It is easy to forget that through all the rhetoric both Republicans and Democrats have the same goal. Democrats are not Socialists and Republicans are not trying to disassemble the Union. Both parties are trying to better the state. Our congressman, Jim Himes, has the right approach of working with both parties to solve problems.
We need to stop playing party politics and work together on the problems that plague our nation. Himes has addressed the deficit and debt as serious problems, and he knows where to make cuts and what programs are priorities. Himes voted against both the Republican and Democratic budget proposals and instead voted for the bipartisan budget plan earlier this year. Although the proposal failed, he was praised for his part as one of the “Brave 38” congressmen who supported the bill.
It is easy to get caught up in party politics today. States are branded as red or blue, and freshman congressmen are brought into their respective camps and taught to not work with the other side. But Himes has broken through partisan gridlock and works with both Republican and Democratic congressmen to try and pass legislation that will help Connecticut. Other officials have forgotten that they represent a state or a district rather than a party or a set of ideals. Himes on the other hand works daily for Connecticut. He has returned 2.4 million dollars in Social Security benefits, veterans benefits and tax refunds. Himes says, “Helping constituents cut through red tape of the federal government is one of my most important duties as a representative.”
One’s political beliefs are not set in stone and people who think differently are not inherently wrong, it is all part of the negotiating and compromising process. The budget that Himes supported had cuts to entitlements that put off many Democrats, but it also had tax increases conceded by Republicans. The bill was a compromise and an attempt to find a solution.
This is the work that needs to be done in Congress today. We do not want partisan bickering and holdup. We as a state and as a nation want our representatives to work together to solve problems instead of pointing fingers and passing blame. The country needs a return to representation, where public officials remember who they represent, and the divide between parties doesn’t seem so vast.
I support the re-election of Jim Himes. He is a voice of reason and moderation in a sea of chest-pounding rhetoric and partisan inflexibility. He understands the issues that face our state and works with both parties to solve problems while keeping Connecticut’s interests at the forefront. Jim Himes is the representation that Connecticut deserves in Congress.
That’s why Washington needs Jim Himes, and why we’ve got to do everything we can to send him there. I urge all voters in Ridgefield to re-elect Congressman Jim Himes.
Rudy Marconi is Ridgefield’s first selectman. The Democratic Town Committee supplies this column.