[OPINION] Prill Boyle To Jim Marpe: “I Wish You Would Speak Up”

Last week’s “06880” blog party was a celebration of all things Westport. It was a chance for everyone in town to meet, eat, drink and chill, in a community environment at our favorite beach. And, as I always say, it was non-partisan.

But these days, politics intrudes everywhere. Prill Boyle — a longtime “06880” reader, 1972 Staples High School graduate, and the author of “Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women” — saw something that made her think.

And — nearly a week later — write. 

Here’s an open letter she’s written, to 1st selectman Jim Marpe:

Prill Boyle (Photo/Suzanne Sheridan)

When I witnessed my friend Rozanne Gates refusing to shake your hand at the beach last Thursday simply because you are a Republican, I was appalled.

The more I thought about it though, the more I came to admire both her principled stance and your even-handed response. I applaud both of you for being civil to one another.

Although I will always shake your hand if you extend it to me, I too question why you align yourself with today’s Republican party.

From what I have seen, you are a highly intelligent man, not someone who is anti-intellectual, anti-science and anti-environment.

From what I have seen, you are a caring husband and father, not someone who would condone separating mothers and children at our southern border and shutting down Planned Parenthood.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe at last week’s “06880” party.

From what I have seen, you are someone who builds strong coalitions, not someone who would undermine NATO and the European Union.

Finally, from what I have seen, you are someone who is fiscally prudent, not someone who would give a deficit-financed tax cut to the rich while attempting to de-fund a healthcare program for poor children that saves society money in the long run.

In short, from what I have seen you are a good man, a person who values honesty, decency and community. In short, you don’t seem like a person who would tacitly condone the values of today’s Republican party.

So I wish you would speak up.

71 responses to “[OPINION] Prill Boyle To Jim Marpe: “I Wish You Would Speak Up”

  1. Susan Iseman

    And, on March 23rd, he testified at a public hearing in Hartford together with Melissa Kane on behalf of legislation to prohibit bump stocks and ghost guns. I know because I sat next to him.

  2. Bart Shuldman

    What a stupid post.

    Jim Marpe has basically saved Westport from a fiscal crisis that is happening all over CT. Many towns and cities are facing large mill rate increases as the state cuts education cost sharing and PILOT payments. In addition many towns and cities in CT have serious pension and medical cost issues crowding out town funding for many town programs and driving property taxes higher. Just look to the City of West Haven, they closed their town bathrooms because they cannot afford to clean them.

    Jim Marpe has balanced the towns budget while improving Westport’s unfunded liabilities. Basically, Westport is in fantastic shape.

    What is happening in Washington should not be any reflection on Jim Marpe. I would guess he did not like some of the decisions of the past Presidemt, but being the gentleman he is, and focusing on the needs of Westport, he continued to lead our town with pride and honesty. And he kept Washington out of Westport. And he tries to keep Hartford out of Westport.

    This is a very politically motivated post which shows you cannot accept a leader who happens to be a republican. Jim is a Westport republic who has led by example. Jim is a Westport republican who cares about our children, our daughters and our sons, our seniors, our schools and our safety. Jim Marpe is a Westport republican who cares so much about our town.

    Try following Jim for a day or two. My guess you will be exhausted by the hours he dedicates to his role.

    What a stupid post.

    • Dick Lowenstein

      Too bad you are unable to comment without belittling at the same time.

      • Bart Shuldman

        Dick-I stand firmly with my statement. It is disgusting that a resident in Westport took to a public venue to ask a very politically motivated question. If this person wanted to ask Jim, and really cared, then call him up or send an email and request to speak with him privately.

        This has NOTHING to do with Westport and the work Jim has done for ALL of us.

  3. Robert Harrington

    We don’t live in a one party town or state. You didn’t mention one issue directly related to Westport. That is what you are missing in your argument. He is all about Westport.

