Tuesday, February 05, 2013

CCM vote: Forget R vs. D, think Authoritarians vs. Populists

As I noted in a recent post, some Council members were surprised by -- and concerned about -- a recent TM vote at a CCM meeting. And the concern did not fall along party lines.

Council members David Schrumm (R) and Peter Talbot (D) were quite comfortable with the TMs vote. Some Council members -- including Patti Flynn Harris (D), Tom Ruocco (R), Jimmy Sima (R) and Chairman Tim Slocum (R) -- were not happy with the TMs vote because he spoke for the Council without ever having received any Council guidance. One Council member, Mike Ecke (D), saw "both sides" of the issue.

This non-party line view reminded me of a little discussed concern that was addressed in 1824 by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Henry Lee:

Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties:

1. Those that fear and distrust people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.

2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depository of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist; and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.

Far too often the public discourse focuses on Republicans vs. Democrats. But much of the time, I feel that the less discussed issue -- authoritarianism vs. populism or aristocrats vs. republicans / democrats -- is the more important issue.

In this situation of the TMs vote, it seems likely to me that you have a possible window into the authoritarian / populist tendencies of Council members.

And as Jefferson wrote that I would... I declare myself as an aspirant for belonging to the second group.

Tim White

1 comment:

Carlos said...

Tim, this is a very very interesting blog post. With Obama, a democrat, you would put him in the populist group right? But his actions, for example 4th amendment, Gitmo, fall under authoritarian. Cheers, Carlos, Chairman, Justice Party of Connecticut (http://www.justicepartyct.org)