19,505 communities using representation of each in a federal congress. We have sports stadiums that can house tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of spectators; it would be perfectly plausible create a federal congress using such scales of construction. It would also ensure management of sub regional, regional, and super-regional networks that are internal mechanisms used for unifying local and federal systems. Not only will this new federal system prevent Balkanization and disunity of the American people, it will also offer the potentiality for economic reconstruction with the emphasis on self sustainability and self-sufficiency for every community. Utilizing social contracts such as a Second Bill of Rights to provide things such as food, water, energy, infrastructure, knowledge, and productive abilities for every community and every individuals. Living up to the motto of the United States E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One; as well as ensuring life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness in the 21st-century.

Our present is not the first time that the United States has risked division, as already mentioned the Articles of Confederation brought us to the edge of a complete breakdown of the Union, which was operating as only a mere confederation at the time. The slave master rebellion of 1861 that ignited what became known as the Civil War brought the United States further to the precipice of disunity. But as the Union has shown to withstand not only internal strife and division brought on by economic stratification, we have developed a federal system that has expanded its influence around the globe. As we wise up to the foolishness of attempting to assert hegemony over the peoples of the world; we will start to recognize that the survivability of our own systems will rely on a new unifying effort. One that will require nothing less than the declaration of a new Federation of the Peoples of America; guaranteed under the Declaration of Independence and Constitution that set forth to lay the foundations of the United States today. With the same mentality of transition between the Articles of Confederation to the Federal Constitution, and with the pretext of legal declaration such as the Emancipation Proclamation; we can avoid repeating the same mistakes in the past through federalizing anew. And through a new Federation, finally creating the principles and ideals that we laid out in our past but have yet to live up to in the present; by becoming at true Union of Peoples.

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The Importance Of Empathy

How just meeting new people can make all the difference in your life
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Merriam Webster Dictionary describes “empathy” as, “The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.”

During such a time with increasing social, political, and societal divide, a better comprehension of empathy would do wonders to lessen this divide.

Attaining a better sense of empathy allows for one to build upon their perspective and have a better understanding of the people around them. While it may sound too cliche or rudimentary, the best way to build a strong sense of empathy is to explore new things and new people.

In high school I was involved with football, the TV show, the art department, the drama department, the spirit club, etc.. In the fall I attended community college, and now I attend the University of Southern California. I have been able to surround myself with people of different passions, socio-economic backgrounds, and perspectives. All of which makes up a lot of who I am today.

Then while I may have my own preconceived opinions and views, I have fostered some ability to understand the point of views and thought processes of the people around me. Whether it be an privileged high school athlete, or a low-income community college art student, I have been able to interact with people across the spectrum of perspectives.

Surrounding myself with such a variety of people shapes who I am and builds me a stronger sense of self. Then while all these people I have interacted may not be my best friends, nor may I even get along with them all, I at least know where they are coming from and look at them with more than one lens of thought.

From the high school students trying to do something new and build their resume, to the successful college student who just wants to meet some more people outside of their hometown, I cannot stress enough how much getting outside of one’s comfort zone and getting to know people you may have never even spoken to before.

Just by surrounding oneself with a variety of passionate and well-intentioned people, a strong sense of empathy can be fostered. With racial and socio-economic tensions flaring consistently, society would greatly benefit if people just grew better understandings of one another. Once everyone beings to appreciate and value all the different perspectives and point of views that make up this world, a lot could change for the better.

Cover Image Credit: Alexis Brown

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