    I don’t always agree with Jim Marpe. I didn’t support him in the last election and instead endorsed his opponent. I was highly critical of him on several issues. I supported both Democrats and Republicans.

    However, with Jim Marpe I see someone who speaks up for Westport. Everyday.

    We may sometimes differ about how to solve a problem. However, I would never question this man’s values for one second. Period.

    Jim has argued passionately for Westport over the Aquarion Water tanks. He has our backs. He still does. He has shown great leadership among many others on this issue. He didn’t have to.

    He was one of very few elected represetatives who has spoken up and in favor of additional Special Resoource Officers in our schools which are currently being denied.

    He gave a loud voice on the issue of medical dispenceries in our town.

    There are always more opportunities to speak out and speak up for Westport.

    I hope he provides greater leadership on the issue of manning our fire engines in our great town.

    But my point with all this – is we may not agree with each other on every issue but Jim Marpe has your backs in this town whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. I have seen that up close and personal.

    He speaks up every day.

    To try and drag him into this Implicit Trump attack is a little unfair.

    Prill Boyle – have you spoken up about the near bankruptcy our Governor has brought to this state? Have you spoken up and distanced yourself from the failed policies of our governor that has directly impacted our school funding? If so – I missed that.

  4. Jack Backiel

    And I thought the Cribari Bridge posting generated a lot of comments, over an extended period of time. This one will go on for months, so let me be the first to wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVINGS!

  5. Rozanne Gates

    Bravo Prill Boyle. It took courage to write this letter and I hope it is read by as many people as possible. When Jim Marpe extended his hand for me to shake it, I said to him, “I will shake your hand when you denounce Trump.” He withdrew his hand. After the results of the election in 2016 were tallied, it became known that the town of Westport voted overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary Clinton. But on the Town of Westport facebook page, Avi Kaner published a “love letter” of congratulations to Donald Trump, not once acknowledging the fact that Westport’s clear choice was Hillary Clinton. Avi ultimately pulled that post. And not one day has passed since then – through every horrible development that comes at us daily from Washington – has Jim Marpe or Avi Kaner denounced the policies that are effecting each and every American. Westport is not an isolated town behind some magic wall. What happens in Washington deeply effects each and every one of us. Prill Boyle’s letter is simply asking Jim Marpe – do you or do you not support the extreme and dangerous policies of the Trump Administration. So Mr. Marpe, as an elected official of the Republican Party – do you or do you not support Mr. Trump and his policies? Everyone agrees that Jim Marpe is a nice man but I have no idea what he stands for. Just say where you stand Mr. Marpe. At least show one ounce of the courage that Prill Boyle has shown. The people of Westport have a right to know.

    • Robert Harrington

      Handshakes on our beach with our first selectman should not be conditional. Period.

      Are where do you stand on our governor? Have you denounced his policies that have led to the near bankruptcy and utter shaming of our state?

      Whether you do or not – I would still shake you or Prill Boyle’s hand.

      • Rozanne Gates

        Mr. Harrington, you are not a Republican elected official. You do not have to answer to anyone. Jim Marpe will earn my handshake when he denounces Trump in the same way that Senator John McCain has done. But if Jim Marpe is a Trump supporter, we all deserve to know that. It’s a simple question and requires a one-word answer. And since you asked me about Governor Malloy, the answer is “no” – if he were running again I would not support him. But I will say this about Governor Malloy. He has not shown himself to be a supporter of our adversary, Vladimir Putin.

