Last week, the Courant’s Kevin Rennie opined that the results of the Democratic primaries, in which three incumbent Mayors were ousted in Hartford, Bridgeport, and New London, “hold an important lesson for Republicans.”
As a former Republican and, as of two years ago, a former Democrat (call me a disgusted unaffiliated who registers in whichever party I feel my primary vote will have the most impact), I’m interested to see what lessons Connecticut Republicans take away.
Sadly, the lesson that the Connecticut GOP appears to be taking away for the last three decades is: “We lost because we weren’t conservative enough. We need to become even more conservative.”
What’s more, their definition of “conservative” has been social conservatism.
One wonders if the Connecticut GOP feels the necessity to take its cues from the national GOP in order to stay relevant within the whole. But looking at both the lack of electoral success on the state level and the current state of the national party, one has to ask if that’s been a particularly wise course of action.
Despite amusing claims from commenters on CTNewsJunkie that I’m a “socialist” and “someone on the (left) fringe,” I come from a Republican home, something I’ve been reminded of again as my siblings and I go through the painful process of clearing out our late mother’s apartment.
I canvassed for Dad in the late 1970’s when he ran for Stamford Board of Reps (going door to door was torture for this shy, Atlas Shrugged reading-teen). Elected to office twice, he wasn’t called a RINO for voting for improved public housing.
On this at least, Ayn Rand was right. Reagan started this social conservative train, and 30 years later, in his library and now in Congress, we’re witnessing the party of Lincoln being driven off the cliff as a result.
The Connecticut GOP could change that. New England Republicans had a proud tradition of being different. The question is, do they still have the courage to be different?
I wish they would. Rep. Terrie Wood, R-Darien, was the keynote speaker at a dinner event I attended last year. She observed that a state dominated by one party isn’t healthy, be it Democrats in Connecticut or Republicans in Texas. I agree wholeheartedly. Even at the town level, a one-party administration ultimately ends up corrupt, arrogant, and opaque.
Connecticut Republicans should get back to the business of being New England Republicans. Not only would they provide a real choice, they could then influence the rest of their party to pull back from the cliff.
Sarah Darer Littman is an award-winning columnist and novelist of books for teens. A former securities analyst, she’s now an adjunct in the MFA program at WCSU, and enjoys helping young people discover the power of finding their voice as an instructor at the Writopia Lab.
DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com.
Sarah Darer Littman
Sarah Darer Littman is a critically-acclaimed author of books for young people. Her latest novel, Some Kind of Hate, comes out Nov. 1 from Scholastic Press.
The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com or any of the author's other employers.