Letter: The Tyranny of the Majority
Last week, Wilton Republican Town Committee chair Bill Lalor wrote an OP-ED, critical of both Hartford and Wilton Democrats during the town and state budget processes. That OP-ED has garnered a lot of public discussion and reaction, the latest in a letter from resident Jon Jankus.
To the Editor:
In my opinion, both Bill Lalor’s comments and Andy Schlesinger’s response have much merit but miss a critical point. In particular, Andy’s exhortation for politicians to “meet in the middle” is critical good advice but unlikely to be heeded when both legislative houses and the executive are under the control of one party.
I have nothing against any particular Democrat in the state (I am an unaffiliated voter myself) but, in the last election, I thought it a bad idea to vote that line for state office. I felt the same way about voting the Republican line for federal offices.
When either party has the veto-proof power of the universal majority, there is no incentive (politically) to compromise and meet in the middle. This was true in the first two years of the Trump administration and the past several years in Hartford.
This is not a matter of feeling your vote is wasted by going against the tide. The power of a majority is magnified when one realizes that the proportion of victory (not just the direction) impacts the composition of committees and subcommittees. Most recently, does anyone think that the idea of school district consolidation would have seen the light of day if party rule were divided? I think not.
It is too late to undo the current imbalance of power but never too late to think about the future. If you want government by compromise, create a reason for politicians to do so. Think beyond affiliation to a single party. Avoid the tyranny of any majority, be it by your team or the opposition. In the long run, it isn’t good for anybody.