  6. I would think Ms. Boyle would have better things to do with her time then her underhanded attract on our First Selectman just because he is a Republican. This Town is a great place to live because we can all have civil discourse regardless of our political beliefs.
    Our current First Selectman has done a wonderful job in leading Westport through some tough times in the past few years. To accomplish this takes leadership. This is why Westport can hold it’s head high when measured against the other 169 CT. municipalities. The lady who did not shake hands with the leader of our Town due to party affiliation should be ashamed of herself and Ms. Boyle should be ashamed too by lowering herself to write about this event due to her need to get published by 06880.
    Everyone in this Town should shake the First Selectmen’s hand to show appreciation for a job well done and out of respect for the office held
    Tom Bloch

    • Rozanne Gates

      Mr. Bloch, the word is “attack” not “attract” so linguistics aside, I want to know if Jim Marpe supports Trump or not. I know that Senator John McCain does not support Trump. He had the decency to let his constituents know his position. I am asking Jim Marpe, a man who lives on taxpayer dollars, to answer the same question and to be as decent and honest as Senator McCain. Ms. Boyle showed magnitudes of courage by publishing this letter. The current batch of Republican lawmakers in Congress have the power to bring the criminal in the White House to justice. Nixon was brought to justice and Trump needs to be brought to justice. Trump is a clear and present danger to this country and if this country goes down the tubes, Westport will go with it no matter how nice Jim Marpe is.

      • Ms. Gates…I’m not sure where to begin so let’s start with your response to Mr. Bloch’s post. Your best shot was to call out his typo? Really? You couldn’t figure that out? What’s funny is your snappy and dismissive “linguistics aside” comment. Linguistics? To quote the great Inigo Montoya…”I do not think it means what you think it means”.

        But let’s get to the heart of things. Jim Marpe is a great First Selectman and a fine man. Our town is better because of him and his tireless service for EVERYONE in Westport.

        I have served with Jim in town and I know him well. He is a good friend. So what if Jim is a Republican and I am a Democrat? He knows that I loathe Trump and I also know Jim is not a fan. What I loathe most about Trump is the tribalism he has created and this thread is an example.

        Rise above the tribalism, Ms. Gates, and shake the hand of a good man.

        To borrow a line from our former First Lady, “when they go low, we go high”.

        Go high, Ms. Gates. Go high.

      • Michael Calise

        “lives on taxpayer dollars” ?????

        • Thomas Bloch

          Mr. Calise, what is more important to you? The First Selectman’s political affiliation or his ability to lead Westport. From my viewpoint I could care less whether he is a Democrat or Republican. Is what I care about are the results we get from his leadership and so far these results are outstanding.

  7. David J. Loffredo


  8. Karl Decker

    Prill, you are right on target. One reason Mr. Trump and his disastrous term is “surviving” is because of the silence of good, ethical, responsible Republicans. Thank you, Karl Decker

  9. Hi everyone– I just posted the following on Jim’s reply to my letter, but thought I would post it again here:


    I hoped my letter would start a conversation, and it seems to have done that, which I believe is all to the good.

    Let me say right off that I admire you and voted for you. You’re a true public servant, and indeed “represent all Westporters.” My descriptions of how I perceive you were sincere. You deserve all these accolades.

    Up until this last Presidential election, I believed national politics and local politics were two separate things. I also believed–and still believe–that a democracy requires a robust two (or more) party system. Finally, I believe we, the American people, need to listen to each other’s concerns to come up with workable solutions to our town’s, our state’s and our country’s problems.

    I think you will agree, however, that today’s Republican party isn’t the Republican party of years past. (Am I assuming too much to think you will agree with this statement?) And like it or not, to call oneself a Republican today is to tacitly align oneself with the values of the national party. So my underlying questions remain:

    Why are you a Republican when your values don’t seem consonant with the party’s values? What does it mean to be a Republican in the age of Trump? What are the ramifications? Where does one draw the line between the national party and the local party?

    These are not just a question for you, of course, but for every Republican in this country. And, yes, we Democrats should be asking ourselves the same questions. We are having our own identity crisis and are far from blameless when it comes to polarization.

    These are, admittedly, not easy questions to answer. As I said at the outset, they’re meant to provoke thought—and conversation. In any case, thank you for all you do for this town and for being a good sport!

