To the Editor:
As a traditional Republican, I am often frustrated by my party when it fails to stand strong in the face of Democrat policies that increase taxes, wastefully spend, and are overzealous, damaging regulatory policy. Though they are flat wrong on most things, I am forced to admire the Democrats for almost never wavering on their agenda.
It’s an odd situation because I am certain, down to my bones, that Republicans are right on the issues. If we proclaimed our views boldly on everything from economic freedom to civil rights, even social issues, we would end up on the winning side far more often.
The Democrats, on the other hand, continue to embrace some things I would describe as madness—but they do so with unparalleled confidence. This is the party that has gone full socialism. I remember when they were afraid of the word! Not anymore. They are successfully selling the most destructive worldview in human history to Americans! We cannot let that continue!
Here in Connecticut, Republicans are faced with an extraordinary opportunity. Our Connecticut Democrat counterparts are among the most daring in the country. They are embracing more outlandish policy positions than ever—ideas that remarkably few people agree with.
First on the list is the Democrats’ repeated efforts to undermine the rule of law, minimize the role and value of police officers, and gut our criminal justice system. All the while, they claim victory for reducing the prison population—and falsely, repeatedly state that crime is down.
Anyone with eyes and ears can see that crime is at historic highs. Violent acts once considered out-of-the-ordinary are now commonplace, and quickly forgotten in the daily news cycle of shootings, thefts, and violence across the state. Last month, six criminals—mostly juveniles—went on a two-day crime spree in multiple towns including an armed robbery in Southington. Crime is rising and Connecticut residents are paying the price.
This problem is the direct result of a decade of bad criminal justice policies (passed on party lines) that remove consequences for criminal behavior. Democrats have heralded programs that release violent offenders from prison ahead of schedule, raise the age in which a juvenile may be tried as an adult, eliminate consent searches for criminal suspects, prevent police chases, and even remove liability protections for police officers.
Just this year, they advanced a law that enables a violent offender to receive parole if they committed the crime before age 21.
We all know that letting criminals out early or erasing convictions will not make this state safer. Police chiefs and those in public safety in the state have detailed, time and time again, that the perpetrators of these crimes have long criminal histories. Rather than admit failure and reverse course, Connecticut Democrats will use creative statistics to support their claims that crime is not a problem, or that their policies are working. Reasonable people know this to be disingenuous at best.
Despite the failure of the Majority Democrats’ policies on crime, and the decades of damage done to our state’s affordability and competitiveness, they appear ready to double-down on unpopular policies.
Recently, the Governor, by way of his unelected commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has pushed us to the brink of a complete ban on the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. This has been a calculated, slow process done through legislative tricks over the years to cede your voice in this matter to unelected progressive bureaucrats. This is all set to happen through the regulatory process and without any legislative debate!
In short, our state leaders are anchoring us to California emissions standards, a state 3,000 miles away that bases much of its policy on virtue signaling and not science. The debate over CO2, and climate change itself, is far from settled. A massive transition to electric vehicles is well beyond the capability of our electrical grid. Importantly, what benefit are electrical vehicles if they are charged by electricity produced almost exclusively by natural gas?
Further, what benefit is there without the rest of the country, or the rest of the world, participating in the conversion? Are Connecticut residents required to give up their freedom to choose a gas-powered vehicle so Governor Lamont can look like a hero to the woke before a real science movement?
I have consistently fought against measures like this since joining the legislature. The drawbacks and folly in this plan are many—too many to explore in this short space. At the heart of it lies this: progressive Democrats have silenced your voice through this process, ignoring all practicality, and embraced a radical agenda based on unsettled science.
Speaking of ignoring science, the battle over bathrooms and pronouns continues across the country. As a staunch advocate for civil liberties, I personally don’t care how others live or express themselves. That is their God-given right, though I share the opinion of many that the volume of alternative choices being pushed by America’s entertainment and advertising industries is excessive. The overwhelming pushback on Bud Light and Target is instructive. The message is clear. Most Americans can appreciate personal choice and even things they don’t personally agree with—but don’t force it on them!
More importantly, don’t involve the kids. Here again, Connecticut Democrats choose to fly in the face of the overwhelming majority, passing legislation to place women’s hygiene products in boys’ bathrooms in grades 3-12! Some have criticized parents who rightfully want to make sure there is age-appropriate content in libraries and classrooms for banning books. That’s quite a stretch.
Most recently, there has been debate and legal maneuvering about whether parents have a right to know about what’s happening with their own children in school, particularly when the child is experiencing confusion over gender or sexuality. According to a July story from the CT News Junkie, “Connecticut Attorney General William Tong was among attorneys general in 16 states last week who defended school officials in Ludlow, Massachusetts, who have been sued for not notifying parents that their two children were using new names and personal pronouns at school.”
I am betting that not only is that the wrong side of that issue, but it’s also a pretty unpopular one, too.
So here we go, Republicans. Connecticut’s elected Democrats are illustrating just how far out-of-touch they are. As always, I will be standing tall for the America I grew up with, maximum freedom for all people, respect for others, and rewards for hard work and ingenuity.
State Sen. Rob Sampson
Sampson, a Republican, lives in Wolcott and represents Wolcott, Prospect, Southington, and Waterbury in the State Senate.