Latest Op-ed | Unpacking the Real ‘Threat to Democracy’ (July 2024)

July 2, 2024

Op-ed as published by the CT Examiner:

 

What is the true “threat to democracy”? Elected Democrats in Connecticut and across the country often use this term when attempting to malign their political opponents.

 

“Reckless” is another such term. Democrats are very quick to vilify Republicans as such, especially when they endeavor to uphold state/federal law or—gasp—the U.S. Constitution. Progressive ideology holds that dismantling these institutions is the only appropriate course of action. Maintaining our core values and principles that made our country great? Well, I guess that’s simply “reckless.”

 

Case in point: Last month, we saw the culmination of years of “lawfare” waged against President Trump in his conviction at the hands of a compromised Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and presiding judge. In the following weeks, it was reported that a juror was also perhaps compromised. In response, Connecticut Republican Senate, and House leaders (both practicing lawyers) called out the underlying judicial process, as well as blatant prosecutorial misconduct.

 

“As attorneys, we have the utmost respect for the American justice system and share an unequivocal belief in the rule of law. As legislators, we do all we can to support the work of our judges, juries, and prosecutors in preserving the most fundamental institutions of our republic. However, we cannot ignore the fact that the events that have transpired in New York City point to a weaponization of those very institutions to achieve a political end. These events have created a highly troubling scenario which will invariably end up on appeal and raise serious Constitutional challenges. The one thing we are sure of is that our Constitution will prevail,” they said.

 

This statement was factual, deferential to our justice system, and purposely written to separate their concerns from any debate over President Trump himself.

 

Of course, Connecticut Democrats immediately blasted this statement and painted it as “reckless” in a formal statement and subsequent unhinged social media posts. How dare Republicans cite the Constitution! How dare they believe in the application of our justice system as intended! To elected Democrats, this belief is “reckless,” surely rooted in “right-wing extremism.”

 

Reckless indeed. This example illustrates a point of frustration where outlandish rhetoric has replaced reasoned debate and discourse. In the legislature itself, my Democrat counterparts rarely ever debate anything. When they bring forward controversial bills that advance their agenda, Republicans respond with points and ask questions. Typical responses range from “I don’t have that information” or “I am happy with the language in the bill, Senator.”

 

Outside the Capitol building, in the press and in their statements, they have plenty to say and usually it consists of painting people like me as radical because we believe in our American system of representative government and equal justice under the law.

 

Here’s an exercise for you: Imagine if the same circumstances of President Trump’s case were applied to Democratic politicians, who were then convicted of a fabricated crime. Organizations like Antifa would be setting our cities ablaze, and Democratic politicians from all over the country would be calling for a complete overhaul of our system.

 

Elected Democrats and their surrogates label Republican ideas as “extreme,” “dangerous,” or “radical” while pushing their own truly radical agenda.

 

Consider where the two parties stand on issues and ask yourself which is the true extreme.

Inflation & Affordability

Democrats: Expand government and increase spending on programs benefiting various special interests. Increase government intervention to redistribute wealth. Mandate a minimum wage of $15 or more per hour and require businesses to provide additional benefits, driving up the cost of goods and services. Raise taxes on the middle class while creating loopholes for corporate allies. Print money to address short-term needs, leading to inflation that reduces the value of money and increases the cost of living. Expand social safety net programs to help those struggling with new, higher costs. Blame Republicans.

 

Republicans: Reduce government spending, cut taxes, and promote free-market policies to stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities. Advocate for deregulation to lower costs for businesses and consumers. Support measures to increase domestic energy production to reduce energy costs. Emphasize the importance of fiscal responsibility. Argue that excessive government spending and high taxes contribute to inflation and reduce affordability for American families.

Crime

Democrats: Implement numerous law changes that undermine the rule of law and hinder police effectiveness. Raise the age for juvenile offenders. Release violent felons from prison early. Eliminate police chases and consent searches. Erase criminal records. Protect illegal immigrants with criminal records from deportation. Attract illegal immigrants with benefits such as driver’s licenses. Make individual police officers personally liable for actions taken on the job, discouraging proactive enforcement.

 

Republicans: Oppose all the above reckless policies and work to restore law and order while protecting the civil and constitutional rights of all citizens. Prosecute criminals, particularly those who use a firearm in the course of a crime. Protect the right of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves.

Climate Change

Democrats: Call for wholesale societal changes to reduce carbon emissions and combat global warming through harsh regulations. Transition away from fossil fuels with abrupt bans on gas-powered vehicles, despite the lack of infrastructure and warnings about grid sustainability, leading to potential blackouts. Extend bans to gas grills, wood/coal ovens, and gas-powered lawn equipment, ignoring the consequences to modern society, industry, and personal freedom.

 

Republicans: Recognize pollution needs to be addressed to protect the world we live in. Encourage technological innovation and market driven competition to create cleaner, safer alternatives. In Connecticut, a small state that can only regulate its own people, allow consumers to choose if they would like to drive gas-powered or electric cars. Promote energy alternatives that are both green and feasible including hydropower and nuclear power.

Abortion

Democrats: Fiercely advocate for abortion up to the point of delivery. Protect late-term abortions. Describe abortion as healthcare. Close pro-life pregnancy centers. Prevent parental notification when minor daughter schedules an abortion procedure.

 

Republicans: Acknowledge a wide range of positions from pro-choice to pro-life, but universally oppose late-term (third trimester) abortions. Advocate for parental notification to catch abusers. Do not use taxpayer funds to promote abortions.

 

These are just a few examples of the true contrast in where elected officials in the parties stand on issues.

 

The Connecticut Democrats’ definition of extremism is warped entirely. Their positions are far removed from mainstream Americans. While they do hold majorities in Hartford, we must continue to make our voices heard and unmask their true intentions behind their own extreme policies and actions.