  10. To quote Tip O’Neill — “All politics is local.”

    • Karl Decker

      Well, maybe in Tip’s day it was thought to be…but today? no longer…

      • Jack Backiel

        Karl, Was your father a builder, or are you, or were you a builder? I know of a very small condo complex, in Fairfield, built around 1984, but although the last name is the same, the first name could be Carl. Just curious

        • Karl Decker

          Hi, Jack,Nope, my dad was a doctor in Boston (long ago) and I was a teacher at Staples from 1960 to 1999. I had a student name of Backiel, too–Mike? Uh, a few summers, though, I worked as a carpenter’s assistant but up here in Monroe… Best wishes, anyway! Karl

          • Jack Backiel

            Karl, Mike Backiel probably was in the class of 1962. He was my cousin. He died around age 44. Mike had an older brother, James Backiel, but he may have graduated a year or two before you started teaching. I went to Long Lots, but if I went to Staples, I would have been in the class of 1965. Here are a few names to stimulate your memory : Dick Sutphen, Susan Parise, Dennis Parise, Matt McVane, and Robert Pedersen. Susan and Dennis are my first cousins. Dennis and Matt went to VietNam together. I lost track of Robert Pedersen, but he was Valadictorian in either 1968 or 1969. Susan and Dick has three kids, the youngest was born in 1970. I’m familiar with the Staples classes from 1962 to 1966.

            • Jack Backiel

              I should clarify that Dick and Susan had three children, but are no longer married. I’m glad to shift away from some of the harsh, political talk! I would love to get together with anyone around, from the class if 1965, or e-mail with them! Dan can feel free to give my e-mail out.

  11. Trump and his administration does not remotely reflect what it used to mean to be a proud Republican- many prominent Republicans speak out against his decisions (McCain notably). I doubt many registered Westport Republicans support him either. The radical change in party ideals began before Trump, but his political “supporters” cling on with hope they can use his administration to further their causes, despite his unhinged Twitter politics or regrettable actions. Jim Marpe can and should unequivocally denounce Trump and his administration, while still promoting the Republican local values he stands for. It is not an either or situation, and does not need to be divisive. Clinging to party politics is what is divisive and what has exacerbated the extreme two-party situation. He has been a good leader for Westport, but it is true that he should make it well known that the administration does not reflect his values as a true Republican.

    • Rozanne Gates

      Seth Kent, thank you for your very accurate and thoughtful reply. I look forward to the day when the “good” Republican in Town Hall does the right thing and comes out against the horror of Trump. If he doesn’t, he will be letting the people of Westport know that he supports a horrible and despotic regime in Washington. I do not believe that the people of Westport want to resonate with the Trump administration. Is that true, Mr. Marpe?

  12. In a recent Op-Ed piece in the NY Times entitled: The End of the Two-Party System, David Brooks wrote, “Today, after the financial crisis, the shrinking of the middle class, the partisan warfare, a scarcity mind-set is dominant: Resources are limited. The world is dangerous. Group conflict is inevitable. It’s us versus them. If they win, we’re ruined, therefore, let’s stick with our tribe. The ends justify the means.”
    This mind-set has to change. We need to have open discourse among level-headed Democrats and Republicans in order for Democracy to survive and thrive. If we condemn moderate Republicans, then we will be left with the radical right-wing.

    • Rozanne Gates

      Amee, in case you haven’t noticed, the radical right-wing of the Republican Party is in charge. Things did not work out well for the good Germans in 1933 and they will not work out well for the good Republicans in 2018 if the good Republicans refuse to hold this criminal in the White House accountable for all of his despicable acts.

  13. Dan, you courageously chose to open this can of worms and now I fear you’re going to have a hard time getting it closed again! However, I feel I have no alternative here but to make your job harder by prying it open a little farther.

