Letter: Message to the GOP, All politics is local – We-Ha

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For the editor,

They say all politics is local. No longer than this week, I have seen proof of this mantra.

Aside from stories of insane gun violence, I have rarely cried over a news report. The Space Shuttle Challenger was one. A story in the mid-1980s about a small child successfully rescued from a well after days of being trapped was another. I’m sure there have been others in the past.

This week, I found myself tearing up another story, that of about 50 migrants being shipped from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard…by the Governor of Florida, no less.

The story of the frontier has been making headlines for years. Since the Reagan administration, Congress and presidents have failed to improve the process for people arriving at our border to legally enter the United States. Many of these people are migrants, fleeing oppressive regimes and risking death or prison simply for wanting freedom.

Recently, the governors of Texas and Arizona (two bordering states) have been transporting migrants by bus to other states and regions such as New York and Washington, DC. It was a misguided publicity stunt done at taxpayer expense to curry favor with their voter base. Last week, Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, and never one to miss a news cycle, chartered a plane at taxpayer expense from Florida, flew the plane to Texas, picked up 50 migrants and flew them to Martha Vineyard of all places, a small island off the coast of Massachusetts and dropped them off, unannounced! In the process, he sent his public relations people on the “tour” to capture the event on video, told the migrants they were required to travel and promised them a place to live, food and supplies. jobs if they ran. All the lies, and all at the expense of Florida taxpayers.

All of this from the head of state who experienced the Mariel boat lift in the early 1980s that transformed the state culturally and economically…all on the backs of migrants who fled communist Cuba. Look for it.

The governor has taken the path of outrageous behavior rather than thoughtful political thought. He did it for “likes and follows” so to speak because that’s all a lot of people care about today!

Locally, this week, We-Ha.com ran a story about a potential affordable housing project here in town. Affordable housing projects are difficult to achieve for many reasons, but the proposed project is a potential winner as it sits on land containing the former Los Imperios saloon which was a constant source of police activity, and the West Hartford Inn. It’s a great location, walkable to town, with immediate access to public transport and in a location that has been difficult to find a developer for.

Almost immediately after the news broke, West Hartford’s GOP lambasted the plan using outrageous rhetoric, as opposed to thoughtful political argument. They stated on their social media pages and where the story was posted that we don’t need “affordable housing slums” in our community while offering no alternatives. The comment was echoed by the city’s GOP party chairman in other threads.

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The GOP has been beating the drum of “family values” and being the “party of Christianity” for decades. The problem is that they do not accompany their words with deeds, quite the contrary.

Governor DeSantis likely broke multiple laws when kidnapping and transporting 50 innocent migrants under false pretences. Under a murderous regime in Cuba, what would these migrants think and do today if they were forced to flee to Florida?

Local GOP leaders downsized their tent again this week, not only making it clear they don’t want affordable housing and a chance for struggling families in West Hartford, but using discriminatory comments to clarify their points of view. Following the national example, the local GOP attacks and castigates those it does not understand or with whom it disagrees. We saw several local GOP leaders leave the party almost two years ago because of this type of extremism. At some point, reason must prevail over extremism.

John Lyons
7th District Chairman, West Hartford Democratic Town Committee

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