We’re approaching the 2022 off-year presidential elections in Connecticut. Nationally, Republicans appear hopeful they will be able to re-capture the US House and, some eupeptics think, the US Senate as well.
In Connecticut, there is, as this writer has said previously in columns, no enemy to the left. Democrats control: the largest cities in the state; the General Assembly, where ruling Democrats enjoy a nearly veto-proof majority; all the state’s Constitutional offices; the Governor’s office; and much of the state’s media.
In Connecticut, “the land of steady habits,” it seems reasonable to predict that the upcoming elections will leave our politics untouched. We have become, to adjust the aphorism a bit – a state of bad “steady habits,” and habits determine elections -- unless something comes along to change the habits.
The citizens of Paris in1789 tolerated the royal government and the splendor of Versailles until merchants in Paris, always overtaxed and underappreciated, ran out of bread.
Democrats have been in charge of the public morals and the public purse in Connecticut for roughly 40 years, during which time a majority of journalists in the state have gone along to get along, instead of considering it a moral duty to oppose the party in power. What was it Immanuel Kant said about morality -- all moral action is related to a duty. It is the inescapable duty of those who work in media to present a view opposing that of the reigning power, what this writer has often called the Connecticut Democrat hegemony.
Some journalists fall by the moral wayside because they are not likely to form enduring friendships among Connecticut’s power brokers if they adopt an attitude of principled opposition. Editors rather like having reigning politicians on their shelves, mostly for business reasons. We have the political state we have, it ought to be obvious by now, because 1) we have the politicians we have, and 2) we have the media we have. Over the past 40 years, politicians in both parties have been industriously hiding the corpse under the bed. In this, they have occasionally been assisted by journalists who write as if they believed there should be no enemy to the left.
The media was former President Donald Trump’s bugbear. Trump was and is a solipsist. Now out of office, he is no longer a danger to the republic, if he ever was one. The shakers and movers in Connecticut’s Democrat Party do not want the media to tamp down their coverage of Trump because, should this happen, media attention might wander to the comedy or tragedy that lies right under our noses.
Remember Orwell. The most difficult thing political watchmen must do, he wrote, is to see the truth that lies “right under their noses.” When Orwell submitted Animal Farm to political publishers, he was told they do not publish children’s fairy tales.
It may be folly, the general public often has shown, for political commentators to talk, except when necessary, about events that have not yet happened. Their primary focus should be on changes – some subtle, others dramatic – in the political ecology of Connecticut. Most just criticism involves bringing the past to bear on the present. It’s the only way we can develop a moral – Remember Kant! – political accounting. In the absence of that kind of critical analysis, entropy rules.
We are hearing a great deal from the Democrat Party this year, nationally and state, about equity. Vice President Kamala Harris strummed that chord when she visited Connecticut to stump for Democrat U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes.
No one has ever improved Aristotle’s definition of justice. The essence of justice, he said, lies in treating things that are the same in a similar manner and things that are different in a different manner. We do not, for instance, want to treat children as if they were adults, because there is a categorical difference between children and adults.
The parental uprising in Connecticut against “educrats,” educational “experts,” at raucous Board of Education meetings over the introduction of clearly erotic material into the children’s sections of school libraries illustrates the difference between just and equitable treatment. Justice seeks to preserve essential differences without which people cannot be treated fairly. Equity seeks to abolish the differences. Equity is a leveling down process, accomplished through dependable agencies of force. When all differences are abolished, a utopian justice will prevail, and the iron laws of anarchic socialism will have been written on stony hearts.
Equity, pursued rigorously, seeks to remake human nature. George Orwell explored the successful equitable state, in his dystopian novel 1984. The novel does not end happily for its anti-hero, Winston Smith, who is just beginning to feel in his soul the faint stirrings of liberty, successfully repressed by his technocratic overlords.
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.