“If” the Connecticut press corps exercises its First Amendment responsibilities, then an independent ticket can win Connecticut’s gubernatorial election. If an independent candidate were to win a statewide election it could be a bellwether for our nation and mark the moment in time when the dominant two-party system in America began crashing down. Will the people – tear down this wall?
The Connecticut electorate is perfectly situated for a non-major party candidacy to achieve victory for several reasons. First, the Connecticut electorate is poised to rebuke Gov. Dannel Malloy’s lingering hangover effects as well as decades of fiscal mismanagement from Hartford – mostly on account of Democrat leadership.
On the other hand, the national mood – particularly in the northeast – is poised for mid-term votes that protest what they see emanating from Washington. More importantly, nearly everyone is fed-up with crony-capitalism, corruption, and the elitist control of both the Republican and Democrat parties.
If nothing else the last presidential election serves notice that revolutionary winds are blowing across America.
Looking back at the last presidential election, it is worth considering that the demonstrable forces behind both the Trump movement (not the person) and the Sanders movement (not the socialism) are something to embrace. The revolutionary cry from both camps wasn’t rooted in person or policy, but instead found its force in “the people.” Both movements railed against the establishment. One went on to win the presidency and the other may have done so if not denied by the corrupt forces running the Democratic National Committee.
Behold – the revolution is far from over. It continues to grow in strength and the people will not be denied their rightful rule over our constitutional republic. It is up to “us” to ensure that we find leaders who can capture the power of this movement with positive unifying messages rooted in traditional American values (both historical conservative and historical liberal ideas). We are the people!
Back to Connecticut. Our colony was integral to our founding and it can be the genesis of the next stage of our growth, evolution, and prosperity. We have so much going for us in terms of location, education, diversity, technology, and even weather (picturesque changing seasons are far superior to the disgustingly humid south).
We have enormous challenges; but who doesn’t? Foremost, we need to address our fiscal mess that is 30-years in “our” making. We can only fix this mess by first confronting state unions and fixing our unfunded pensions. Meanwhile, the next governor will confront a huge debt with a population that is exhausted from working so hard just to pay local, state, and federal taxes.
Make no mistake, no Democrat governor can address these challenges with a Democrat controlled legislature. While revolutionary winds are blowing – they aren’t strong enough in Connecticut to turn the legislative body red. Purple maybe, but not red. The Connecticut electorate knows this much. But it is an equally compelling claim that the Connecticut voters are in no mood to ratify the level of discourse they see from the Trump administration – or the Republican-controlled Congress for that matter. To be clear, the tone in Republican controlled Washington does not reflect American values.
In the meantime, the Republican party will endorse someone beholden to their party and a long list of favors owed to organizations and politicians in the shadows. For their part, the Democrats will likely endorse an elitist progressive (at this time in history?) with an equally long list of favors owed and party expectations. Each nominee will have emerged from a process that has little connection to the people. To be sure, there will be primary elections, but the people have become increasingly disconnected with party loyalty and primaries will likely not be a sign of political strength
At this point in history we need to move beyond our historical two-party system. If we evolve in this direction, we the people will take back control of our shared destiny one election at a time. The political parties will no longer enjoy the power they now misuse. It will empower a new breed of candidate to come forward with fresh ideas and a sense of owing their election to the power of the governed. Connecticut should seriously consider embracing this candidacy and send a message to Hartford – and America.
So how does an unaffiliated ticket actually win in Connecticut?
As of November 2017, there were 771,412 active democrats statewide and 453,625 active republicans. By comparison, there were 861,766 “active” unaffiliated voters. That means 37 percent of active voters identify as Democrats; 22 percent as Republicans; and 41 percent as unaffiliated.
Thus, the numbers reflect an electorate with a predominantly moderate center of gravity. An unaffiliated candidate can ride the tide of voter discontent to victory. With these conditions, an independent candidate simply needs to garner more votes than either major party candidate who will accept the nomination atop a damaged and defective platform. In Connecticut, the winner does not need to get a majority of votes; the ticket with the most votes wins.
The Republican convention is this weekend May 11 and 12. The Democrat convention will be held on May 18 and 19. For their part, the little covered unaffiliated candidates will hold a convention on May 15. It remains to be seen whether a press corps that is conditioned on past precedent will take an independent candidacy seriously.
But “the People” are watching. If the bell tolls in the Constitution state – it will be felt across the nation. Revolutionary winds are blowing.
Paul McConnell is the founder of McConnell Family Law Group with offices in Hartford and New Canaan.