    I’m a business analyst by training, and I’m also a long-time Republican. I’ve followed Donald Trump’s career for many years and have never had any respect for his manner of doing business. His crude style combined with a proclivity for cheating always made him, let’s just say, unappealing. I never thought he was that good of a businessman either. Like a lot of people I was more amused than anything when he announced he was running for President because I assumed he was joking or at least that his notoriously short-attention span would soon make him lose interest. Then I watched with a combination of horror and astonishment as he rolled up the Republican establishment during the primaries even though they outspent him by quite a bit. Then horror and astonishment morphed into complete befuddlement as he did the same thing to the Democratic establishment in the general election, even while being outspent yet again. He’s now firmly ensconced in the White House and managing his Twitter account.

    Like a lot of us, I’ve had to do much political soul-searching during the past year. I’ve concluded that the secret to Trump’s success has less to do with anything he’s done right than what his opponents have done, and continue to do, wrong. Increasingly over the past generation American Democrats seem to have lost interest in serious problem solving and have instead focused their political energies on endless demonization of anyone who doesn’t share their worldview. This started becoming very apparent even during the presidency of the relatively moderate George W. Bush, who was during his second term continuously tarred as a fascist warmonger lacking any shred of human decency. By the time Trump came along the Democrats had little rhetorical ammunition left and seemed even less interested in practical issues. At this point they seem to have no unifying principles beyond their reflexive anti-Trumpism.

    Democrats need to wake up to the fact that this is not an appealing electoral posture in the United States. If they’re not careful, they’re going to succeed in facilitating Trump’s second term because the guy thrives on negative energy.

    I don’t know Jim Marpe personally, but as a fellow Republican I’d like to thank him for sticking to his principles and refusing to get railroaded into ritual denunciations of Donald Trump. Trump would fade from the scene fairly soon if serious Democrats and serious Republicans, like Mr. Marpe, would just re-engage one another in the serious business of governing.

  14. Stephanie Bass

    I’ve lived in Westport for 25+ years and waited patiently for a businessman to run this town. If I think of us as a $200,000,000 “business” with lots of different constituants loudly proclaiming their positions as THE POSITON that is the right on a large number of issues {Note: and semi-crazy people who have not set foot in Westport for OVER 25+ years also giving their opinion}, I am especially glad that Jim Marpe is in charge. He is smart, measured and respectful off all of us and makes the hard choices that he believes are best. Always right? Depends on what you think is right on a given issue.

    I don’t need him to denounce the Republican Party. His job is to take care of us; the weenies in Washington’s job is to monitor the President. They are doing a lousy job and they are the ones who have to stand up and be counted. And VOTED OUT OF OFFICE FOR BEING SELF-SERVING, HEARTLESS TWITS.

    Least anyone thinks my stance on what is going on is soft or I’m not scared, I had a sign on my front lawn saying


    I did take it down because my neighbor asked me to as she is selling her house and one potential buyer asked 3 neighbors if I was crazy. As soon as any deal goes thru I’m putting the sign back up and will not be stopping by w/ a cake if the above mentioned person buys the property.

    This is not backing down. After being on the planet many years, I’ve learned it’s better to win than be right.

    If anyone wants a battle, let’s go after WellsFargo Bank — their ads in the NYTimes saying how great they are and what they are doing in thier communites, after screwing powerless Americans in huge numbers is sickening.

  15. Rosemary Bentley Milligan

    Shame on you.

  16. Rosemary Bentley Milligan

    In case you don’t “get it” I’m referring to your signs.

  17. Stephanie Bass

    (Bronx cheer)

  18. Stephanie Bass

    .. my opinion, as a civilian, of someone who rips children from their parents, denounces our free press, judges and intelligence communities, praises dictators, humiliates our allies, yada, yada, yada: what do I have to be ashamed of Rosemary???????

  19. Ray Finkel Jr.

    Seems like a lot of people are going to be upset in 2020 when Trump wins again. As far as the ignorant woman who puts Hitler and Stalin in the same group as Ttump, you need to take some history classes if you actually believe that. I thoroughly enjoy how much you let him affect your lives though.


