Democratic View: Elect doers, not demagogues

Democrats are the party of doers, initiators, and problems solvers. Across the country and in Connecticut, Democrats outperform Republicans in reducing deficits, stimulating job creation and economic growth, safeguarding education and retirees, maintaining essential services and infrastructure, and raising living standards and quality of life.

The Republican Party, meanwhile, is the party of Trump, an organ of demagogues pedaling policies that benefit only their donors and cronies. This stark contrast exists in every race on the ballot. Thus, it is imperative you vote exclusively Row A, the Democratic line, on Nov. 6.

Recent history illustrates why. In Connecticut, Republicans held the governor’s mansion from 1995 to 2011, leaving office with negative job growth and a $3.2-billion annual deficit. Having spent the prior 16 years cheering the policies that created those conditions, in 2011, Republicans promptly flipped the script, maligning Gov. Malloy as he reduced their deficits by 88% and oversaw the fastest rate of Connecticut job growth in a decade. In 2018, Republicans are flipping the script again, promoting a platform that will explode the deficit, jack property taxes into the stratosphere, and threaten public education, infrastructure, and public health. These are the same tactics Republicans have executed nationally and in states like Oklahoma and Kansas, where public schools are forced to close months early or run only three days per week.

Democrats are proposing real solutions, especially in Ridgefield’s own legislative districts. Democratic challengers Aimee Berger-Girvalo for 111th District state representative, Ken Gucker for 138th District state representative, and Will Haskell for 26th District state senator have advanced realistic, creative and energetic proposals to further reduce deficits while moderating taxes, protecting retirees, safeguarding education, preserving services and enhancing critical infrastructure. Contrast Aimee’s, Ken’s and Will’s authentic problem-solving with incumbent Republicans Frey, Ferguson and Boucher who vote with their party leadership 93-96% of the time and who support the national Trump/GOP without dissent.

Contrast the Democratic gubernatorial ticket of Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz, who propose serious, practical solutions to fiscal and economic problems, versus Trumpist/Tea Partiers Stefanowski and Markley, whose plans would place Connecticut in the same dire straits as the worst GOP-run states.

The stark contrasts continue. Democratic Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and attorney general candidate William Tong vow to defend Connecticut residents from Trump Administration attempts to suppress voting and civil rights, while their Republican opponents pledge to aid such efforts. Democratic Comptroller Kevin Lembo and treasurer candidate Shawn Wooden possess the expertise, pragmatism, and immense integrity those positions fundamentally require and which their Republican opponents lack.

Finally, Sen. Chris Murphy and Congressman Jim Himes have been stalwart champions for Connecticut and national leaders in efforts to contain and reverse Trump Administration depredations. It is crucial they be re-elected.

This election may be the most important of your life to this point. Make it count. Vote straight ticket Democratic on Nov. 6.

Alex Harris is chair of the Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee.