Letter: Newspaper editor, local officials should take stand on Trump, national politics

To the Editor:

Just a few months ago, in February, an editorial entitled “Silence” appeared In the Darien Times that was critical of Darien’s Democratic state legislators. The criticism was directed at the democratic legislators for not returning calls from the editor, our First Selectman, and our other Republican state representative regarding questions on the state budget. It is certainly within the editor’s purview to voice such a criticism.

• Editorial: Silence

Darien, the state of Connecticut, and our entire nation now face a grave constitutional crisis instigated by the policies and alarming behavior of the current occupant of the oval office. When other Connecticut Republican elected officials have been confronted with questions from the media regarding the Trump Administration they respond uniformly avoiding the issue by stating that they are focused on local and state issues. Three examples in the proposed Trump Budget demonstrate how it will have a dramatic local impact.

The Trump/GOP budget proposal eliminates home heating assistance. In Connecticut more than 100,000 poor, elderly, and disabled residents receive assistance with their heating bills. This would force many of Connecticut’s neediest residents to choose between heating and food.

The Trump budget also guts investments in housing and community development by eliminating the Community Development Block Grant Program. This proposal would strip Connecticut municipalities of over $23 million and the state of over $12 million to help low income people access housing.

In the war on opioid addiction, Trumps budget proposal would cut the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s mental health block grant by $100 million this year. These draconian cuts will have a tremendous impact on Connecticut municipalities such as Darien to help fight the opioid crisis.

From a national perspective, each day presents new jaw dropping statements from the Trump administration which pose a clear threat to our system of government now tilting in the direction of an autocracy. Our local elected Republican leaders and the editor of this paper have remained silent regarding Trump. To paraphrase the editor from her February editorial she states, ‘In the best possible interpretation of this silence we can only believe our elected officials endorse this philosophically.’ Our first selectman called Trump inspirational.

So for the record here are the questions it would be nice to see answered by the editor and our local Republican elected officials:

  •         Do you support the passage of the AHCA ?
  •         Do you support the appointment of an independent special counsel to investigate Russian interference in our election system?
  •         As a layperson on emotional and mental health are you comfortable with President Trump as Commander In Chief?

Our country is facing a grave Constitutional crisis. Now is the time for all of us to speak up forcefully for the Republic and not a political party.

 

Randall Klein

Darien

The writer is the former chairman and current member of the Darien Democratic Town Committee

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