    P.s. MAGA

    • Jack Backiel

      I’m going to take these 75 comments, print them out, mount them on plastic, and use them to wallpaper my new bathroom! ( It’s kind of like some bars have the front page of the local newspaper above the urinal, in the men’s room, so guys can read the newspaper as they stand up and pee. (Can I use the word pee, Dan?) The e-mails today have been no less than brilliant! Anyone who uses my new bathroom will be inspired!

  20. Stephanie Bass

    Finkel, Jr….name calling is juvenile so I will refrain. Sticking to the issues is a good idea. Listening w/o defaming others is also good.

    Good bye.

  21. Dan, having re-read the “open letter”, Jim’s reply, and the many comments; I have to ask – what possessed you to publish the “open letter” in the first place? What conceivable civic duty did you envision it accomplishing? You often publish great conversation pieces, and try hard to stay away from taking a political position (or state one clearly when you do take a side). I realize our President, as well as some figures in the Democratic Party, cause significant emotion and anger with people, but why in God’s name would someone calling Jim Marpe out for his position with respect to the President of the USA be worthy of such publicity? Feels like you were intentionally stirring the pot which seems out of character to this devoted reader.

    • It’s been a topic of conversation in Westport. Prill is not the first person to wonder where our Republican first selectman — who is respected by virtually all Westporters — stands vis-a-vis his national party.

      Prill attended my “06880” party, saw what happened, and wanted to write a letter to the Westport News. Because it happened at my party, I volunteered to give her a platform for it.

      The comments have been thoughtful, passionate, and civil. No pot was stirred. Discourse happened. That’s the best of America, and Westport.

      • Matt Dembski

        I think Dan has done a great job here. We shouldn’t be afraid to bring these issues to light. Rozanne and Primm brought a viewpoint to light and the rest of us have responded. Even if the majority vehemently disagree with the viewpoint raised, Democracy requires open and respectful debate.

  22. Hey — I don’t see what this fuss is all about.

    I am a Republican voter. I object strongly to President Trump’s policies and attitudes — particularly his demonization of immigrants, his close ties with criminal elements in the Former Soviet Union, and his continuing stream of vulgar, mean-spirited, and un-Presidential outbursts.

    It doesn’t take a whole lot of courage to say this in a liberal community like ours. And I do think it’s the obligation of all non-Trump supporting Republicans to speak out.

    Why is Jim Marpe unable to say this?

    • Rozanne Gates

      Peter Blau, you are my kind of Republican. Maybe you could call Mr. Marpe.

      • I live in Weston, so I’m not a constituent. Also, to give Mr. Marpe the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he has spoken out against the President on other occasions, but did not want to be forced into it by a public protest. On the other hand, if a clearly moderate Republican fails to speak out against Trump for reasons of Party Loyalty, that is not defensible in my mind.

        • But thanks for the kind comment. It hasn’t been easy being a Republican these past couple of years!

  23. Thank you, everyone, for being so civil. As Dan said: “Discourse happened. That’s the best of America, and Westport.”

  24. I’m still trying to understand this post.
    I’m a Republican, brought up in a home with 3 Democrats.
    We were brought up to respect each other’s views and the views of others. Be it politics, religion, lifestyle etc. We listen, learn and NEVER PRE JUDGE.
    I will always hug my sisters, shake hands with Malloy Democrats ( I actually shook he Govorner’s hand when he toured Church Street).
    Civility and Respect work both ways. Republicans and Democrats don’t make it his town great, respectful people who care do.
    To Jim Marpe you are a class act.
    You are respected by people who are both registered Republicans, registered Democrats and Registered Independents. I’m rproud to work with you as an RTM member and a member of our community.

  25. Rozanne Gates

    To support Trump is to support the evil he manifests. I despise what he and his supporters are doing to this country. If someone is a Republican these days it is to be assumed, unless otherwise noted, that that person has made a conscious choice to support a very evil person. Many Republicans with a conscience and a respect for human rights have come out against the tyrant that is Trump. By denouncing him, you let the world know that you will not tolerate the evil policies created by this administration. By not denouncing him, you are telling the world that you support these policies. I would only hope that the First Selectman of Westport is not a supporter of Trump and his policies. I think most people would understand what this means.

