Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg tweeted recently that he is old enough to remember the Republican Party. He has 15 years on me, but I’m old enough to remember, too.
Here in Connecticut, I came of political age when the state GOP boasted members like Malcolm Baldrige, and the late Stewart and Lucie McKinney.
These days, we witness Republican state chairman JR Romano and the rest of the Connecticut delegation applauding Donald Trump and his unsavory campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who, despite all evidence of his sexist, misogynistic candidate’s gender abyss with women voters, actually thought it would be helpful to utter these words in the year 2016 to explain why women will vote for his candidate: “They can’t afford their lives. Their husbands can’t afford paying the family bills.”
As a well-educated, self-employed woman who owns her own home, makes her own investment decisions, and yes, Mr. Manafort, pays her family’s bills, if the Connecticut GOP, who proudly claims this cave man as “one of their own,” thinks this is going to help them be viewed as a viable alternative to Connecticut’s woes, here’s a pro-tip, gratis: Time to enter the 21st Century, Mad Men.
It’s telling that a man who is tone deaf enough to say something as stupid as this in 2016 has the audacity to declare one of the most qualified presidents we’ve had in recent memory, President George H.W. Bush, “part of the past.”
Here’s another piece of free advice, Mr. Manafort: it’s precisely because people like George H.W. Bush are part of the GOP’s past that women like me left the party over two decades ago. My kids can’t imagine how I ever could have been a registered Republican, and they can’t see themselves ever voting for one. After you’ve pocketed your latest round of consulting fees from this abysmal Trump candidacy, you can rest on your nest egg knowing you’ve salted the field for the party for another generation or two.
Now before the howls of “But Hillary and the DNC . . .” in the comments, yes, I know, and in case you forgot, I wrote about the fix being in over a year ago in June 2015 without resorting to the slimeball tactics of Wikileaks and Russian hackers — just using critical thinking and old-fashioned journalism skills.
Yet on Wednesday, Mr. Manafort’s client, and the man for whom Romano enthusiastically cast the Connecticut delegation’s vote last week, rather than seeming concerned that a foreign government would engaging in cyber warfare, encouraged further attacks: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said Wednesday during a news conference. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Leaving aside the fact that despite statements by his campaign to the contrary, Trump has business interests with Russia, that a candidate for the highest office in our land would openly encourage such behavior is beyond comprehension.
Called out for his remark, Trump fell back on the excuse of bullies everywhere: “I’m being sarcastic.” Sheesh, foreign policy and national security experts! Can’t you take a joke?
As a local Greenwich wag quipped: “That whole Sudetenland thing? I was just being sarcastic.” (Adolf Hitler, 1938)
Meanwhile, there’s Trump’s vice presidential choice, Mike Pence, who as governor of Indiana signed a bill that is one of the most radically restrictive of women’s rights in the country.
We need two viable parties in Connecticut because one party rule in any town, city, state or country isn’t healthy. It leads to unethical behavior, corruption, and inefficiency — problems we see in our state right now. Look at the Connecticut Democrats’ campaign finance shenanigans — and they were allegedly the party supportive of clean elections.
But while the Connecticut and national GOP continue down such a cynical and extremely dangerous road, this thinking woman finds herself with no reasonable alternative to the Democrats in Connecticut — stuck between corrupt and the Stone Age.
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 as such is an AAUP member), and enjoys helping young people discover the power of finding their voice as an instructor at the Writopia Lab.
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