Don’t it Make My Red State Blue?
Why Connecticut is Blue about not being Red
Connecticut is a Blue State. I live here and I experience it everyday. This was only a recent development. I think that Connecticut is truly a Red State whose Blue State tendencies can be explained through a series of correctable government missteps, deep arrogance, and an attitude toward minorities that prevent it from showing its true political color.
From 1916 through 2012, there have been 25 Presidential elections. Connecticut voted for the Republican candidate 14 times and for the Democrat 11 times, with the current streak beginning in 1992 of six straight times in favor of the Democrat. Since 1992, Connecticut has been a safe state for Democrats, with no Republican currently holding Federal office, and has sent in Representatives who suggest we tax sugar in an effort to control people’s eating habits. This is odd considering that given Connecticut’s overall demographics, it should be a conservative state.
There are 35,056 Catholics per 100,000 residents in Connecticut, placing it as the fourth-highest concentration in the U.S. Regardless of what Nancy Pelosi opines, practicing Catholics are overwhelmingly Pro-Life, personally and politically. Hispanic Catholics mirror mainstream Catholic views on abortion. On the issue of abortion, then, Connecticut has pro-Life tendencies.
Connecticut is the 14th-most segregated state in the U.S. in terms of public-school education. It ranks higher in segregation than Texas and California. Like its northern neighbor Massachusetts, it has a high-degree of racial tension and issues which are brushed under the carpet with regularity. Bloomfield, Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Windsor have the highest concentration of self-identified Black people within Connecticut. Overall they number only 11.3 percent of the population, below the national average. Despite these issues, they vote as a bloc overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates, for reasons more related to economic assistance and past policies than current benefit.
Connecticut has the 1st to 4th-highest per capita in the U.S., depending upon the source. However, by every economic measure, it is in a state of very rapid decline. The decline began in 1992 with the election of Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., as governor. A Yale graduate, Weicker implemented a personal income tax in Connecticut for the first time. His election marked the beginning of a union of political interests, including labor unions, minorities, the wealthy not reliant upon income, and the educated gentry of Yale. Connecticut ranks dead last in annual economic growth.
This state mirrors the government in terms of solution mindset. A couple of years ago, it enacted the largest tax increase in state history, but failed to balance the hike with spending controls. It is ranked 46th in economic performance and 43rd in economic outlook. The major cities are losing population and small business starts are at historic lows.
Why would any rational person in Connecticut who wants a better future for their family vote for a Democrat? It can be summed up by a conversation I had in 2008 with a businessman who is a native of the state. He grew up here and owned his own small company, providing consulting services within his industry. Due to his ancestors’ wealth accumulation, he was able to inherit a small fortune and so did not have many worries about his own family.
We sat in a restaurant and I asked him who he would support for President. He was backing Barack Obama, who at that time was still a candidate. I asked him how supporting Obama would result in any benefits for his business. He gave me a long-winded explanation that could be best summed up as: I feel better about being wealthy in Connecticut if I vote for a liberal candidate who will take care of our problems because I certainly will not.
Connecticut has the second-worst income disparity in the United States. Its neighbors are not much better. You can drive ten minutes from Fairfield and Jack Welch’s multi-million dollar beach-front mansion to Bridgeport and burned-out hulks that used to be factories. The police in Fairfield downtown rarely have to worry about jaywalking while there are shootings almost daily next door.
Three of the five largest cities in Connecticut have seen their mayor go to prison over the past 20 years. So has one governor. By every measure of government accountability, Connecticut has been suffering. In many ways, it mirrors Illinois.
Given the stranglehold of the Democrats on urban areas, public-sector jobs and institutions of higher learning, it is little wonder that pundits on both sides of the political fence are flirting with liberating these areas. If you cannot solve the problems, get a divorce. Maybe it’s time.
However, proactively we can start with confronting the Elephant in the room. The constituents who vote “D” are a bloc that is going to steadfastly vote for any nominated candidate. They don’t have a better answer. They are afraid and they are ultimately relying on someone else to assuage their fears. Their political patrons would prefer they have faith only in their fellow man and not in fairy tales. There is a direct connection between these patrons and the rise of the non-religious in these areas.
The highly-educated rely on arrogance, but ultimately they are hired help, too. Tenure makes one lazy, just as does permanent employment. Forget about pragmatism or learning from history; it will not help you there.
You have a voting bloc that is solid. There is also a solid voting bloc that is conservative. Thanks to a mass Exodus of businesses, most recently those that manufacture firearms, that number keeps shrinking daily. Many of the residents who work in financial services tend not to care so much about Connecticut taxes as they work around an even worse place for it in New York City.
The simple truth is that the opposition in Connecticut is outvoted, not outnumbered. In 2008, I went to cast my vote for John McCain. At the school where the vote was being held, there were activists who were congregating to ensure that people had voted for Obama. They were actively stopping people to ask them how they cast their vote and they made it no secret for whom the vote should be. It was intimidating, to say the least. McCain and Romney lost Connecticut not because they did not have a majority of like-minded voters, but because they did not motivate the voters here to make a change.
We have been painted and caricatured, but we are still the silent majority. And come this November, Connecticut will give Dan Malloy the bum’s rush. Unfortunately, part of the reason will be that his own party is displeased with his policies.
We need two alterations to restore this state to its roots. First, we need to attract small business back. That means legislative changes and for that, every election counts. Second, we need to restore the value of faith and morality. This is a national challenge and not a light one. We are fighting against a tidal wave of feel-good laws, such as Malloy’s transgender law that allows any person to use a bathroom for the gender to which they identify. Connecticut is like a drunk person, seeking the next high because it is better than facing the problems and fixing them. And the press and politicians are really good at discouraging people from fighting against the status quo.
As long as we are silenced on faith and morality, we will lose at the polls here. And we are. And we should not be.