    • Robert Harrington


      It would be great to see you be a little more tolerant of your fellow Westporters who might not share your political views – including our First Selectman. This town is full of amazing Republicans and amazing Democrats.

    • William Strittmatter

      I trust you appreciate that if you remove the words Trump and Republicans and replace them with any number of other combination of words, you would be among the first to decry the resultant statements as racist, bigoted, prejudiced and hateful. And appropriately so, as they would be exactly that. Frankly, your blanket characterization of a group of people is rather Trump-like.

      Not that it is relevant to the discussion but, for the record, I neither care for Trump nor did I vote for him. I don’t particularly think he is a good human being.

  26. Mr. Strittmatter, I don’t think your 1st sentence would really work out the way you say it does. If you substitute “Trump” and “Republicans” with “Obama” and “Democrats,” few would call the resulting phrase racist, bigoted etc.

    In fact, the vast majority of readers would call it “politics as usual.”

    • William Strittmatter

      Peter (and you can call me Bill, by ther way), those weren’t among the words I was thinking about. For example, insert MS-13 and immigrants and reread the paragraph.

      Extrapolating from an individual to any broader group they may be a subset of, aside from failing the test of logic, quite often falls into the category of bigoted, prejudiced, racist, and/or hateful. Frankly, I’m not certain you are correct that some might not interpret it that way if Obama and Democrats were the substitutes.

      Or course, all of the above probably falls into the category of “politics as usual” (which also often fails the test of logic) so we are in agreement there. Unfortunate that politics have devolved this far over the last few decades though demonizing the opposition has a long history in politics. Imagine what Kennedy/Nixon would have looked like today.

  27. Christopher E. Lewis

    Prill raises a very good question and does so with great openness and fairness. Jim and others argue that we are Westport and we should be concerned about Westport, not matters Republican or Democratic. It is, of course, in his interest to do so. Yet Jim runs as a Republican and he gets support from the local Republican organization and perhaps beyond. What has happened and is happening to the Republican Party under Trump should, I believe, be of great concern to all, including Republicans who are alarmed at what has happened to their party and what it means to be a “Republican”. I don’t think it is asking too much to ask Jim where he stands.

    • Now that the leadership of the Democrat Party have declared that embracing socialism is the future of the Democrat Party, do Westport’s Democrats welcome this future?

      • Mr. Petrino — you’re only showing your ignorance. The correct, historic and legal name is The Democratic Party.

        • You did not answer the question.

          • Lisa Marie Alter

            Perhaps take 1.5 minutes out of your life to learn — it is called “Democratic Socialism”… it is what we already have with our taxes used for services, infrastructure, Medicare, etc etc…


            Lisa Marie Alter

            • Jennifer E Rankine

              I don’t think I’ll rely on MSNBC to define “democratic socialism.” The first claim in the video is that “with democratic socialism, there is no call for communal ownership of production” yet the Democratic Socialist of America organization (DSUSA.org) states the following:

              “This simply means that democracy would be expanded beyond the election of political officials to include the democratic management of all businesses by the workers who comprise them and by the communities in which they operate. Very large, strategically important sectors of the economy — such as housing, utilities and heavy industry — would be subject to democratic planning outside the market, while a market sector consisting of worker-owned and-operated firms would be developed for the production and distribution of many consumer goods. In this society, large-scale investments in new technologies and enterprises would be made on the basis of maximizing the public good, rather than shareholder value.”

