• A Republican Reclamation Project

    May 24, 2024
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    Connecticut and national politics is becoming a game of rote and numbers.

    As part of his 2024 presidential campaign, Joe Biden traveled to Morehouse College in Atlanta to reassure Black students that his administration had not forgotten them. Some critics asserted that the Morehouse event had been used by Biden to spread a message to a wider audience – anti-Israeli mobs storming various credulous college student bodies, young voters turning away, according to polls, from their Daddy’s Democrat Party, and a click-dependent left oriented national media.

    National polls showing Biden sinking in the estimation of American Black voters put a spring in his faltering 81-year-old step.

    This, in part, is what Biden said of the Republican Party: The Democrat Party -- not the party of Abe Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass -- is the party of forward movement among Blacks. The Republican Party is anchored in an outmoded past, systemically racist, and led by MAGA Yahoos.

    Past voting patterns show that Blacks in large cities vote, one might say programmatically, in favor of the Democrat Party. Large cities in the United States such as Chicago and, here in Connecticut, Bridgeport, the state’s most populous city, are Democrat cisterns in which votes are stored and then let loose during campaign seasons.

    Connecticut Democrats have only to win massive majorities in the state’s Democrat Party urban reservations, a near certainty, and then harvest a sufficient number of votes in the state’s suburbs to attain office. Such have been the mechanics of politics in Connecticut for the past three decades or more. The last Republican chief executive in Bridgeport was Mary Moran, who left office in 1991. There are no Republicans in Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional Delegation.

    Nationally, Democrats favor the elimination of the Electoral College, an important U.S. Constitutional feature that prevents large population centers from exercising permanent political dominion over small states. Perhaps the chief reason Democrats prefer that presidents be elected by a popular vote is that they control large crumbling cities. Presidents elected by votes garnered in larger states and cities may with impunity deny the franchise to smaller states. This arrangement, clearly anti-democratic, seems to satisfy Democrats in Connecticut such as 3rd District congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who has been in office for 33 years. DeLauro, relying on votes from large cities in her gerrymandered district, has been reelected 16 times, always with more than 56% of the vote.

    In its Gerrymander Project, FiveThirtyEight produced an eye opening map showing “How often we'd expect a party to win each of Connecticut’s 5 seats over the long term — not specifically the 2018 midterms — based on historical patterns since 2006.”

    By way of example, U.S. Representative John Larson’s 1st District regularly produces a vote in which the chance of being represented by a Republican is a slender 2.9%, while the chance of being represented by a Democrat is a fulsome 79.1%. In Rosa DeLauro’s 3rd District, the figures are: chance of being represented by a Democrat 94.2%, chance of being represented by a Republican 5.8 %. And in Jim Himes’ 4th District, the figures are: chance of being represented by a Republican 9.9%, chance of being represented by a Democrat 90.1%. The racial or ethnic makeup of all Connecticut Districts is “predominantly White.”

    Republicans have yet to mount a sustained effort to increase Republican chances in Democrat urban fiefdoms by, say, 10% among Blacks, some of whom appear ready to bolt the Democrat Party in 2024.

    But, here in the state, a Republican Party reclamation effort is underway, the brainchild of Dominic Rapini, the talented Republican political polymath who ran for Connecticut Secretary of State in 2022. The Republican Party is historically the party of emancipation under President Abraham Lincoln, the party that, pre-emancipation, opposed fugitive slave laws, the party that resolutely opposed Jim Crow once southern reconstruction had ebbed, the party that promoted both the Civil Rights Act of 1866, a precursor to the 14thAmendment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There can be no doubt that historically, the Republican Party had advanced minority interests ever since the end of the Civil War through modern times.

    The comically absurd notion that the Republican Party is systemically and objectively racist is not only a slur upon the party; it is a crude attempt to repeal history from the Civil War forward.

    In Branford Connecticut this June 5th, thanks to Republicans mindful of the history of their party, the Branford Republican Town Committee will be hosting its first annual Fredrick Douglass Celebration Event. Like Lincoln, Douglass now belongs to history. Both were, in their own day, courageous apostles of liberty, and those of us who know that history is the imprint of the spirit of a country, know also that the undying courage to do right expires when a country’s real history is either forgotten or overlaid with bastardized and fanciful attempts to destroy the past so that the future may conform to destructive ideological modalities.

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    Don Pesci

    Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.

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