Connecticut primary voters didn't have good choices

I pretty much tuned out the Republican candidates for governor in the primary that concluded Tuesday, once all five, in response to a debate question, said they would grade Donald Trump with an A.

Really?

Connecticut Republicans vying for the highest office in state government all endorse the policies of a president and his party cohorts in Washington who engineered the biggest spending bill in American history at the same time they drove the deficit to dizzying new, never-seen-before heights?

What happened to moderate Connecticut Republicans who support smaller government and reducing the deficit? Apparently, none were on the ballot Tuesday.

And how could all those leading Connecticut Republicans give a thumbs-up to a president who signed a tax cut bill that harms a large swath of Connecticut taxpayers, limiting their ability to deduct Connecticut income and property tax on their federal returns.

And how could they support a president whose rejection of climate change solutions puts Connecticut's long shoreline at risk, a president willing to take away Connecticut's ability to make sure cars pollute less? What happened to moderate Connecticut Republicans who support states' rights?

Never mind that Trump is an egocentric racist seeking to divide rather than unite our country, the subject of essentially a treason investigation into possible conspiracy with a foreign enemy attack on our democracy, a criminal probe that has already ensnared some of his closest confidants, greedy grifters, with indictments and guilty pleas.

Indeed, Connecticut Republicans put on a real circus for this primary, taking big money from municipal trash haulers, manufacturing outrage over imagined assaults on the flag, promoting an increase in police funding in the face of falling crime rates and advocating for the return of the death penalty.

They took the no-tolls pledge, too, as if all our lives depended on it, ignoring the success just over the Rhode Island border in making out-of-state truckers pay their share of maintaining state roads.

And then, in the category of fantasy campaigning, there were the promises to eliminate the income tax, which funds half the government, at a time when the wolves are at the state's door. Few specifics for solving the crisis were proffered.

Of course, things were not a lot better on the Democrats' side, where you got to choose between a felon claiming he is reformed and a lackluster gazillionaire who seemed uninterested in making policy promises and who often looked like someone snoozing through the long second act of a boring opera.

Why is it that Connecticut voters keep getting such bad choices?

The party establishments seem stuck on self-funding, inexperienced candidates who seem incapable of relating to everyday voters who live far from the rarefied world of Fairfield County zip codes. At least Linda McMahon could claim she was once bankrupt, before she spent $100 million twice trying to buy one of Connecticut's two Senate seats, a spectacular waste of money from someone promising to safeguard yours.

In addition to millionaires, we get puppets of the municipal unions, municipal leaders whose popularity ends at the city or town border or perennial candidates who shop around for statewide offices to run for.  

So, blessedly, the primary is over. Now we can move on to the bad choices of the general election.

At least there is one defining difference. The Democrats don't have to defend the disgraceful behavior of their party leaders in Washington, as they keep trying to widen income equality, impinge on women's rights, roll back abortion freedoms and deny the diversification that continues to make America a great country.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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