              Read through this if you really want to know what “democratic socialism” is all about: (https://www.dsausa.org/resistance_rising_socialist_strategy_in_the_age_of_political_revolution) And note their strategy, in their words:
              “Resistance Rising: Socialist Strategy in the Age of Political Revolution”

              Socialism is Socialism, nothing democratic about it. Just ask the Venezuelans. In the meantime, I’ll celebrate the most recent 4.1 % U.S. GDP growth number in our system (the one people want to come to for a chance at the American dream, not flee from) today.

              • Lisa Marie Alter

                1. MSNBC was an attempt to provide something “idiot proof” for people to watch (since it seems most people don’t “read”).

                2. No where is there a declaration that the Democratic Party has melded with DSA.

                3. No one is suggesting pure socialism here in America – besides, that is what a system of “checks and balances” is supposed to provide – BALANCE – which we don’t have currently with a corrupt GOP kowtowing to “Shit-for-Brains” in the WH. That said, I’ll take the Democratic Socialists over the Russian & NRA bought GOP any day.

                4. And, yeah, “thanks Obama” for the GDP – cuz it won’t be staying at those levels with the current moron’s policies in place… taxing citizens to payoff farmers for the problems he is creating, burdening the national deficit, creating trade wars, defunding the ACA which will drive up premiums, and trashing the blue states with reductions to our S.A.L.T. deduction… all of this will be killing our economy soon enough.

                5. Never mind the fact that there is no one left to work the farms and pick the crops, so we can expect inflationary prices on our food and other staples — migrants are staying away — or being deported… except at Mar-A-Lago, where trump gets a special visa for them (cuz he the ol’ do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do kinda guy… including making his stupid red hats and buying his steel from JINA 🙄)

                Let’s face it: angry white men don’t want those crop-picking jobs !

                (Full disclosure: I am not a “Democrat” – I’m a lifelong UnAffiliated.)

                Lisa Marie Alter

                • Robert Harrington

                  Lisa – we live in a democracy and people who come out to vote should be celebrated. Whether people voted for Clinton or Trump – our democracy is vibrant. Everyone has a choice. Participation should be celebrated.

                  Angry white men comment misses the point.

                  People should be free to vote and not have to defend their choice here.

                • Lisa — I wish there was a “Like” button as they have on Facebook. I would give you a heart!

                • Bart Shuldman

                  Lisa. No doubt you support socialism with your response. It’s a shame you don’t understand the free market.

                  While I don’t like many things Trump does, I do have to ask why countries around the world have high tariffs when our car companies sell overseas. Why do these countries around the world charge these high tariffs yet they can sell them cars in the US with much lower tariffs? Why?

                  • Lisa Marie Alter


                    No, the SHAME is that you are rude and a blowhard – and I will not engage with you.

                    Anyone who wants to see how one is treated by Bart in “discourse” is welcome to visit my Facebook page – it details his abusive response to me, speaking as Greg Kraut’s campaign advisor, when I attempted to comment on something that I was pointing out was a misrepresentation on Kraut for CT’s page.

                    Lisa Marie Alter

                    • Bart Shuldman

                      Lisa-any time you want to get into a discussion of your posts and attacks, let’s do it. But let’s get all the posts out there, including the private text message I received from some who wrote they agreed with me. Be happy to share them if you want to embarrass some of your friends.

            • You are a tad confused. Socialism is an economic system in which the government owns the means of production and distribution; there is no private sector. Perhaps you should get yourself a copy of Samuelson’s “Economics” . We do not have a socialist system. In the US all wealth is generated by the private sector. The public sector generates no wealth.

              • Isn’t it about time that this Blog moved onto another issue to debate. This stuff is getting old. The beauty of the Blog is all our thoughts whether Democrat or Republican can be shared, even thou some comments really show bad taste.
                This is America where we can all vent and then move on and have the ability to get up the next morning without being incarcerated.
                Tom Bloch

          • Bart Shuldman

            Michael. Funny how Bobbie just backs away.

    • Bart Shuldman

      And dems endorse Bernie Sanders a socialist. Does that make Every democrat a socialist?

      Such nonsense.

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