What’s next? What will be the key issues after the election?
Issue-1 will be Covid-19, which has upended our world in so many ways. I keep wondering if we will (or can) return to life as it was before the pandemic or are the new rules of life destined to remain. Will there be handshakes again? I hope so.
What I do know is the massive impact the pandemic has had on our economy. Connecticut has been on the wrong track for a long time and we were already headed for a giant budget deficit. Now, I am afraid the majority will be even more likely to be back pushing for more taxes, and even tolls.
We need a new direction. I have worked hard to make the case for streamlining government, attracting businesses and promoting entrepreneurial activity by creating a sensible and welcoming regulatory environment, protecting our first-class education system, and highlighting the beauty of Connecticut and our quality workforce.
To grow our economy, we must work to make Connecticut a more attractive place for everyone. For businesses, cut regulations and corporate taxes. For seniors, prevent property tax increases and eliminate taxes on Social Security and pensions. For graduates, create an inviting and robust economy with jobs. I will continue to oppose tax increases, irresponsible budgets, dangerous borrowing, corporate welfare, back-breaking mandates on our towns and small businesses, and bad policy that drives up energy costs.
Issue-2 will be public safety. While most people are aware of the recent flawed “police accountability bill,” they should also know that this is nothing new. In recent years, several laws have been passed that undermine law and order and the important work our police officers do every day.
The increase in crime, car thefts, shootings, and violence is a direct result of policies like “Raise the Age” — which raised the age of juvenile offenders from 16 to up to 18 — “Second Chance Society,” “Excessive Use of Force,” not to mention the “Risk Reduction Credit” program. These policies have made us less safe.
Visible and friendly police officers are as important to maintaining a civil and safe society as the rule of law itself. I’m proud to have the support of local law enforcement and will work to reverse the recent anti-police bill and end the Risk Reduction credit program that grants the early release of violent felons, making us less safe. I am proud to have led several initiatives to improve public safety — cracking down on human trafficking, strengthening domestic violence laws, reducing youth violence, getting illegal guns off our streets, and placing school resource officers in our schools.
Issue-3 will be what I call the “great divide.” Every election cycle, we hear, “This is the most important election of our lifetime.” I think for the last few elections, and most certainly this one, that is probably true. Truthfully, I am a little fearful of what the world will look like after a winner is declared in the presidential election.
Sadly, there are people on both sides who are unlikely to take the results sitting down.
Of course, I know what is at stake in this election and that it may affect the very nature of what America is, and will be in the future. My whole life has been dedicated to preserving the American dream and defending our founding values of freedom and opportunity.
In my view, we have strayed far from the principles of personal responsibility and self-reliance that made us the greatest, most prosperous nation in history. I work hard to make the case for getting back to them each day. Most importantly, I want to make sure future generations have the same opportunities I have had.
People are tribal by nature. We had to be to survive at the dawn of humanity. Surviving on your own was just not an option, and allegiance to your tribe often meant life or death. It is no wonder that tribalism has remained a part of us.
Election time seems to amplify the divisions that exist; a dangerous trend that can only have a bad ending. America has been divided before, but at least since Reconstruction we have been one tribe of people. E pluribus unum means “Out of many, one” — one of the key aspirations of our founders and one largely achieved, until recently.
While we have always been a diverse nation with many different peoples and as many opinions, we were united in our freedom and respect for the freedom of others. This is the way I was brought up and how I will always conduct myself as our State Senator. I am confident that our best days are still ahead of us if we choose our leaders wisely.